A Round-up of Argyle News
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Argyle won 1-0 at Coventry City, the goal coming from Cherno Samba after 82 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Kouo-Doumbe, Seip, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Buzsaky, Reid, Chadwick. Subs - Summerfield, Samba, Aljofree (not used - Larrieu, Sawyer). Attendance - 19,545.
Luke McCormick missed out on Argyle's final visit to Highfield Road in November 2004, and also their first trip to the Ricoh Arena 13 months later. Today however, he is poised to fulfil an ambition by appearing in a Football League game in his home town. "It's frustrating missing out on any game," said McCormick, "but particularly one that happens to be in your home town. Fingers crossed, though, I hope everything goes to plan on Saturday." McCormick's was with the Sky Blues as a schoolboy player, and added: "I was there when I was 13 and 14 and I played for their Under-14 side for about a season, but I had a few injuries as a kid which stopped me playing football for a year. I played local football when I came back, and then I ended up at Derby County for a few months. I didn't get taken on at Derby, and that was when I got a phone call from Plymouth asking me if I wanted to come down for a trial." McCormick was on the bench when Argyle lost 3-1 at the Ricoh Arena last season. "It's a fantastic place to go to, and it's one of the best stadiums in the division," he said. "I really can't wait to play there this weekend."
Luke Summerfield is delighted with the progress he has made this season. He said: "It has gone really well for me and I am delighted with the progress I have made and, hopefully, I can carry on progressing through the season and become a better player." Summerfield earned his first ever start in the 1-0 win at Colchester in August, and scored the only goal with a stunning volley. He admits to feeling some pre-match nerves after hearing the news that he would be starting the game. "It did not kick-in at the time the boss told me but it did when we went back to our hotel rooms and I just sat there with my thoughts," said Summerfield. "It was hard because it was nerve-wracking but I was still really looking forward to expressing myself in the game. It was always going to be a tough place to go, whether it is a big team or a little team. It is a small ground, not the nicest, and miles away from us but we all adapted well and, luckily for me, I got the winning goal. We needed those three points to get the season under way with the first win, so it was a good day all round." Next up for Argyle was a trip to Sunderland and the Stadium of Light. "It was a great experience and I could not have asked for anything more, and it is something I can learn from," said Summerfield. "As a youngster you want to play at the better grounds, against better players and bigger clubs." Argyle the lost to Sheffield Wednesday and Summerfield admitted it was strange to play against his Dad's team. "It was a strange occasion for the whole family," he said. "I wanted to win and my Dad wanted to win but we did not think about it until after the game. It was a pleasure to get another appearance and good to play against Dad's team. It is just a shame that we lost. He would not dare say anything. I kept quiet and he kept quiet." The next game for Argyle and Summerfield is the trip to Coventry City, and he is raring to go. "It is another big ground and a massive club," said Summerfield. "They have been doing well and made quite a few big buys. It is good that I will be pushing for a start and, hopefully, if I get my chance I will do well and express myself. Hopefully, we will go there and try to get the three points."
Argyle are handing out a special invitation to thousands of local youngsters who normally do not have an opportunity to watch the team. The club is contacting every single player in the Devon Junior and Minor League to ask them along to Home Park for Argyle's home game against Derby County on October 15th. As a special incentive, the club is offering a special 'Five for £25' group ticket, which will allow four under-16 year olds to attend the game with an adult for an all-in price of just £25, as long as one of the youngsters is a registered DJM League player. Ian Holloway said: "I know that, with the DJM playing their matches on Saturday afternoons, there are a lot of young members of the Green Army who don't get to watch us as often as they'd like to. I'm delighted for those youngsters - and their mums and dads - that the club is offering a fantastic Sunday Special deal for the Derby game just for them." As part of the invitation, each of the 57 DJM clubs will be invited to nominate one player to take part in a pre-match Parade of Teams. As well as the 'Five for £25' offer, the club has also reactivated the 'Kid for a Quid' promotion, which allows any under-16 year old to watch the game for £1 as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Holloway added: "The future of Argyle lies with its young fans and it is wonderful that the club is giving so many of them such an opportunity to join the Green Army and see a game. I want them to come to Home Park, enjoy the atmosphere, get behind the lads, and get the Argyle bug. I can't see any reason why not to take advantage of either of these super Sunday Special offers. The lads and I would love to see - and hear! - loads of young fans at Home Park."
Ian Holloway is upbeat despite three major injury doubts for tomorrows game at Coventry. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Barry Hayles and Paul Wotton are all still struggling to be fit. "I have got a few problems but I am more than happy with those that will come in and it will give them a chance," said Holloway. "I won't risk anybody because it seems pretty silly trying to risk people and put them out for a long time. If we get past this weekend, we have got two weeks. Paul Wotton has made some good progress but I will have to take a look at it. Sylvan is the most doubtful, and then Hayles. Wotton has probably got the best chance. I am thinking whether I need to a risk it because if it is a slight muscle tear and Wotton tries to play, and it tears fully then what is the point? I have got a small squad to play with and not much strength in depth. I don't ever put my players at risk, so I have to make some late decisions on who is travelling, which I don't normally like doing." Should Hayles and Ebanks-Blake be ruled out, Nick Chadwick will play alongside either Reuben Reid or Cherno Samba. Both Reid and Samba played in the reserves defeat to Cardiff on Tuesday and Holloway was impressed with the work-rate of Samba. Holloway also challenged the youngsters to push forward and make it a choice of two strikers out of five in the future. "I was not there but I have seen a recording and some of the performances were ok," said Holloway. "Reuben needs to realize what it is all about sometimes. It is his work-rate but it will come; he is only young. I thought Cherno had a very good first-half; he looked sharp, wanted to run and wanted to work for the team. They will know that there are places up for grabs. Chadwick has got loads of games under his belt and he is probably a bit unlucky not to be playing anyway. At the minute, it is two out of three and if those other two want to make it two out of five, that is up to them. Samba will be in contention but I think Reuben will get the nod ahead of him because of what he has done up to now. I will probably start with Reuben in the team because he is a big strong boy. Chadwick is ahead of them already in my eyes." Marcel Seip is guaranteed a starting place at Coventry after his goalscoring home debut against Norwich. Hasney Aljofree will be the unlucky man after missing the win over the Canaries following a head injury sustained in the defeat at Southampton. "Seip has come in and done well," said Holloway. "It is hard on Hasney but I am not going to change that backline. It is an occupational hazard getting injured because it is a results based business."
Argyle have agreed to play a friendly away to Truro City next Tuesday, October 3rd at 7.30pm. The match will mark the official opening of Truro's redeveloped ground at Treyew Road. Truro's director of football, Chris Webb, said: "With the Argyle first team having a break from League games, we have been advised that they will bring down a strong side. This will mean a really strong test for our successful side and, I am sure, a very exciting and entertaining match for spectators."
Luke McCormick is a lifelong supporter of Coventry City and tomorrow will be playing against the Sky Blues for only the second time, at the same time that the two cities rugby sides face each other. McCormick is proud of his hometown, but insisted there would be no divided loyalties. He said: "Coventry has always had a good football team and a good rugby team and it's great for Plymouth to have a good football team and a good rugby team. Argyle and Albion are both in the second division of our sports and it's nice for the people of Plymouth to have a good standard of football and rugby on their doorsteps. I don't know a lot about Coventry's rugby team, to be honest, apart from the fact they have got a new stadium. I follow the football more." McCormick was a season ticket-holder as a youngster at Coventry, and his family are all Sky Blues' supporters. He said: "I have been doing my best to get as many tickets off the lads as I can. I have got a lot of people going to the game. To cap it off with the right result would be absolutely fantastic. All my family and friends are still in Coventry and they are all big City fans as well, so I'm really, really looking forward to going there. There will be about 30 or 40 of them there and I think they will all be in the Cov end. My mum and dad will be there, the rest of my family and all my friends. I'm lucky to have quite a close bunch of friends." Although McCormick admitted he did not know much about rugby, he did watch Albion's pre-season friendly against Bath in August. He said: "I think it's far too rough for me. I would have no chance, to be honest. Fair play to the lads that do because there is so much hard work that goes into rugby, with all the weights and everything else. I went to see them against Bath in a pre-season friendly and they did ever so well. They didn't disgrace themselves in any way, shape or form." McCormick expects his hometown club to be challenging for promotion come the end of the season. He said: "Coventry have chucked a lot of money at it and I think they will be there, or thereabouts, throughout the course of the season, because they have got so much quality in their side. Everyone knows how good Elliott Ward was for us last season and what he's capable of. He's a really nice lad and I'm sure he will be wanting to put one over on us. They have got a good backbone to the team and I think they have got one of the best strikeforces in the league, so we are going to have to make sure that we are on top of our game to keep them quiet. McCormick was not surprised that Ward was sold by West Ham United for £1m in the summer. He said: "I think if this club had £1m they would probably have spent it on him, because he was really that good. I think the appreciation he got off the fans in his last game just says it all really in how well he did for us. But he's at Coventry now and good luck to him. He's a good player and I think he will do well for them. We certainly know they are a good team and we are going to have to give them a lot of respect, but there is nothing stopping us going there and getting something. I will go for a 1-0 win to us. We haven't had many of those this season. I'm going to say a clean sheet and a Plymouth win."
Gary Penrice has settled into his new role as chief scout at Argyle with great ease. Ian Holloway was delighted to have him at Home Park on Tuesday to work with the centre-forwards but Penrice will be based in Bristol for the majority of the time. Des Bulpin has been helping Holloway with training and Tim Breacker is expected to arrive on Wednesday to complete the Argyle coaching team. "He was here on Tuesday but you can't live in Plymouth and be the best chief scout because you would be worn out," said Holloway. "He will be based up there but he has all the videos of our games this season because he needs to look at our centre-forwards, which he has always done for me. Des is helping me on the training ground and Tim has agreed, and will be starting next Wednesday, which is music to my ears." Penrice has already compiled a list of potential targets for Holloway and, should Argyle pick up any injuries, the manager may refer to that list. "Penny has done fantastic for me already," said Holloway. "I am sure I could borrow the people he has identified and they would not be any worse than what I have already got, and that is all I can ask. He has done a fantastic job in less than a week." Breacker will complete the coaching structure Holloway has been yearning for since arriving at Argyle a couple of months ago. "Tim will be coming in as a member of staff," said Holloway. "We will have to look at the title but he will be based down here. Every one of my staff; I would take people on their say-so and that is why managers get staff they can work with and trust. It is about their opinions on players and all my coaching staff go out scouting as well." Holloway is delighted with the way his team has performed in the early part of the season but blames a reversion to old tactics for the points his team have dropped this season. He said: "It is nice for the lads to have put us in the position we are in at the moment, pushing for the play-offs rather than scrapping for points. I think we have done it with a little bit of style as well. We have moved the ball quite well and because of old habits, going too deep or hitting Micky we have fallen short on one or two results." Holloway is now looking for improved attendances to accompany the performance of the players. He added: "I think the overall performances have been very pleasing and I know I have kept saying that, and it is hard to keep saying without a home win. I have been saying it consistently because I think the performances have been good, even in front of dwindling crowds. We almost looked like the Green Infantry rather than the Green Army on Saturday. It is three times that we have scored three goals and I know we have forced some errors and people have helped us score them but we have still got to put the ball in the right place."
Hasney Aljofree knows he faces a fight to return to the Argyle side for the game at Coventry City on Saturday. He said:: "I wanted to play against Norwich but I came in last Thursday morning and the gaffer pulled me aside and said 'I just don't want you involved at all'. I had been groggy all week and sleeping a lot. I wasn't happy when he told me but, at the end of the day, he made the right decision for me and for the team, because the boys won 3-1. I wasn't at the game because I don't like watching football when I'm not playing, but I was told Marcel came in and did well. He scored a great goal so it's all to play for, for myself. I don't want to be out of the team. It's the last thing I want, but it's a fight that every player has got to have. It's important you have got competition for places and Marcel brings that me to and Mattie." Aljofree suffered no long-term effects from his accidental collision with Kenwyne Jones. He said: "I worked really hard at the start of this week. We did a big session on Monday, with boxing, running and weights. We worked hard again on Tuesday morning. I felt a bit tired at the end of the reserve game but it was only to be expected. I had not done anything for a full week and, obviously, Monday and Tuesday were really tough. I enjoyed the game, even though the result wasn't the best. The boys all worked hard. It's more of a fitness thing, the reserves." Aljofree has no recollection of the clash with Jones, which saw him carried off the pitch at St Mary's Stadium on a spinal board with his head in a neck brace. He added: "It was just a shock. When I was in Scotland I swallowed my tongue and that was a bit scary. I didn't swallow my tongue this time but I was out of it. It makes you realise football can be dangerous at times and you have got to look after yourself. It was just a freak incident and, hopefully, it will not happen again. Maxie said I never spoke to him and was just in a daze. Apparently, my eyes were open but I don't even remember that. I came around in the medical room and they rushed me to hospital. I started panicking a bit, but they assured me everything was okay and it was all precautionary. It's a good job none of my family heard about it until after the game because it's a bit scary for them as well." Aljofree was grateful for all the care he received, both when he was on the pitch and also when he was taken to hospital. He said: "The Southampton medical team were unbelievable. There were about nine of them who looked after me. Obviously, I didn't realise that at the time but I got told about it later. There were so many people around me in the medical room and it was first-rate, top class stuff. I'm going to send them a letter to say 'thank you'. I really appreciate what they did."
A central defender from Scotland will be travelling down to meet Ian Holloway at Home Park next week. Holloway revealed last week that Gary Penrice had been to watch a tall defender north of the border and today said: "We have had a good reputation in the past of finding people, so I have got to be careful. I think he is going to come down next week with his manager. I don't want to know his name until he gets here. We will see who he is when he gets down. I am not being funny or protective; I am just not sure."
Ian Holloway has refused to be drawn on whether Marcel Seip's contract will be extended beyond January. "I am not going to rush and jump into things, even with Marcel," he said. "He has proved to me that he is a decent fella by taking a little bit to earn a bit more. It is whether we can afford him because they first started talking about a lot of money and I can see why. It is about him as well. He needs to live in this area and see whether he likes it, and see what he thinks of my coaching, see if he thinks I know what I am on about."
Argyle lost tonights reserve fixture at Home Park 3-1 to Cardiff City, the goal scored by Ryan Dickson. Argyle's line-up included trialist Frederic Mocka, a French left-sided midfielder. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Aljofree, Kendall, Watts, Smith, Gosling, Dickson, Mocka, Chadwick, Samba. Subs - Reid, Hopkinson (not used - Sandercombe, Laird.J, Davis)
Luke McCormick believes a bout of 'flu has led to a return to his top form. He said: "I have been quite pleased with the last two games and I'm going to try to build on that. I just want to get a steady run of form, to be honest, and hopefully, this is the start of it and I can get some rhythm going and improve on my performances. I think having the 'flu against Southampton is probably the best thing that has happened to me this season. I was so tired that day and it really relaxed me. I just felt a lot more comfortable in myself. tried doing that on Saturday as well - being more relaxed - and it seems to be working at the minute." Had Robert Earnshaw scored for Norwich on Saturday, when he had two good chances before the break, the outcome of the match could have been completely different. "It would have been a blow had they equalised, but Earnshaw is such a clever player and it was a bit out of the blue to be honest," said McCormick. "I was delighted that I was able to make a couple saves so that we went in at half-time with the lead." Romain Larrieu has been back in training for the last couple of weeks after a cancer scare and is set to make his comeback for the reserves tonight. McCormick said: "To be honest, I'm quite pleased he is back because it does stop me from possibly getting a bit sloppy, knowing I have got someone snapping at my heels. I'm much happier Romain is back and, obviously, that all his heath problems are over. He's training well, which is a good thing, and I think he just needs a few games under his belt."
Argyle have been linked with Livingston centre-back James McPake. It is thought he is the player Gary Penrice watched at the weekend
Ian Holloway is hoping he has a solution to the problem of declining attendances at Home Park - playing attractive, entertaining football. He said: "We are trying to get two strikers to play up front, instead of how we have been used to playing. A lot of the team shape I have inherited was all geared to Mickey up front and people running off him. Then, when the other team had possession, it was getting eight or nine bodies behind the ball, so I have had to change a lot. People will not be happy with just defensive football here. They had that last season. Hopefully, the ones who were here on Saturday will have gone home having enjoyed the game. And, hopefully, the people who didn't come will think 'hang on a minute, we have won at home, we are a bit further up the league, I want to see some of these players.' That's all I can do, and I will try to tell the truth of how I see things. And if I upset one or two along the way I don't really care because I'm here to be successful. I'm here to succeed and I believe in the Green Army, and I believe in the area. The more you keep winning the easier it is to say that, so I needed a home win and the lads needed a home win. Saturday was probably our best performance of the season and the players deserved that against, what I think, is a very good outfit."
Paul Wotton has strained a muscle in his back and is a doubt for Saturday's game at Coventry City. Barry Hayles and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake are also struggling and Ian Holloway revealed that they will probably not train all week. "Wotton has strained a muscle in his back and probably won't play on the weekend," said Holloway. "Sylvan and Barry probably won't train all week."
David Norris in no doubt that Argyle's victory over Norwich City on Saturday was fully deserved, and could have been even more convincing. Norris said: "It could have been 4-0 or 5-0 before they scored, with a better final through ball or a bit more luck. They'd gone for it a bit more, and so the game got really stretched." The target now for Norris and his team-mates is to push on and stop dropping points at home. "Maybe the fans have been on our backs at times because we haven't been getting the results at home, even though the performances might have been OK," he said. "Now we've got that home win and the pressure is off, so hopefully we'll be able to play better from now on." Last season Norris had the unfortunate habit of missing the sort of chance he scored on Saturday, and he added: "I don't want to talk about missing chances and my goal record any more. I was over the moon to get my second of the season. It was a great lay-off by Sylvan and I knew if I got a good first touch it would give me a decent chance of running through at full pace. I had a good second touch away from the defender, and I just hit it. Thankfully it went into the corner. I was just happy to see it go in. I knew we'd be comfortable enough from then on. Before now we've only come away with a point from three of our home games when we know we've played well, and that was really disappointing, but we've got our reward this time. We've battled away and worked really hard for it against a really good team. They won't have enjoyed that, with the way we played against them. They'll have expected a bit more time on the ball. We did a good job on them. We'd watched film of Norwich in action earlier in the week, and we knew they were a good passing side. We got our tactics right, we pressed them and didn't give them a chance to play their football. Defensively we were very, very good and up front we worked really hard as well."
Argyle's youth side lost 4-0 at home to Swindon Town on Saturday. Chris Souness said: "I felt for the lads today as the scoreline did not tell the whole story. We were three goals down in the first-half and to be fair we showed our naivety in defending at this level. We then controlled the second-half and created several chances but the cutting edge and Lady Luck were missing."
Ian Holloway felt his teams first home win was thoroughly deserved. He said: "It is a great feeling but I felt that the performances before have deserved a win and this was another case. It was almost the same again; everybody was a bit nervous and it is amazing what scoring from a set-piece does. Tony Capaldi's delivery was excellent and we got on the end of it, and it makes all the difference. Tony has got a wonderful left-foot. I thought we played some very good stuff and there are things to work on and things not to. I am delighted for them because I felt they deserved that and you won't be able to ask me that home win question again, it is out of the way. We needed it because this division is always going to be tight but I felt against a Norwich side full of talent, we hardly gave them a kick. Earnshaw did wriggle one out of the bag at the end but that is just typical of him." Marcel Seip scored the second goal on his home debut and was also confident in his defending and appears to have made a great impression since his move to Argyle. "Seip scored a goal and I am delighted," said Holloway. "He has been here a couple of weeks now and I don't know much about him if I am honest but his cv speaks for itself. Heerenveen are a good side and he played a hundred odd games for them, and he did himself proud out there today. I was impressed by our team defending and he was a part of that team.Hasney had a bang on the head, so he has only been practicing in that team for a week and he did ever so well. Sometimes you take a gamble and the kid has come here and wants to stay. He believes this country will suit his style of play because he has been called a tad over-aggressive in Holland and you can see why. He likes to get tight, he likes to put his foot in and he likes to go and head it. I think we need that, although I need him to be a foot taller to be more imposing but sometimes little blokes are not bad in the air as John Terry will tell you." The victory came in the week that Holloway's long-time assistant Gary Penrice finally arrived at Home Park. Holloway said: "We have worked on all different aspects of our game this week, as you should, and we have managed to get it right, which has been difficult without my staff. The scouting network was up and running today, which is brilliant news. Penrice will have been out seeing things because I have literally been as blind as a bat since I came here, which is not right." David Norris scored an excellent third goal with 15 minutes remaining, and Holloway said: "It was a great move and once you are a couple up the confidence starts flowing, the passes are sweeter and people start doing the right things. We had a little spell in the first-half where it came to a green shirt and we kept giving it to them. There were a few grumbles around the place but that is because we had not yet won and, hopefully, that will change. It is nice to sit here and say that we could have scored more but I am little disappointed we let a goal in at the end." Paul Wotton was singled out for some praise by Holloway after a battling performance in the midfield. "I would like to give some praise to Paul Wotton today," he said. "I thought he was absolutely terrific out there as he has always been." Holloway also had time for some words of comfort for Nigel Worthington. "I don't think Norwich will be too happy," said Holloway. "To be fair, I was expecting a lot more than that with the people they have got there. He will sort that out." The victory was enjoyable for Holloway but he revealed that every game this season has been the same for him. "I write some words on the board before every game for these lads," said Holloway. "Encouragement always comes first and then enthusiasm and enjoyment. Every game I have had with these lads so far, I have enjoyed, even Cardiff because we did not deserve to be three down." The sight of Barry Hayles limping off in the second-half was a disappointing one but Holloway stuck to his attacking principles. He said: "Barry has got a sore groin but I thought Sylvan looked bright and Chadwick as well. We are trying to get two strikers playing upfront instead of the way we used to play and a lot of the team shape, which I inherited, was all geared to one upfront with people running of him. I have to try and change an awful lot because people here won't be happy with defensive football. Hopefully, the ones that came today will come again and the ones that did not come will think that we have won at home, we are a bit further up the league and I want to see some of these players. I am here to succeed. I believe in the Green Army and I believe in the area." Another Home Park debutant was Gary Sawyer, who filled in at left-back. Holloway said: "Sawyer was out of position but I felt we needed another header of a ball because they were banging it at us a bit. He has got a chance to make it." Holloway's last word was reserved for Lilian Nalis. "Lilian is a tremendous player," said Holloway. "He is ice-cold calm when the ball comes to him, he is big, he is strong and I wish I had his hair."
Marcel Seip promised to prove himself at Home Park after scoring a crucial goal on his home debut. "I need to play well to stay in the team because Has is coming back, of course," he said. "I have to prove myself. I was looking forward to my debut here, and it was a very good game from all the lads. I think we deserved to win, and, of course, it is very good I scored. You can't start better than that, and a first three points here at Home Park. It was very good." Seip revealed that Argyle had practiced their corners on the eve of the game and said: "All the corners were good today, from both sides of the field, and the crosses were very good. We knew, if we won a header, it would be a goal so it was always dangerous." The only thing that spoilt Seip's day was Robert Eranshaw's consolation goal for Norwich deep in injury time. "It was very unlucky," he said. "We wanted a clean sheet. I don't think we deserved that because they had only one or two chances, but at least we have the three points."
Argyle beat Norwich City 3-1 at Home Park, the goals coming from a Gary Doherty own goal after 14 minutes, Marcel Seip (47) and David Norris (74). Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Kouo-Doumbe, Seip, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Buzsaky, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Chadwick, Sawyer, Reid (not used - Summerfield, Djordjic). Attendance - 11,813. Basic holiday cover coverage can be found on Greens On Screen!
Paul Wotton has urged Argyle fans to do their best to help the club achieve their first home victory of the season today. He said: "We certainly heard the support at Southampton. You're never too wrapped up in the game to hear the support away from home. You definitely hear in it in stoppages or whatever, and I wish it could be a bit more like that for 90 minutes at Home Park. I know it's a cliche, but the fans really can be like a 12th man, especially down here where teams don't really want to come and play anyway. It can make that difference." Argyle have picked up only three points from their last five fixtures, but Wotton believes that their performances have deserved greater reward. "Norwich have got Premiership-class players and they look a very good team in the DVDs we've been watching this week, but we've looked very good in our last few games as well," he said. "It's another great game to look forward to. We're playing against good players, but we know we have absolutely nothing to fear. The gaffer wants to play football, but he doesn't want to see us lose that endeavour and that hard work and that willingness to run a yard further than the so-called bigger team. It's about getting the balance right, and I feel it's coming. We're creating chances at home, and sooner or later they're going to drop in. Nobody is too concerned by our record here. As players, you really don't think about that when you're playing. I'm sure it's all the fans will be thinking about, especially if it's still 0-0 at half-time or whatever, but I just want to ask them to relax and put their trust in us as players. The louder they cheer and the more they get behind us, the better it is for us." That was the case in the closing stages of Argyle's last home game, when they came back from a 3-0 deficit to draw against Cardiff City. "Once we got one and then two goals, the noise was unbelievable," Wotton added. "You could see Cardiff retreating further and further. If there had been another five minutes, we'd probably have won 4-3."
Argyle Chairman Paul Stapleton issued the following statement today: "Plymouth Argyle Football Club has been working with officers at Plymouth City Council over the last few months to bring the complex deal over the purchase of the Home Park freehold to completion. There have been legal and technical issues involved that are normal for a deal of this nature, but the fact is that all the principles have been resolved and lawyers are working to conclude matters imminently." Ian Holloway, who earlier spoke out about the deal said: "I have talked to the chairman, who has appraised me of certain facts, and now appreciate that these things take time. I have always been convinced that the chairman and the board of directors have been acting in the best interests of the football club and it is music to my ears to hear that the Council are doing likewise."
Ian Holloway is well aware of the size of the task his side will face against Norwich tomorrow. "Earnshaw is fantastic," said Holloway. "He is quick, he is bright, he is alive and a sort of Craig Bellamy type. We kept him quiet for 75 minutes at QPR and, all of a sudden, he scored a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes. The goals he got were out of this world. One of them was a hook across the goal and into the top corner. He can do things that other people cannot and the higher you go, that is what you need in your team. They play 4-5-1, which might be a bit difficult. They have also got Peter Thorne who has played well, so they might go 4-4-2." Consistency is the key for Holloway and he feels that Reading were the only team to achieve that last season. He said: "This division is all about trying to be consistent and, at the same time, knowing that anybody can beat anybody else on any given day. There was only one totally consistent team last year and that was Reading." Holloway is still looking for his first win at Home Park as Argyle manager but he is not getting too concerned at present. He said: "I will get one and if it comes on Saturday then great but I would rather talk about the performances and some of them have been spot on. Every single game in this division is a tough nut to crack and I am delighted to be in it. Leeds are down the bottom but I doubt they will be by then end of the season and Sunderland were down the bottom and look what they have done. This season is going to be hard and I know that but I am still aiming at the stars. One win and we will be up there and that is the way of this division."
Ian Holloway has urged Plymouth City Council to do more to help the club. He said: "I don't care who I upset, and I'm pretty upset with one little group at the moment. That's the Council. They owe me £6 million by the look of it. They promised us £3 million the other year. They were shouting on the steps 'yes, we will give you £3 million, we are going to help this club'. Where's that then?They were going to give us the freehold, and now they are not. They are going to sell it to us. Hang on a minute, that's a £6 million turnaround almost." Holloway is well aware of the progress the club has made so far this decade. "What this club has done in the last five or six years since Paul Stapleton took over as chairman is absolutely remarkable," he said. "Where was this club going before that? You were toiling." Holloway believes that it is in the interests of the Council to help the club try to move forward. "We're giving them a team," he said. "I believe in us, I believe in where we're going." Now he wants some of city's movers and shakers to share in that belief. I need everyone out there to believe along with me. I want the Council on board. I don't feel they're on board at the moment one iota. They haven't got to help me, but they have got to help the people of this city get Premiership football down here. I'll tell you, they'd better wake up and smell the coffee! I'm after them. I want some help from them, big-time. If that upsets the apple cart, then I'm sorry. If the chairman chews my backside, I'm sorry, but I can only say what I really feel. I'm not having it. The people of this area deserve better, and I want them to get it. All these kids with green shirts on, I want them to see fantastic players on that pitch. It has to be a marriage. How much can we bring to this area if we're a Premiership club? How much are they helping us? I can't see it."
Tony Capaldi has been included in the Northern Ireland squad for European Championship qualifiers against Denmark and Latvia next month
Lee Hodges will be missing from the Argyle line-up for the next few weeks. Initial reports suggest that his knee injury is not too serious but he will be sent for a scan as it is the same knee he has had rebuilt in the past. Ian Holloway said: "Lee Hodges will be out for a few weeks. It is the same knee he had rebuilt a few years ago and we are getting a scan to make sure there is no damage to that structure. It is a medial ligament strain and not a tear, just a few fibres but it has not torn all the way through - we know that for a fact. We have to see if any of that structure has been dislodged because it is not a normal knee. My physio does not normally need a scan but he is going to have one because this is not your average knee. I feel for Hodges because he has done brilliantly for me." Holloway feels that Hodges' experience and attitude has been an invaluable asset to the squad. He said: "When I first came here he came to apologise to me in pre-season. He said 'I am nowhere near what I can be and I feel a bit lethargic.' It was a typical of the boy. He is a fantastic lad and a great fella. You cannot buy the experience that he has got, he puts himself in the right place nine times out of ten and I think he is a terrific player and a great bloke. He will be sorely missed but if you had asked me in pre-season whether he would start every game up to now, I would have probably said no. He is brilliant in the air and knows what he is doing but it will give someone else a chance." Also out for the match with Norwich will be Hasney Aljofree. "Hasney will not be involved at all," said Holloway. "He has not trained all week and felt a bit groggy at the start of the week. You cannot play against Rob Earnshaw if you have not trained all week and I am not going to play someone who has taken a blow like that. It is normally ten days for concussion and I don't ever risk my players. He won't even be considered for the subs bench but, hopefully, he will have a full week next week and I can consider him for the Coventry match." Marcel Seip is in line for his first start for Argyle in place of Aljofree. "It will probably be Seip and I will move Doumbe over with Gary Sawyer on the bench," said Holloway. "I have worked with them on their defensive pattern in the week and they said it helped them. Seip is a centre-back but he made a very promising debut last week at right-back." Paul Connolly will be fit after missing Argyle's last two games with a sore toe, and Striker Sylvan Ebanks-Banks is also expected to start after suffering a slight hamstring strain. "Paul Connolly will be fit and he should start at right-back," said Holloway. "Sylvan Ebanks-Blake missed training for a couple of days with a slight hamstring problem, which he has had in the past but we are doing exercises to make that stronger. He should be fit." Both Connolly and striker Nick Chadwick were penciled in to play in the midweek reserve fixture with Bristol City. Holloway, however, decided not to risk Connolly's fitness and held back Chadwick to keep him fresh in case Ebanks-Blake failed to recover. One man who did feature was Reuben Reid but he was withdrawn with cramp after an all-action display. "I did not want to risk Connolly," said Holloway. "I use the reserves as a fitness test and Chadwick would have played but I could not risk him in case Sylvan was injured for Norwich. Reid ran around fantastically well and probably had his best game for us and then he got cramp."
Gary Penrice will be making the journey up to Scotland to watch a target for Argyle in his first scouting assignment. Ian Holloway revealed that he has contacts north of the border and Penrice will be watching a centre-back that has caught the eye of many observers. "Gary Penrice will be starting for us this weekend and he will be going up to Scotland because there is a fantastic target up there for us," said Holloway. "All our reports have come in thumbs-up on this boy, so he has gone up there. We have got great contacts up in Scotland. He will watch a game on Saturday and then be back here next week. Penny has been talking to a bloke up there who has given us names before and they have all turned out to be fantastic. In the meantime, Gary Sawyer and Marcel Seip will be given their chance in the absence of Hasney Aljofree who will miss the game with Norwich after sustaining a concussion last weekend. "We are trying to do our homework but we have got Marcel Seip and Gary Sawyer, so they deserve their chance," said Holloway. "Gary wanted to go up there because this 6ft 5in centre-back has been getting rave reviews and should be affordable for us."
Argyle lost 2-1 to Plymouth Parkway in last nights South Western League game, the goal scored by Sam Molsom. Stuart Gibson said: "It was a game of two halves, they edged the first and we won the second. Our youngsters should have at least shared the points and they created enough chances to win the match during the second period. But if you do not put the ball in the net you do not win matches."
Gary Penrice has today finally joined Argyle, as Ian Holloways chief scout and coaching assistant. Holloway said: "He's like a missing bit of my personality. We're that close. Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world, but he needs someone to coach him, and Penny is as good as that with strikers. There's not a thing he doesn't know about centre-forward play, body-shape, finishing and all that. He knows it all. He also sees things slightly differently than anyone else, which makes him a bit special, and he's a fine man."
Argyle drew 1-1 with Bristol City in last nights reserve game at Home Park, the goal coming from a Cherno Samba injury-time penalty. Argyle: Clapham, Barness, Seip, Sawyer, Laird.J, Dickson, Buzsaky, Gosling, Djordjic, Reid, Samba. Subs - Watts, Davis (not used - Sandercombe, White, Smith)
Ian Holloway may be ready to dip into the loan transfer market sooner than expected. He said: "We've got to keep going, and, if I can add some competition in certain areas, that will help us. Marcel Seip looks like he can help us because he's strong and he can head it, but I still believe I need some more competition for places. You never know, I might have some new faces in here by Saturday. I'm not going to be able to throw money at it but, when I've identified the right people to come and help us, I might be able to go into the loan market. I know what I need to match up with this division. We've got some pace up front, but I think we need pace everywhere else as well. We've also got to have someone who can head it, but I can't fault our lot. When you look at who we've got in the side and on the bench, we're doing fantastically well. Now I just need to help them. When I get my staff here, I'll be looking under every single rock. I want a slightly better choice and a slightly better role of the dice. I might have to lean on the board to help me out. That's what I might need to do. It will be down to my powers of persuasion." Any temporary transfer movement may not be inbound only. "Some of our young players are doing ever so well, but I might have to loan them out so that they can get some more experience," Holloway said. "They will learn from playing regular first-team football."
Scans have confirmed that Lee Hodges has torn a medial knee ligament and could be sidelined for at least a month
Ian Holloway is looking for his team to tighten up defensively after keeping just one clean sheet in their first nine games of the season. His quest will begin in tonight's reserve match with Bristol City at Home Park. "We have got to stop goals in and keep some clean sheets," said Holloway. "I have been looking at who I want to play in the back four against Bristol City. Whoever it is, I want to have some structure and organization." The only time Argyle have kept a clean sheet this season was the 1-0 win at Colchester in August. "It was like the Alamo then," said Holloway. "I had to put young Gary Sawyer on with Wotton and Hodges sitting in front. I also brought on Djordjic and people must have wondered what I was doing but I needed someone to get it and run away." Tony Capaldi is one man that Holloway believes could develop into a very good defender if he applies himself correctly. "I think Capaldi should be a left-back," said Holloway. "I am not sure where he wants to play. I think he could play both roles but if he is going to play midfield, he needs to get past his man, get crosses in and score goals. I think he is a very good player and that boy could do anything he wanted to if he put his mind to it. In my opinion, he is a very talented player but he has got to play those intricate passes and get forward; it is no good always going backwards or sideways." Bojan Djordjic appears to have found his back in Holloway's good books after being placed on the transfer list last month. Holloway said: "There is a definite upsurge in what he is doing. He will be playing in the Pontins Combination on Tuesday and I will be casting my eye over him. Hopefully, if he does what I said then he could be what he should be on a regular basis." Holloway also firmly believes in the need for more competition within the Argyle squad. "I think too many are not put under pressure for their place," he said. "I think that when Romain starts to get close to fitness you will start to see the real Luke McCormick, trying to keep his place. He was struggling with flu on Saturday, so he had to try and save his energy a bit but he made clear, concise decisions. He is a very good young goalie and I thought it was his best game but I feel sorry for him that he did not get something on the goal. Achieving what you want to achieve is about getting competition for places and, at the moment, we rely too much on too few. I feel a bit like Winston Churchill at the moment because never in the history of mankind has so much been owed to so few and that is how I feel about the Green Army." Holloway is still only three months into his reign as Argyle manager and restated his intention to be at Home Park for many years to come. He said: "I want to be here a long time and if you think how much water will go under the bridge by the end then there is hardly a spit under there now. It is a long-term job and a long-term commitment."
Ian Holloway's dream for Argyle is to reach the Premiership and play against the footballing giants of the English game. He said: "I asked my good lady wife if she thought I was mad because I am talking about taking Plymouth Argyle to the Premiership. She said you probably are mad but you are going to die trying, aren't you? When you are talking about playing against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal it is unbelievable. With the pace they have got you are like lambs to the slaughter and I feel for Neil Warnock but what a great opportunity to try and get there. That is what it is all about." Reading won promotion from the Championship last season and Holloway feels they are the perfect model for a club like Argyle. "The structure at Reading is what is important," said Holloway. "They have got money and the Madejski and all of that but they took some lads from Ireland who did not cost much and they have got the heart and the pace. They also cleverly took some lads from Arsenal that were not deemed good enough in Sidwell and Harper. Who is to say that we can not get the structure in place to gradually do the same? The punters have got to understand how long it is going to take and what we have got to do to get there."
Lee Hodges will not play against Norwich due to his left knee injury, and there are fears that a scan could reveal ligament damage. "He's going to be out for a lot longer than Hasney," Ian Holloway said. "I can't tell you how long, but it's a tad more serious than a bang in the face. We're having the injury checked out. It could be a little medial strain, or there could be some damage to the structure of the knee that he had rebuilt a long time ago."
Marcel Seip was thrust in at the deep end when he made his debut at the weekend, and would have been happier to make his first appearance in better circumstances. "It was unlucky what happened to Hasney," he said. "I could see that it was not looking good for him, but it gave me my chance to play. I am not pleased because we lost and we did not get a clean-sheet, but it was a good experience for me to play. It is different here! Here they always have two strikers but in Holland they tend to have only one. It is better to defend in Holland!" Saints' strikers Grzegorz Rasiak and Kenwyne Jones posed problems for Argyle. "It was hard, because they were bigger than us," Seip said. "We had to try and jump higher." Seip's favoured position is in central defence, but playing at right-back as he did at St Mary's is not totally new to him. "Last season I played almost all the time there for Heerenveen," he added. "I don't care which position I get, as long as I can play. I don't want to be on the bench. I will do my best to be in the team next week." Seip felt that Argyle were hard done byon Saturday. "We were unlucky," he said. "They had a couple more chances, but we did OK. With a little bit more luck, we could have taken a point."
Anthony Mason has been included in the Republic of Ireland squad for their UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifying game in Macedonia next month
Ian Holloway was bemoaning his fortune after injuries to Hasney Aljofree and Lee Hodges in the first half of Argyle's defeat at Southampton. Holloway was forced into playing Paul Wotton at centre-back and giving Marcel Seip his debut at right-back, but was delighted with the performance of both men, although he did concede that Argyle may need to build up a bigger squad for the future. "It was very unfortunate, and that is why I spent so long at training this morning," he said. "I threw together every combination I have got with the back four, and got them working with each other. It is absolute madness that I ended up, in a Championship match against a side like Southampton, with Wotton at centre-back, and he has barely played there for a year. I also had to put Marcel Seip at right-back where he has not practiced before but I thought we did very well. I don't know how many times he has played at right-back before but I thought he looked composed. Wotton is the ultimate professional and it is all about a squad, and getting strength in depth. I would say our squad is a lot younger than most. I think we have got around eight young players who I think will be very good players in a couple of years." Holloway felt his team coped well with the aerial threat and could have caused more problems for Southampton at the other end. "We have said about a big strong header of a ball, yet we have just played against two giants and coped quite well," he said. "I have watched the video and I felt there were two or three times where they just got a foot in and if we had just helped it on to our front, we could have turned and made a break. There was one time Norris did break and he looked square, when if he had looked forward, Hayles would have been in. We just needed one of them to go in because we started the game so well; we had the first three shots of the match. I can assure you Southampton are a very, very good side." Holloway is now looking to find the right balance between his defence and forwards without reverting to the slightly negative tactics deployed by Tony Pulis last season. "We now have got to get the balance right defensively," he added. "In my position, the last thing I needed to when I came in was start talking about defensive play. I needed to try and help the crowd with some attractive football and I had to get two centre-forwards working together rather than just hitting Mickey's head, with the greatest respect. I think we have played some good stuff to a point. Sylvan is doing better with the long ball now, Hayles has been terrific from the start and Chadwick is improving and looking more of a threat." Holloway admitted that he may need to add some new faces to his small squad. "Things are starting to come but, unfortunately, this is a very harsh standard," he said. "We realize who we are, where we are and how hard it is going to be to get to where we want to be, which is up towards the top of this division. That is what my target is and where we aiming to get but I am not going to be able to throw money. If I get any more injuries, I may have to go into the loan market to match up with others in this division. I think we have struggled in it so far. Tony came last year and played in a way that we needed to play." Holloway felt that his team could have got more from the game with Southampton and Saints legend Lawrie McMenemy was in agreement. "We lacked that bit of flair and creativity upfront," said Holloway. "We have got it in two players, Buzsaky and Djordjic, but they do not always work hard enough to get back in shape sometimes, so we look less solid when those two play. I think football is all about counter-attacking these days and if you see the pace of the game in the Premiership, then I think we need some more pace everywhere. Southampton put Belmadi on and he looked bright, danced past two players and changed the game. Apart from that I thought we did really well. I spoke to Lawrie McMenemy after the game and he thought we deserved something out of it and I agreed with him, I honestly did." After the first-half injuries left Holloway with just one substitution available the attacking options were limited. Holloway said: "With the two substitutions I had to make, the changes I wanted to make to attack them in the second half were scuppered. I also had three players out there who were bordering on exhausted and that was Luke Summerfield, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Akos Buzsaky but I could only change one of them. We perhaps went a tad too long late on nut I watched the football on TV and everybody did. If it is good enough for Manchester United, it is good enough for us. You have got to get the ball forward early and you need someone who can head it. I don't think I can fault our lot on Saturday. I thought we did very well and we are still learning."
Hasney Aljofree is making a swift recovery from the head injury he sustained on Saturday. Ian Holloway revealed that the injury was not as bad as it first appeared and he should be available for the visit of Norwich next Saturday. "He is absolutely fine but he did not train," said Holloway. "It was a bit like the neighbours' dog. His bark is much worse than his bite and this looked much worse than it was. We are very thankful that he is alright. Kenwyne Jones clonked him straight on the bugle, so there was a lot of claret all over the place, and coming out of his mouth." The Norwich game is quite a few days away, so he should be alright." Lee Hodges though, could be out for a lot longer with a knee injury picked up in the same game. Hodges will be a lot longer because I think that is a tad more serious," said Holloway. "We are getting it checked over and it could just be a bit of a medial strain or it might some more damage because of the structure he had rebuilt a long time ago. We are just getting a scan on it." Paul Connolly should soon be able to make his return after missing the last two Argyle games with a sore toe. "Connolly trained this morning," said Holloway. "He had not trained all last week and, although he said he was fit, he was gingerly hopping around on Friday morning, so I had to make that decision on Saturday morning."
Argyle's youth team lost their South Western League match at Callington Town 3-2 on Saturday, the goals both coming from Ryan Dickson. Stuart Gibson said: "A bad day at the office. I was concerned at the manner in which we gave away soft goals and our passing was very poor. This was the mildest game we have played in and they were a bunch of honest players who got their just reward." Argyle: Saxton, White, Kendall, Fenwick, Laird.J, Hopkinson, Smith, Petnehazi, Duggan, Dickson, Davis. Subs - Malsom, Sandercombe, Watts (not used - Gosling)
Ian Holloway thanked Southampton's medical staff for the prompt and professional assistance they offered when Hasney Aljofree suffered a serious head injury on Saturday. He said: "It looked nasty. It was very worrying for everybody. To see it take that long to treat him and to see so many medical people on the pitch, but I'd like to thank Southampton for being so professional. I want to thank them for looking after one of my boys."
Luke McCormick produced possibly his best performance of the season on Saturday, but that was little consolation as Argyle lost at Southampton. "I was fairly pleased with my game, but I was disappointed at the outcome of the match," he said. "We did enough to get something out of it. Maybe in recent weeks we haven't done that and we've been a little bit lucky away from home, but unfortunately that luck just wasn't there for us this time. But the boys should not be too disheartened, because we can take a lot of positives out of the performance." Hasney Aljofree was concussed, but not seriously injured, during the game, when he took a blow to the head in an accidental clash with Kenwyne Jones. Lee Hodges then suffered a knee injury shortly before half-time. McCormick said: "It was a bizarre first half, to be honest. There were so many people going down. I don't think I have ever played in a half that long. It was worrying to see Hasney down. He looked really shook up and he had a mouthful of blood as well, but I think he's going to be okay. I just hope he can make a full recovery and be alright for next weekend." McCormick admitted the players tried not to worry too much about Aljofree after he was carried off the pitch. He said: "Obviously, when a player of Hasney's ability goes off it's a big loss, but you just have to get on with it. At the end of the day, there's no point trying to concern yourself with what has happened. You do really have to get on with it. I thought Marcel did excellently when he came on for Hasney. He had a great game. You would never have known that back four had not played together. That's credit to them and it goes to show what flexibility we have got within the squad. Hodgie started out of position at right-back but he did very well until he went off." McCormick collided with a post when making a save in the closing seconds of the first half but was not badly hurt. He added: "I just caught my head. It was more the shock of it than anything, to be honest. Luckily, the referee blew the half-time whistle then. We didn't want another stoppage." Rasiak's goal was a close range finish after a shot from Southampton defender Pele was partially blocked by Seip. McCormick said: "There were a lot of bodies in there. It was a bit of a scramble and, to be honest, I didn't even see him put it in. There was so much going on, I didn't see it until it was in the back of the net. Obviously, I was gutted we couldn't get enough on it to keep it out."
Argyle's youth team won their Youth Alliance cup game 2-1 at Portsmouth on Saturday, the goals coming from Sean Morrison and Josh Grant. Victory was achieved despite losing Karl Byrne, Ian Sampson, Luke Skinner and Leigh Edwards to injury, and with the team having to see out the last 15 minutes with just nine players on the park. Chris Souness said: "It was probably the bravest display I have ever witnessed as a coach at Plymouth Argyle."
Ian Holloway vowed to earn Argyle a place among the Championship elite after seeing Southampton end his unbeaten away start to the season yesterday. "How much did he cost?" Holloway asked of goalscorer Rasiak. "£2m? We can all dream, can't we? I'm going to make it reality one day. Mark my words, we will spend £2m on one player. That's where we aiming. Or I'll sell someone for £2m and we'll reinvest it. That's what we've got to do. If someone offers me massive money for one of our young fellas or someone I've bought, then off we go. That's how I feel. I believe in the place. I love it. The support today was fantastic. If you've got that, you've got a chance." Argyle ended the first half with Paul Wotton at centre-back, having begun the game on the bench, and Marcel Seip making his debut at right back following injuries to Hasney Aljofree and Lee Hodges. "I thought I was in a bowling alley for a while. When I have been in a bowling alley I have never knocked that many pins over. We were all going down," said Holloway. "That back four has never ever practiced together on the training-ground, let alone played together. I was just disappointed with the goal; we never got ourselves sorted. It wasn't a very nice goal, from my point of view. I thought they acquitted themselves very well, as Wotts has always done, and as I'm finding out about Marcel. I think that was quite a promising debut." Wotton had been jeered by sections of the Home Park crowd when substituted during the previous game, but Holloway insisted the skipper was not dropped for the Saints' game. He said: "I didn't leave him out of the team - I selected a team for this game, which I felt was ready to give Southampton a good game, as it did. He is the ultimate professional, always has been, always would be. Do you expect him to behave like Ruud van Nistelrooy? The bloke's magnificent - I couldn't be prouder of him if he was my own son. End of story. If I was him, I would have been very upset at certain things that happened the other evening. He was delighted that the team came back because that's what it's always been about for him." Holloway had Southampton watched in midweek, when they beat Crystal Palace, and had expected a tough encounter. He said: "I can't tell you how well we did at the home of the Saints when you see the report of how they played against Palace, and the pace they've got in the side, and the strength in depth. I'm just full of pride, to be honest. They won 2-0 in Palace's yard in midweek, and I thought we more than held our own. I expected Southampton to start the second half strongly, on their own turf and with the crowd behind them. I was just disappointed with the goal really. We never got ourselves sorted from the free-kick when it got switched. Belmadi danced past two of my players far too easily. What I want is people to get tight, stand up and defend properly. Unfortunately, he went by two of my players. When that happens everyone else is all at sea, so to speak. It wasn't a very nice goal from my point of view, but we got dragged sideways. I'm very proud of my lot, and, as for the fans in the corner, well, I've never heard anything like it. I'm full of pride. I couldn't have asked any more from any of my lot. You have got to be realistic. I wouldn't mind their budget; I wouldn't mind their youth set-up - but we're trying to aspire to be like that and I'm very proud of my boys. I have to say that. We never stopped - we nearly let a goal in trying to do it, but we never gave up - but I felt that was a step on from our performance the other night."
Argyle lost 1-0 at Southampton. Argyle: McCormick, Hodges, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Capaldi, Buzsaky, Norris, Nalis, Summerfield, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Seip, Wotton, Chadwick (not used - Reid, Djordjic). Attendance - 22,514. Basic holiday cover coverage can be found on Greens On Screen!
Argyle have added a fourth Irish youngster to their apprentice ranks. Right-back Tom King, a Republic of Ireland under-18 international, has signed for the club after a successful trial
Ian Holloway has leaped to the defence of Paul Wotton, whose substitution against Cardiff City prompted cheers from some sections of Home Park. "I think that's disgusting," Holloway said, "if that's what they were cheering for. I don't know. Hopefully they were cheering for Lilian and Akos coming on and not the ones going off, but if not I thought that was shocking. Sickening. I'd just like to remind one or two people about where this club might be without Paul Wotton. How he is still playing after what happened to him in the summer, I really don't know. I think he has been one of the best servants this club has ever had. When you see what he's been involved in at this place, I don't think he deserved to be treated like that. But who am I to tell the fans what to do? They can make their own choices. It's an occupational hazard and we've got to deal with it, but I can't condone that. I saw a lad who tried to do what I asked him to do on Tuesday, and he was doing it very well. When things started to wrong, some people got a bit of stage fright, but he didn't because he's experienced. He does his best and he always has done, beyond a shadow of a doubt. That's why I'm so proud of him." Holloway also revealed that he is in no hurry to add to his squad by making any loan signings in the near future. "Until I can get my staff here and let them do some of the work that I'm doing at the moment on the training ground, I won't be going anywhere and I won't be signing anyone who I haven't seen with my own eyes."
Ian Holloway will have to decide whether to include midfielder Akos Buzsaky and Lilian Nalis in the starting line-up at Southampton, after their impressive displays as substitutes against Cardiff. He said: "I will have to think about who I pick because I believe we will have to have fresh legs, fresh minds and the right type of balance. Player for player, at the minute, they have got a bit more pace in their squad than we have got in ours. They have got some flying machines, whereas some of ours are a bit older and wilier than them. If it was a running race we would probably lose it, so I have got be very careful and I might have to tinker with things. I will look at that. There will be 20 players going on the trip and they have earned the right to be there. I will try to come up with the right choice. Hopefully, I will get it right, but we have got a very tough game on our hands." Paul Connolly was sidelined against Cardiff because of his toe injury caused when he kicked an advertisement hoarding in frustration last Saturday. Holloway said: "My physio says give him half a chance so we are going to take him on the trip. I have added him to my numbers but I'm planning and working and practising without him." Sylvan Ebanks-Blake should be fit, despite having a sore hamstring at the end of the game against Cardiff. Holloway added: "We are going to be up against it but I can't wait. We drew a game the other night and it felt like we won it. The spirit of everybody in the squad is absolutely terrific and quite rightly so. People write us off at their peril and if anybody wants to under-estimate us then God help them."
David Norris believes Argyle have taken confidence from their draw with Cardiff City at Home Park on Tuesday. He said: "If the game had finished 3-0 everybody would have been on a downer from it. We were disappointed to get ourselves in that position - it was terrible really - but it was a great comeback. It will give us confidence for the big game we have got on Saturday. Cardiff were the best team we have played against this season. They were really sharp in the first half. We were a bit sloppy and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb by going in at half-time 2-0 down. We hoped to come out for the second half and give it a go, so to concede another goal was really tough on us. But we showed great character and determination and we got a point out of it." Argyle are unbeaten after three away games in the Championship this season and will be out to extend that record at St Mary's. Norris added: "We have done well away from home so, hopefully, we can continue that form. It's a nice stadium to play in and the boys will be positive after getting a point against Cardiff."
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake has insisted Southampton are a team to be respected but not feared. He said: "I haven't played there personally but I know Southampton are a very good footballing team. I think we will go there and defend well and we will try to catch them on the break. We will go out there and play football. Hopefully, we can nick a couple of goals and win the game. First and foremost, though, we have got to do what the manager wants of us. It should be a good game. They have got a number of experienced players who have performed at higher levels, and, yes, we are very aware of that, but we feel we can match them. They have got great individuals but I think, as a team, we are quite a force and we will give them a good game on Saturday, regardless." Argyle showed their strength of character when they drew 3-3 against Cardiff City at Home Park on Tuesday, having trailed by three goals. Ebanks-Blake said: "Obviously, we started a bit slower than we expected but we never dropped our heads, even when they scored their third goal early in the second half. A lot of people would have folded then, but there is a great spirit in the team and it just showed. We were delighted with the point in the end. People say at 2-0 the next goal is the decisive one but I always feel that at 3-0 teams seem to think it's job done. We showed the other night it's never job done and I thought we could have maybe gone on to win it." Argyle's scrambled second goal against Cardiff came after a frantic goalmouth scramble and was officially credited to Barry Hayles, but Ebanks-Blake and David Norris also reckoned they got the decisive touch. Ebanks-Blake said: "It's still up in the air. I'm claiming it, but so are Barry and Chuck. No-one really knows whose goal it was, but the most important thing is that it went over the line and it helped towards getting a point. I have seen it a few times on TV quickly, but not in slow motion. I will still claim it's mine!" Ebanks-Blake has enjoyed his time at Home Park so far. He said: "I have made substitute appearances in a lot of the games and that has helped me get used to it. I have had a couple of starts now and I'm feeling fine. I hope with more starts and more time I will improve and get used to the league, because the games do come thick and fast which I'm not used to. It's a lot different to me. I will have to get a lot fitter and my concentration has to be better but I think it's a good time for me at the moment and I hope I can just push on from here."
Bojan Djordjic has been added to the Argyle party for the trip to play Southampton on Saturday. Ian Holloway said: "He has been added to my squad and he is on the trip. Whether or not he makes the bench, I don't know. I have had him back with my group and it follows what I have seen, and the way he has applied himself is what I am after. That is just one swallow, and it does not make a whole summer." Holloway has not received any offers for the winger, but he is looking for Djordjic to work hard in training and earn the right to stay with the club. He said: "They are not picking the phone up and ringing but if he does what I tell him then I am sure people will pick the phone up, and I will have a decision to make. Do I get rid of him or do I keep him, but if he is doing what I want then I will probably keep him. It is his responsibility to do what I want and it is pretty simple - work hard for us in possession, and out of possession. Work hard, try hard and do your job. If that is getting crosses in or scoring goals, then do it."
Barry Hayles has admitted Argyle need to start games better, after going 3-0 down during Tuesdays game against Cardiff . He said: "It shows we have a never-say-die attitude, to be fair. We gave away two silly goals and it was backs to the wall. We came out fighting in the second half and started quite brightly and then they got a breakaway goal after another mistake. But the boys kept going, the manager made a few changes and we started believing in ourselves. We put pressure on them again and we got the scrambled goal to make it 3-2. Then we pressed on again and, luckily, we got another own goal. We have got to start games better. That's the key to it. We can't give away goals and then expect to win. We attack as a team and we defend as a team as well. You can't really say the defence are letting the goals in. As a team we have got to stand up and be counted, really." Hayles has started the last two matches with Ebanks-Blake as his strike partner and they have shown promise as a pairing. He said: "We are getting there slowly but surely, but we are still a little way away yet."
The saga of Gary Penrice and Tim Breacker joining the coaching staff at Argyle is apparently nearing a conclusion. Ian Holloway confirmed that all the loose ends have almost been tied up with regard to Penrice, and he is hoping to have him on board within a week. "It is like a soap opera," said Holloway. "I think Gary Penrice is sorted but he won't be on the trip to Southampton, so I will have to wait until at least next week. It was a mixture of the two but I think Michael has finally come up with something that is acceptable to Gary, and now it is left to Mr Paladini to organize things. I am very optimistic and there are not a lot of things that get me down."
Ian Holloway has dismissed speculation that Neil Shipperley, who was linked with a move to Home Park by a national newspaper at the weekend, might be an imminent arrival. "He's big enough, isn't he? He can head it, but I doubt if we can afford his wages," Holloway said. "I'm happy working with who I've got until I get my staff in, and then I can start to nail some targets down if need be. I could do with some more options. Everyone has to feel under pressure for their place. Everyone needs to be scared to lose their place in the team." Last night's amazing recovery showed that the message might be getting through.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Barry Hayles have both claimed they got the decisive touch for Argyle's second goal last night, but so did David Norris. Hayles said: "At one stage I thought Sylvan had the ball more or less across the line but they didn't give it. Then it came my way and I got a little nick on it. It crossed the line then, I think." When told that Ebanks-Blake was also claiming the goal, Hayles replied: "No, no. He knows he should have scored, but he didn't. We will have to wait and see but, to be fair, it shows we have a never-say-die attitude." Norris said: "I'm going to claim it if I can, but I think it's going to have to go to a video. It seemed to take ages before it was given anyway, but I was about and I know Barry is trying to claim it and Sylvan is trying to claim it. I did touch it towards the goal and then I slid into the net, so I'm not actually sure if it crossed the line. Barry was about and Sylvan was there as well, so we will have to see what the video shows. I think it crossed the line three or four times before it was finally given. As long as it was given, that was the main thing for us because it gave us a real push on."
Ian Holloway made a double substitution after 55 minutes of last nights game, which led to a remarkable comeback. Holloway said: "It is a funny old game and it always has been and it is never over until it is over and these boys are terrific. When I made the substitutions I wondered whether I should, and it is difficult to do things without practicing enough. I thought Lilian had quite an effect because he was in that key role. He was like Makelele, and we tried to just force it. I must admit I wanted to change it at half-time because I wanted to give the lads some belief; I don't think they believe enough. I saw a little bit of it on Saturday, and sometimes a little tweak can change it." Argyle were forced into hitting some long balls in the second half, as they desperately sought a foothold in the game. Cardiff conceded two own goals and another scrambled effort, although Barry Hayles cheekily tried to claim a hat-trick. "We had to hit some long balls but we got something on the end of it," said Holloway. "It just goes to show that football is a funny game. I thought Sylvan looked a different animal and he has shown belief and been physical. Chadwick has come on, and I think he got the third goal, I don't know; Barry Hayles is claiming all of them. We had a bit of a lucky break when Akos has won two deflections and it has gone in." Holloway was thrilled with the spirit and adaptability of his players, and felt that they could have even won it at the end. He said: "I thought we started the game as good as them. The difference was that they did not make as many mistakes, and we have given them a couple of goals. We have managed to turn that round and, in the end, I thought a draw was the least we deserved. I had an absolutely mad game with Bristol Rovers when we were 3-1 and ended up losing 4-3 but by half-time it was 4-3 and I thought to myself, 'what the hell do I say at half-time'? I know what I said at half-time, and I still believe that these lads are a fantastic bunch of people; that is why I chose this place. I think they have got a hell of a spirit and what I have to do is adapt to suit everybody I have got, and that is not easy. If I can't bring in certain things for the 4-4-2, I have got to adapt it, and I have been toying with it for the last few weeks, particularly at home." Lilian Nalis had been rested for the game but his introduction was pivotal to the Argyle recovery, as he immediately formed an effective partnership with Luke Summerfield. Holloway said: "The fact is you get a lot of games all at once in the Championship and you have got to keep your squad fresh, and I don't think Luke Summerfield deserved to be left out when Lilian was injured. We won two games without Nalis, although he is a terrific footballer. At this standard, you get three games a week and it is about a squad, and you have to try and make the right decisions. I felt they were the right decisions. I knew that Nalis was on the side and I knew that Wotton had played, and I knew that they could swap over because they are almost too similar at times. In a 4-4-2, one is really physical and the other one is a very accomplished footballer on the ball. It is all about trying to utilize what you have got, and tonight I felt I had picked the team to be 3-0 up, not 3-0 down." Holloway was angry at the denial of what he felt was a clear penalty on David Norris in the first-half, and bemoaned his team's fortune in front of goal. "If we had a bit more luck in front of goal in the first few minutes," he said. "I thought it was a blatant penalty, absolute stonewall to be honest. Chuck Norris got hammered in the box; are we ever going to get one of them? That is three times I have seen that in my team at home. Hopefully this will be the turning point because I am sick and tired of hearing about not winning at home, but that feels like a win. I have been toying with it, and I went 4-3-3 and pushed my full-backs in, and that left Lilian sitting like Makelele. The two centre-backs had to go wider. When you are making a huge statement and change like that, it normally takes three weeks to get that into your lads, but our lads were fantastic. They took it on board and I actually did not do it at first, and I am a bit annoyed at myself for not doing it at half-time. Fair play to Cardiff, they passed the ball better than anybody we have played yet. They were clinical but I think we matched them. I could have made some changes, I could have panicked but I still believe in the lads. I believed that we were not that far behind them. I thought it was a tad harsh. Once the first goal went in, goals change games and that was clinical. We had a couple of chances at the other end where Sylvan played in Tony Capaldi and we did not score; that goes in and it is all different. I did not think we deserved to be two goals down. When we went three down, I thought we deserved that, but what a comeback. You need that spirit and I said when I first came here that you don't end up champions twice, as this lot did, and I have got to put my mark on it and if I can help them as much as I can, then no problem." Despite his obvious pride in his team, Holloway was adamant that Argyle could have gone on to win the game. "I am very, very proud of them today," said Holloway. "I am still annoyed because I felt we were going to win it when we got the third. I felt we still had the momentum. I have been in the game a long time and a good job I have because I needed every ounce of experience, and every bit of belief."
Argyle drew 3-3 with Cardiff City at Home Park, the goals coming from a McNaughton own goal after 69 minutes, Barry Hayles (74), and a further own goal from Purse (88). Argyle: McCormick, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Hodges, Norris, Wotton, Summerfield, Capaldi, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Buzsaky, Chadwick, Nalis (not used - Reid, Seip). Attendance - 11,655. Basic holiday cover coverage can be found on Greens On Screen!
Akos Buzsaky is very confident that Argyle are capable of securing their first home win of the season tonight. He said: "Last season we won most of our home games and we didn't perform very well away. This season we have only got two points at home, but if you look at the performances we should have won at least two of the three games. It's only a small problem. It's a long season and we have a lot of games to play. The way we are playing, these draws are soon going to turn into wins." Buzsaky was glad to earn the trust of Ian Holloway and start last weekend, but thinks the team did not get what they deserved from the game. "The manager picked me, and I was very happy to start," he added. "I was a little bit disappointed with the result, because I thought we were much better than QPR. We tried our best but we just couldn't score a second goal. Sometimes it is like that, but the team performance was very good. We are looking forward to Tuesday's game and we definitely want to win that one." Buzsaky may find himself back on the bench tonight if Holloway decides that asking him to play two games in four days is too demanding. "I was very tired when they took me off, but that's normal," he said. "I haven't played a first-team game for a long time. For 70 minutes, though, I felt all right. You have to play games to become fitter and to find your form. It's good to play in reserve games or in the South Western League because you can get 90 minutes of running, but it's so different to playing in the Championship. I needed to get some games in my legs and then come back to the Championship, because if I had come back straight away I wouldn't be able to cope with this league."Buzsaky is adamant that his pelvic problem has been cured at last. He added: "The injury is 100 per cent over now, touch wood. It's in the past and I don't want to talk about it. It's history. I'm fit, I'm happy and I want to fight to keep my place in the team. I want to play well for the team. I have been fit for five weeks, so it's not like I just got back yesterday. I missed most of pre-season, but in the last week of pre-season I was able to start training. I have needed a few weeks to get my fitness, but I am match-fit now and I am starting to get back my form." Holloway was happy to have Buzsaky in his team. He said: "Akos ran out of steam a bit, but he's one of those players who I haven't seen the likes of enough in my career. He has some things that excite football fans. They wish they could see it every week. Some of the things he does, I'd pay to watch him play, but what I have to do is make sure he's fit enough to play the way I want and to get back when his team haven't got the ball. I believe the boy is desperately trying to do that. He has made so many sacrifices for his career. He's trying so hard, but he's not quite ready yet. I was very pleased on Saturday, but today he looks absolutely drained. I don't know what he's been doing, but maybe that game has caught up with him. Akos did miss almost all pre-season, and I thought you could tell that before he came off on Saturday. His tired corner almost put them in to score."
Ian Holloway is considering freshening his team tonight against Cardiff City. "I might have to roll the dice a slightly different way, shape-wise," he said. "With two games in four days, do I have to freshen it up a little bit? I shall think about it overnight. Capaldi might be ready to play after his disappointment last week. Do I put Summerfield back in? I thought he was terrific when he did play, and he gives us something different. Djordjic joined in with the first-team players today and he did very well. It might be soon for him to be part of the squad, I don't know." Asked if Djordjic was still on the transfer list, Holloway added: "Of course he is. No one has rung. Makes me right, doesn't it?" Asked what he wanted the team to do better tonight than they did on Saturday, Holloway said: "Not a lot, really. They did very well at the weekend, but they didn't get the right result. We just need to get the rub of the green. Maybe we haven't quite got enough to lock the door, but we're not the only team to not win at home yet. If we keep doing what we're doing, it will go in and things will go our way. I've just asked them today to make sure they shoot a bit earlier, be more accurate with their shooting, get across people in the box and follow up. For every chance we get, I want at least three chances to score. If it bounces off the 'keeper, I want someone following up."
Romain Larrieu has been given the all-clear by hospital specialists after a health scare. "We have built up training gradually and it feels really good and, hopefully, I won't have any setbacks but we will see," said Larrieu. "It was a big relief for my family and me. I know that people from the Green Army were supporting me, and I appreciate that very much. I thank everybody for that. It is true that it is such a weight of my shoulders because you never know, even though I was very optimistic all the way through. All the advice I had from the medical staff at the club and from the hospital was to keep my head up because it should not be that bad. You still need somebody to tell you and once you know that, you feel better. Since I found out, it has been almost like a second life; a new lease of life and I am really happy. Ever since I had the illness, and once people could tell me what I had and how long it was going to take to get over it, then I could focus and do the rehabilitation from the operation I had. When you have done the rehab, you think about your fitness because it is a nice feeling when you are a sportsperson to feel fit. I am now in the process of getting fit and I enjoy it, and once you feel good for yourself, you can fight for a place in the starting line-up. It is a different stage, and I am glad because a lot of the stages are behind me now and I am getting to the very interesting one, which is playing football and being with the lads every day because that is very important. I hope to be training with the team in a week or so, and then it depends how I react to training. It will probably be another week before I can play with the reserves. Towards the end of this month I should be ready to play, so it is not that far. For me it is just about getting fit, training and getting back to playing football. It should not take too long because I know how my mind is and I felt bad at the beginning of pre-season because I knew there was something wrong with me, and now I know I am sorted. I can now get back the sensation and feeling of playing football." The whole episode has been very difficult for Larrieu's family, and he has some simple advice for anyone else facing a similar situation. "I have been really straight with the family and I have never tried to hide anything," he said. "If I can give any advice to anyone who has to face up to this problem, it is to be straightforward with everyone around you. There is no need to hide anything because they need to know. If you tell them too late I think you can hurt them more. I have been straightforward and explained to them every time how optimistic I was and how, in any case, I was not going to die. I could have wiped out one season of my career if it had turned bad but I knew I was not going to die. Football is so important in my life, in anybody's life when they play football as a profession, but health and life is more important. It is true that I would have been so upset to miss a season if I had needed further treatment but I was prepared to do it because there is something after football." Larrieu had enjoyed a happy close-season with his family, and the christening of his baby son in the summer was a big highlight. He reported for the first day of pre-season reinvigorated and ready to prepare for the forthcoming campaign, but it was within a matter of days that he began to feel unwell. "Close-season was good fun and I was raring to go when I got back but after four or five days I started to feel weird," said Larrieu. "Hopefully, it will make me a better man and I still have to deal with very frequent scans over the next few years, but the specialists are very optimistic that I should not have anything else. The focus is on this season now, and trying to get back in the team and back to full fitness. I am so glad that I can play again this season because, towards the beginning of August, I was preparing myself that I might not even be able to train this season. I want to thank everyone again for their support because I have had great support from everyone connected with the club."
Ian Holloway believes Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is getting better with every game he plays. He said: "I thought Sylv looked sharp on Saturday. It was nice to see him get his first goal. Hopefully, I will sort out the Gary Penrice situation because everybody needs a bit of one-on-one work and I haven't been able to do that. I believe centre-forwards judge themselves on goals, and that's wrong sometimes. I judge them on their work ethic for the team, with their chasing and harrying. Look at Barry Hayles. His goals have come from lost causes. He has turned bad balls into good ones. Sylv has got to do a bit of that as well, which I'm sure he will, but everybody needs their first league goal and now he has got it. I think he got one for Manchester United, which was when he came on as a substitute in the Carling Cup. Sylv is working hard on his fitness and on his diet. To start learning your trade in the Championship is tough. He could have done with being loaned out to some lower division club when he was at Manchester United, but he wasn't. I think he would have been at one time, but he broke his leg. I'm quite shocked at what sort of work some top clubs do with these young fellas. I have talked to Nick Chadwick about the work they might have got, but didn't get, at Everton. Once they get into the pro ranks it's a little bit different. The games dominate it. I want to try to create a training environment where they all improve whether I'm picking them or not." Barry Hayles has been troubled by a sore hip since the draw with QPR but should be fit to face Cardiff. Holloway said: "He should be okay. It's whether I want to freshen it up with this being the second game in four days. The people I'm considering would probably be Tony Capaldi and Luke Summerfield, but I shall think about that because there wasn't a lot wrong apart from getting another goal. I thought we played very, very well, apart from the first 20 minutes, when we seemed a bit edgy." The game against QPR was Argyle's first fixture since August 26th because of a two-week international break , and Holloway added: "I think we have deserved four more points from the last two games. We have just got to put that ball in the net a bit more often than we are doing at the moment, because we could have been almost top. But there you go. I thought there were a lot of positives to come out of Saturday and the crowd were great as well. They really got behind us and we could do with more of the same tonight, please."
Bojan Djordjic has been drafted back into first-team training and if he continues to show an improved attitude to Ian Holloway he could be back in favour. "I always give people a chance," said Holloway, "But not a second chance, I am not stupid. He is currently still on the transfer list, but we have had no enquiries as yet."
Romain Larrieu hopes to be back playing before the end of September. He has resumed training after a cancer scare, which led to a malignant tumour being removed. Larrieu said:: "I'm very relieved it's all over. It has been a testing and difficult time for me, but I stayed positive because I got so much support from my family and everyone involved with the club. I have never felt in danger at all because the medical staff here and the people from the Nuffield Hospital explained everything to me from the beginning. They told me what I was going to go through if I was diagnosed with a tumour. They found the tumour, took it away and, afterwards, it was just waiting for them to give you the results of all the different analyses. That was the hardest part, really. I'm glad it's over for the time being and I'm free to get back to training. That's the only thing I want to do. I just want to feel fit again. It has been quite a few months since I felt fit. The thing to do now is not to rush everything because you are excited and you want to get back. I have been through the rehab programme with Maxie and, so far, I have felt really good. We are stepping up to proper pre-season work now. I hope I will be touching the ball towards the end of the week, or definitely next week. I just want to get back with the boys on a daily basis and see how I feel. That's what I want now." Larrieu added: "To be honest, I haven't really thought about football over the last two months. I just wanted to know what I had, and once I knew I could start dealing with it. Now the operation is behind me and I want to get fit to play football again. And then, when I'm fit, I will challenge to get a place in the starting line-up." Larrieu is aiming to return to action when the reserves play Cardiff City on September 26th. He said: "That would be a good target for me and Maxie, but we don't really know. I feel good today and I hope I feel good through all the pre-season work I'm going to do. If that's the case, I think the last reserve game of the month is a reasonable target, if everything goes to plan. But you never know with sickness." Larrieu has been pleased with the treatment he has received. "As soon as they told me they had to remove the tumour, at least I knew what was going to happen," he said. "I was better than before, when I wasn't sure what I had. I trusted the people at the Nuffield Hospital from the first minute and I'm really happy with the way they have handled my case." Larrieu was at Home Park on Saturday to see his team-mates draw with QPR. He said: "It's really frustrating when you are watching games. When you are playing, you do have a bit of control. The three games we have played at home this season have almost been the same scenarios, where we have dominated so much but not been able to kill teams off. That will come because it's performances that count in the long term. It's just getting the ball in the net, and it's going to happen because we are creating a lot of chances - and proper chances not half-chances."
Akos Buzsaky is determined to put his injury problems behind him. He said: "Touch wood, it's okay now. I don't want to talk about it because it's in the past. It's history. I'm fit, I'm happy and I'll just fight to get back my place in the team - I want to perform well. I started training the last week of pre-season but you need time to get your fitness. I'm just beginning to be match fit now and getting back my form. I'm looking forward to getting fitter and fitter and to helping the team to win games by scoring some goals." Buzsaky had a couple of excellent chances against QPR, and added: "The manager picked me and I'm very happy to start, but a little bit disappointed with the result because I felt we were much better than QPR. We tried our best but just couldn't score a second goal. Sometimes it's like that. You can't win every game but I think the team's performance was very good, so we are looking forward to Tuesday. We definitely want to win that one. Buzsaky started the match on the left-side of midfield but he and David Norris regularly swapped roles throughout the game. "It was the manager's idea because we both can play on the left and right side," said Buzsaky. "It was just a tactical choice." Buzsaky was eventually substituted for striker Nick Chadwick in the 75th minute. He said: "I was very tired when they took me off, but it's normal because I hadn't played a first team game for seven months. But actually until 70 minutes I felt very well and I felt alright with the ball. You just need to play games to be fitter and get back your form."
Ian Holloway may have to reshuffle his team against Cardiff City, as he will definitely be without Paul Connolly, and David Norris is also a doubt. Connolly has an inflamed toe after kicking an advertising hoarding in Saturday's draw with QPR, and Norris suffered a blow to the calf in the same game. "Paul Connolly won't be fit, so there will definitely be one enforced change," said Holloway. "He kicked the hoardings and by doing that he has shunted his big toe. He has had a problem with a slight bunion and that has inflamed. I am not very happy at all because it is self-inflicted. What a complete chicken nugget with double barbecue sauce he is. It is crazy but I have had a look at it and I will have to think about it. I am also waiting on Norris who took a nasty blow to his calf, and it is very stiff. Maxi is telling me that knowing him, he will be fully fit but I am waiting to see because sometimes the calf and dead legs do restrict your movement." Anthony Barness is the favourite to replace Connolly for his first appearance of the season. Holloway said: "Seip is a centre-back who could, at a push, play right-back but is he fit? Barness is a right-back and he knows it. I had a look at a couple of other options, and tried Wotton at right-back but do I want to disrupt it? Barness is a right-back, so that will probably be my choice." Replacing Norris is a more difficult problem for Holloway, who added: "I had a look around and Akos looked shattered yesterday in training. Everything he tried did not come off and he looked like he was carrying a couple of bags of water with him. Hopefully, he will be freshened up and I will have to look at it. Obviously, I rested Tony Capaldi and he could go there. I have to look at it and get it right, and I need fresh legs because Cardiff work their socks off for each other. I am thinking of whether I put Luke Summerfield back in because he has had a couple of games out of it now. Lilian is 34, so do I rest him or do I rest Wotton and play Nalis? I hope I will get the selection right and I was very pleased with Saturday, but in the Championship you have to be very careful. Three games in seven days can push you and you have to think ahead."
Ian Holloway is looking forward to the visit of Cardiff City on Tuesday and, hopefully, his first home win of the season. "I am never desperate for a win as long as our performance keeps going but I would like a win," he said. "I felt that in the first game of the season and the others, our performances have merited a win, although maybe not against Walsall where we did not create enough chances. I think we have just got to be patient. Away from home people come at you more and we have done well at soaking that up but at home we really need take the game by the scruff of the neck. At times on Saturday it looked like we had it but we did not quite finish of what we deserved. We need to add to that and we need to be in the game against Cardiff. We need to be solid at the start and I will be trying to pick a team that can do that." Holloway is remaining positive about his team's home form, and feels that a victory at Home Park is just around the corner. "We just need to get the rub of the green," said Holloway. Maybe we haven't quite got enough to unlock the door, but we are not the only team to not win at home yet. If we keep doing what we are doing, it will go in and things will go our way. I have asked them to shoot earlier and be more accurate with their shooting, get across people in the box and follow up."
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had mixed feelings after scoring his first goal for Argyle. "Obviously, I'm delighted with my goal, to get off the mark," he said, "but disappointed we didn't get the result, which would have been nice. As a striker, you are judged on your goals, no matter what anyone says, and that is my mindset - I want to score goals, I enjoy scoring goals and I hope I can score many more. We were a little bit unlucky - we had a few chances - but I thought QPR battled really well. We were a little bit unfortunate, but we're ready for the challenge of Cardiff on Tuesday. Hopefully we can get a result then." Ian Holloway said: "I know what he has got and he has been very frustrated with himself, but I felt some of that frustration was easing today after the goal went in. He has to learn that he will get the ball a lot quicker at our level than he did at United, and, for me, he is maybe trying to prove how good he is by coming off and not playing his natural game. You ask any striker in the world - they need their first goal, and he has been in the Manchester United reserves, floating around and playing with Rossi, and that can conjure up lots of things. Ebanks-Blake said he is enjoying playing with Barry Hayles but that he had not set himself any overambitious marks. He said: "Barry's got a lot of experience and I'm getting to know him well. Long may it continue. I'm fresh and hoping to get in the team and get a regular slot - that's my target." Holloway added: "I am delighted with the boy. He has come here and he wants to work with Gary Penrice, so hopefully that will work and that will come. I don't believe he came here for me, I believe he came here to end up like some of the other strikers we have worked with. It is a selection process that we go through. We had it at Bristol Rovers and at QPR where we turned Paul Furlong from a bloke who was frustrated and could not score into a bloke who was a goal machine when he was 36."
Ian Holloway revealed that he had made his peace with Gary Waddock after yesterdays draw. "To be fair, I am glad today is over," he said, "because of my emotions. "I have to be very careful. I will put it in horse's terms. I should not be sweating in the paddock before I run the race and, I have to say, I was probably a bit too lathered up for a horse of my experience." Referring to Waddock, Holloway said: "At the end of the day, we are competitors and we are trying to win. For me, there are things that should have been said at the time that I lost my job, that were not. There were some things that were said that were very upsetting from my point of view, but I have already told him that. What brassed me off was that he said that was going to change the style of football overnight, and it was said over and over again. I don't think that was what should have been said about the job that I did in the circumstances I had, when I gave the fella a job in the first place. Today, I shook his hand at the start and I shook it at the end. I have never been rude in my life."
Ian Holloway was disappointed with Argyle's lacklustre start to yesterdays game and felt they should have taken their chances better. "I was disappointed we went behind but I did not think we started in the first 20 minutes," he said. "I said before the game that I wanted them to enjoy the game but maybe I was too tense. I asked them to hit our centre-forward within five passes because I think we look a good team when we do that. I did not say hit them in one pass. I felt we caused their back four problems all afternoon but, unfortunately, those chances that we are missing at the moment are costing us." Argyle had countless free-kicks and corners but were unable to score, and it is a worrying trend for Holloway. He said: "If I was disappointed with anything, at set-pieces we need to nail down a bit better. I don't think we have scored from one since I have been here. It may be a lack of height. At the minute, some people who can deliver did not today and we need some more practice. Holloway was delighted with the effort of his team, however, and now wants to see bigger crowds at Home Park. "I can't ask for more effort and I thought we seemed to relax once we got the equalizer," he said. "I have heard a lot of people say that we have got to win our home games. Why have you got to win your home games? If you win away and draw at home, then that is four points out of six. I am not overly concerned but I would love to send people away singing and chanting, and bringing other people with them because we need more bums on seats. I saw far too many empty seats around the place. If I won the lottery I would buy loads of people season-tickets in the area to come along. Unfortunately, we are not getting what we deserve. I think the lads have got to believe in themselves and be a bit more clinical. Once we got settled down and moved the ball, we pulled them around and created enough chances to win the game." Despite the missed chances, Holloway is pleased with his forwards. He said: "I started off with one striker and two young lads when I arrived and I think we have added two strikers and now Samba as well. They are a mixed bag and they offer different things. When I moved Hayles out to the left, we need him too much up the middle, so I have got to work with them. Hopefully, when we get Gary Penrice to come down, he can work with them because he is very good with forwards and they need a bit of TLC. With a bit of knowledge I think we can make some of these really tasty. Reuben Reid has an awful lot to offer. Nick Chadwick, for me, is a very good player and he was unfortunate today but he took it in the right way because I felt we needed Sylvan today. I knew they would get their line right, so we needed to hit the forwards with the right type of ball, hold it and then turn, and we would cause them some problems. Unfortunately, the chances we did create, we did not finish them off. I thought the best move of the match deserved a goal but Chuck Norris struck it straight at the keeper." Holloway was not pleased with the QPR goal, which came when Dexter Blackstock stole in behind the Argyle defence. He said: "Obviously, I was disappointed with the goal because it looked like a bit of a scuff and someone took a gamble on it but well done to him, he got something on it and it trickled in." Akos Buzsaky was in the starting line-up and showed glimpses of his skills, but Holloway replaced him in the second-half after he started to drift out of the game. "He ran out of steam a bit," said Holloway. "We have got some wonderful attacking players and, if you saw the reserves the other night we scored five goals, but let in five as well. I think Akos is one of them players I have not seen the likes of. Roy Wegerle was a terrific player with fantastic ability, and I think Akos has got some of the things that excite football fans and they wish they could see it and it won games every week. I would pay money to see some of the things he does but what I have to do is make sure he gets back in shape when we have not got the ball. I believe the boy is desperately trying to do it because he has had so many sacrifices for his career. It is all he eats, sleeps and drinks and I can see it in him. He missed all of pre-season and he has only played about four games in the reserves, and two sub appearances for the first-team. I believe in the boys' talent and I have always wanted to surround myself with players who are more talented than I was, and rub off on them. I just want him to play like he did against me when I was QPR manager, scoring from 30 yards out. Today, he was trying so hard and it was not quite working for him. In the playground, I was never the best player but I wanted to be a player more than anybody else, and I want this team to be the best I have ever seen."
Argyle's South Western League side drew 2-2 at St Blazey yesterday, the goals coming from Bojan Djordjic and Toby Davis. Stuart Gibson said: "I though it was a great game. We set our stall out and once we settled down, after a crazy first five minutes, I felt it was St Blazey that had to adjust to us. Although one or two of our players seemed to be off the boil today I thought it was a hard, passionate match. In the end although we are disappointed that we could only draw because we felt we created more chances, overall I would say that all the fans who were here have seen a good game of football." Argyle: Saxton, White, Watts, Hopkinson, Kendall, Laird, Smith, Petnehazi, Davis, Duggan, Djordjic. Subs - Gosling, Malsom, Byrne (not used - Fenwick)
Argyle drew 1-1 with Queens Park Rangers at Home Park, the goal scored by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake after 31 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Hodges, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Buzsaky, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Chadwick, Reid (not used - Capaldi, Summerfield, Sawyer). Attendance - 12,138. Basic holiday cover coverage can be found on Greens On Screen!
Reuben Reid is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Ian Holloway after he received a one- year extension to his contract. Reid said: "It's always nice to see that the manager is showing a bit of faith in you. He's said that over the two years he wants to see me become a regular in the first team. It's nice to know that he's given me a two-year period for that to happen. If it happens earlier, that will be good. It's been really good being involved with the first team. Gary Sawyer has been involved too, Summers has started and has won a game for us. I've had couple of run-outs as well, and it's all part of the learning curve and the development process." The speed of the game at Championship level is the main contrast to reserve and youth-team football, and Reid added. "The major difference is definitely the pace. It's completely different to whatever level I've played at before. It's very, very fast. You don't get a lot of time to make decisions. At times it's not about football, it's about strength and battling and having the heart and desire and the correct attitude to win games. When I've come on I think I've done all right. I don't think I've looked out of place at all, but there is always room for improvement. " Reid came off the bench in Argyle's draw at Stoke and had an injury-time chance to grab all three points. He was given a clear run towards the opposition goal, but was crowded out before he could take aim. "I had an opportunity at Stoke to win the game, which I'll always look back on," he said. "I probably won't forget that. I should have won the game for the lads, but at the time I probably made the wrong decision. I should have smacked it earlier, but I took an extra touch inside the box." Reid is hoping to play a part in today's game, when Argyle will be seeking their first home win of the season. "The performances at home have been good," he said, "but now we've got to get a win."
Argyle have been drawn away to Dawlish Town in the first round of the St Lukes Cup. They will then face a trip to Bideford in the quarter-finals if they win
Bojan Djordjic has asked Ian Holloway to reconsider his decision to put him on the transfer list. Holloway had a meeting with Djordjic yesterday, and said: "Sometimes when you haven't got what you think you should have, you start looking at it in a better light, and he has come to me and asked me to reconsider my decision. That is the first step in the process and I will be considering his request. That's my squad and he hasn't earned the right to be in it. It's very, very simple. All of my players have to give me an instant positive after a negative. Things like body language, and an attempt to win the ball back if you make a mistake, but he doesn't do that at certain times. I need him to do it consistently. He now knows that and he knows how much I mean it and I am looking forward to the fact that if he changes, then great, and if not I will change him. It is very simple. My players need to know I mean business, and I'm sure they do." Holloway also dismissed speculation that Anthony Barness had joined Djordjic on the transfer list, but admitted he would be prepared to loan him out to another club to help him find first-team football. "I think Anthony has got an awful lot to offer and I am sure he is a very good player, but at the moment I'm choosing not to pick him," he said. "If that stays the same then I will consider loaning him out or moving him on. He gives me 110 per cent every single day, that's why he is still training with my team. He does what I talk about so I haven't got a problem. His wife's expecting a child so it would be very difficult if another club came in for him at the moment, but he is training very hard, working very hard, and he played for the reserves the other night but got a slight thigh strain. He is a very good pro and he is out of contract in the summer, so obviously, the quicker we can sort his situation out for him and his family, the better, but I certainly haven't fallen out with him."
Scott Laird has joined Tiverton Town on loan Ian Holloway is still awaiting the arrival of Gary Penrice and Tim Breacker, who formed his backroom team during his time at QPR. "It's dragging on a bit. The contracts and negotiations are very complicated," he said. "Hopefully, Mr Paladini will be able to deal with the monetary side of things for losing their jobs. They will be giving up more money to come here, that's a fact, so they are trying to sort that out. It hasn't been plain sailing but, hopefully, Mr and Mrs Stapleton are having a meal with Mr Paladini and his wife tonight and they are very good friends. I'm sure I wouldn't be here now if Mr Stapleton hadn't intervened with my situation."
Marcel Seip played his first game for Argyle in the reserve match against Cheltenham this week. Ian Holloway said: "He has played at a higher level than we are at at the moment. I just need to get him fit and I'm sure he will help us. What I like about him is that he always closes and presses the ball and he makes positive, aggressive decisions. He's very composed and he looks a class above what your normal trialist is."
Ian Holloway is excited by the potential of Cherno Samba. He said: "He's something to work with. He has got some talent there. He can run, he has got two nice feet and he can link play. It's just getting him into our way of thinking. What I like about him is he has had a smile on his face ever since he has been here. We know that he has got undoubted potential, it's just whether he's ever going to use his talent. Hopefully, we can try to sort that out once I get Gary Penrice down here."
Ian Holloway was the manager of QPR for five years until he was suspended in February. He is now ready to lead Argyle against his former club and promised the Green Army that his allegiance is 100-per-cent with Plymouth. He said: "When I reflect, which sometimes you do about some of the things you have done in your life, I will look back on that as a very good time. I met some great people and have got some wonderful memories of it. I couldn't tell you, even now, how proud and privileged I was to have been the manager of a London club like that. The support I received from the fans was immense. You need that in life so, all in all, it was a very positive experience. Sometimes, there are good bits and bad bits in relationships and I'm choosing to remember all the good bits." One of the highlights was when QPR finished as runners-up to Argyle in Division Two in 2004. He said: "I got my first promotion there - I say first promotion because I'm after more than that. It was a good time for my family, but you draw a line under it and you move on. This is the first time I have come up against them and, hopefully, after the fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth time I will probably learn to handle it better than I am at the moment. But the fact of the matter is that I'm a very fully-fledged, proud member of the Green Army. If I could have a number of my back it would definitely be number 12, so my allegiance now is totally with Plymouth Argyle. I shall be determined to get what we deserve on Saturday. But there will be very little emotion in it from my point of view, because my job is to try to stay cool, calm and collected on the side." Argyle lost to Sheffield Wednesday in their last home match and Holloway said: "I think against Sheffield Wednesday I tried to win that game too much. My team went too open, lost too much space and a wily old fox nicked it on the break, which he used to do a lot. I think at Stoke I managed to realise that and I restrained my wanting to win, even at 1-0 down. We still kept our shape and our formation and that got us a point, and I thought we deserved three." Argyle have failed to win any of their three fixtures at Home Park this season, and Holloway added: "What I want now is to break this home duck against my old team. It would be a very nice story wouldn't it? But that story has yet to be written. We have got to earn that right, and that's all that matters. But the emotion is probably nothing to do with my players here, because what do QPR mean to them? It's just another game, isn't it? I'm the one who has got to deal with it and the Press are the people who want to write about it. As I say, I belong to PAFC now, and I'm very proud of that."
Ian Holloway was as surprised by the 5-5 reserve draw with Cheltenham as everybody else and was taking the positives from the performance of his young team. "It was a very strange game to say the least and defenders were certainly not on top," said Holloway. "As Pele said 'Please God, if it is going to be a draw, let it be 5-5 rather than 0-0'. It is amazing, we have got some ability in that side but it is not all about ability, it is about work-rate, team shape and team pattern. We have scored eight goals in the last two games but we have let in seven, and every time we have let one in we have gone up the other end and scored, so there has to be something to focus on a bit better. I am here to teach and they are here to learn, and I don't always shout and bawl but a few of those things could have been avoided. Generally, we have got some fantastic ability in these young players."
Reuben Reid has agreed a 12 month contract extension after impressing Ian Holloway, who said: "He's been in and around the squad ever since he's been here and, for an 18-year-old lad, he's very fortunate to be at a club that needs him so much. He's also a talented boy and needs to learn to harness that. I'm sure he will have a fine future, providing he continues to improve. I can see some areas where he has improved and I can see some areas where he needs to improve. I'm very optimistic about his future, but he has to listen and learn and I'm sure he's willing to do that. I'm delighted to have the young gentleman. If he doesn't break into my team on merit, I might loan him out to get the first-team football he thinks he deserves."
Romain Larrieu has been given the all-clear after a health scare. Larrieu had been receiving hospital treatment for a condition and there had been concern for his well-being. Ian Holloway however revealed that the worst was over. "He's not going to need any further treatment - that's the best news I've had in a long, long, long, long time," said Holloway. "Everybody's delighted for him and now he can have a full 'pre-season' of running and training - I'm delighted he's going to be fit enough to do that. Everyone at the club, in the squad, and - I'm sure - every member of the Green Army will be delighted to hear he's going to be fine. To go through traumatic times puts everything in perspective. I haven't met his family, but my thoughts have been with him. What a marvellous man. I'm delighted he's going to be okay. It's such a relief for everyone. I was in a restaurant, having a meal with my family, when he came bursting in. It just lit up my life. It's been horrendous for him."
Ian Holloway has admitted there could be arrivals and departures at Home Park now that clubs can resume loan signings. He said: "I'm getting loads of people ringing me so if I need to then I might do it. I know what I need to add, but I might already have some of that in my squad if Akos Buzsaky keeps producing what he's producing at the minute. He's getting fitter by the day, and Summerfield is probably one of the best young players I have seen in a long time. I keep watching him and he's delivering stuff out there like top class players do, on a regular basis." Argyle currently have 24 professionals signed up and Holloway would consider letting some of them leave on loan. He said: "If there are one or two not figuring, or not doing what I want, then I will loan them out and bring other people in. Sometimes you need to change things around. If you keep doing what you have always done, you will always get what you got. And at this level, so far, what we have got? 14th position is the best. I know that and I want to make an impact here, but I have got to get the right people."
Gary Sawyer is thrilled to back vying for a place in the Argyle first-team. He said: "It is lovely to be back but there are a lot of good players here, so I have to just bide my time and wait for the opportunity." Sawyers first game back at Argyle was a friendly with Tiverton Town in the summer and he found himself up against Steve Flack, a former team-mate at Exeter . "I spent two years at Exeter with Steve Flack and, although I am not the biggest defender, I can head the ball and I can jump," said Sawyer. "If I didn't have that to my game, I don't think I could play in that position. In the Conference, I have played against people who are as big, or even bigger, than Flack and it is something that I am used to. Every week in the Conference was a battle but with the step up to this League you still get big players, but they are good on the floor as well. I am ready and waiting to get in but it is hard to break into a Championship side. I would be a fool if I thought I could walk straight into the team. Since I finished my scholarship and went down to Exeter for two years, it has toughened me up. Youth team football is nice but when you get to your third year, it does not push you enough. Reserve football is good but is only game every couple of weeks, so to go out and play every week in the Conference where you get battered means you have to grow up." Although his preferred position is centre-back, Sawyer feels that it would be beneficial for him to be proficient at left-back as well. "It is good to have a couple of positions in your locker," he said. "I was originally a left-back when I first joined the club, and then I got moved to centre-back after my first year. It is something I am familiar with but I have not done it for a long while, so it will take time to get used to. I am open-minded and I would love to play left-back. Left-back is only one notch across but positionally it is very different. I actually got a bit annoyed when we played Bristol Rovers because I felt like I got my position all wrong. I thought I would be able to slip straight back into it but it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Haldane was really quick and I just was not right with my positioning, which is what I am good at when I play centre-back; I can get out of a lot of difficult situations by reading the game. I struggled at left-back because I had been at centre-back for a long time." Despite that performance, Sawyer is determined to practice at left-back and he has played there on occasion in training. "I play mainly at centre-back in training but I have had a go at left-back," said Sawyer. "I think it is good to play in as many positions as you can when you are young because you learn to grasp what a left-back wants when you play centre-back and vice versa. I think, as a defender, you should be able to play anywhere across the back four including your wrong side at full back." Sawyer spent a whole season at right centre-back while at Exeter, which was an experience he enjoyed because it forced him to develop his weaker right-foot. He said: "Not many people realize but I played at right centre-back for a whole year at Exeter, which is out of position for me because it was on my right-foot all the time. I think that made a lot better because I had to work really hard at getting my right foot almost as good as my left. People can swing but you have to put in the quality with both feet, and I think that is what people struggle with. It is all down to practice." Sawyer was disappointed with Argyle's defensive performance in Tuesday night's 5-5 reserve draw with Cheltenham. "It was nice for the strikers to bang in five goals but it was disappointing, as a defender, to concede five," said Sawyer. "I pride myself on keeping clean sheet. To let in five goals, that is not me and I don't like that." QPR are the next visitors to Argyle and Sawyer will be hoping for a place on the bench at least. He said: "Hopefully, I will be on the bench at least but Tony will be back from international football, but fingers crossed I will get on. I did not play for the first two months at Exeter and then someone got injured, and I played every game for the next two years - that is the way it works sometimes." Sawyer has arguably suffered from the attacking nature of Holloway's substitutions but he is not complaining. "I think it is good that he is attacking on the bench because three points are a lot better than one," said Sawyer. "Colchester is the only game where the ball was being shelled into us and we had to defend, which is why I got a run-out. I loved every minute of it and it has been a long time coming. It is the first year I have even traveled with the first-team at Plymouth. It is the first time I have got my name on a shirt, which sounds like a little thing but it means a lot to me."
Former Argyle loanee Lee Wilkie could be set for a trial at the club. Ian Holloway has confirmed that he is interested in the centre-back, who has suffered three separate cruciate knee ligament injuries since January 2004. Holloway said: "He has had problems with his knee, but he's the type of fella we are looking for. He's trying to get fit and he will choose when he comes down, which I think is really professional of him. He's the sort who will put his head on the ball. I know of his character, and I know we tried to sign him before. He will let us know when he's ready, but I'm interested in having a look at him." Wilkie has been training with Dundee United since last month and continued his comeback with their reserves yesterday afternoon, successfully completing the whole of the game. Holloway said: "The reports we had on him last week were very good and he's the type of person I'm looking for. That's how I judge my players - what kind of people they are. They need to have high scores in ability, character and application. It isn't the ability column that really matters. It's always the other two."
Ian Holloway has decided not to take his interest in trialists Oumar Bakari and Sofiane Zaaboub any further. He said: "At the moment, I'm happy with what we have got. But I thought the left-back was quite a good player so I recommended him to Kenny Jackett at Swansea and he's having a look at him."
Reuben Reid only signed a professional contract with Argyle in the summer but has made the bench for every game of the season so far, making two appearances. "It is my first year as a pro and, obviously, it's nice to be on the bench," he said. "It's been good to just be involved with the first-team and, hopefully, I'll start to get a few more appearances." Reid has enjoyed working with Ian Holloway since his arrival at the club. "He has come in and starting doing things very differently," said Reid. "He is very enthusiastic and everyone around the club has a really good feeling towards him. The situation when Pulis arrived forced us to be defensive, and do what we had to do to stay up. Ollie has come in and we are looking to play a lot more attacking football." Barry Hayles has been an inspiration to Reid, and he feels he is benefiting from playing alongside such an experienced player. Reid added: "As I've said, I would like to get a few more appearances and if the chance comes along I would love to score; it would be nice to get that first goal. Once I get off the mark, the confidence will come and, hopefully, the performances will get better and better. Barry has been a good servant to the game and he's had a good career. He has come down here and he is already proving why he's had a good career. He is very good technically and I'm already learning from him."
Argyle drew 5-5 with Cheltenham Town in this evenings reserve game at Home Park. The goals were scored by Akos Buzsaky, Luke Summerfield, Ryan Dickson and Reuben Reid (2). Argyle: Clapham, White, Seip, Sawyer, Barness, Buzsaky, Summerfield, Gosling, Dickson, Reid, Samba. Subs – Davis, Watts (not used - Sandercombe, Hopkinson, Smith)
Paul Wotton has thinks September will be a demanding but exciting month for Argyle. He said: "We have got some great games coming up, beginning with QPR on Saturday. I think we are pretty pleased with the start we have had. We should have beaten Wolves because we played very well, but it wasn't to be. We could have held on for a draw against Sheffield Wednesday but, otherwise, it has gone well. If someone had said to me at the start of the season we would have eight points from five games I would certainly have taken it." Argyle lost to Walsall in the Carling Cup but put that behind them when they drew at Stoke. Wotton said: "We are out of the cup, which was disappointing, but it's history now. We bounced back against Stoke, where we played very well. We have all been encouraged by the start to the season, but we are striving to do better." The Argyle squad were given last Friday off, as well as Saturday and Sunday, by Ian Holloway after their hectic opening to the season. Wotton said: "We have worked really hard since the start of the season and our fitness is there, so we are not going to lose anything by having three days off. I'm not really a fan of international breaks but it does give players a chance to get over niggles they might have picked up. And it's also nice for the lads who aren't from Plymouth to get home and spend some time with their families." The game against QPR will see Holloway come up against his former club, where he was manager for five years, but Wotton insisted that had no relevance to the players and all they were concerned about was winning. He said: "When we played Sheffield Wednesday it was billed as Paul Sturrock's return, and when we went to Stoke it was all about Tony Pulis, but the players really don't care who we are playing. There are another three points to be played for on Saturday and we will be doing our best to get them."
Argyle beat Torpoint Athletic 2-0 in Saturdays South Western League game. The goals were scored by Bojan Djordjic and Mark Petnehazi
Tony Capaldi equalled the Argyle club record for caps with his twentieth for Northern Ireland today, in their 3-0 defeat to Iceland
Cherno Samba is convinced he can get his career back on track at Argyle. He said: "Ian Holloway was a big factor in me coming to Plymouth, as was Des Bulpin, who knew me when I played for England under-15s. I have been really impressed by the way the manager goes about doing things. He puts your mind at ease. I knew he was the one I wanted to work under and try to improve myself as a player. He has got that hunger to do well. A lot of things have happened to me, with Liverpool wanting me and Millwall not letting me go, but that's all in the past. Now it's time for me to get my career back on track and, hopefully, under Ian Holloway I will do that. He told me he liked everything about me, my movement, my game, and he told me he could make me shine. He didn't have to tell me that, though. I could tell just from the way he does things at the club. It made my mind up for me." Samba believes Barry Hayles will be a good role model for him. He said: "He's a great player and I think I will learn a lot from Barry because of all the experience he has. He has already been very helpful. He played a lot of games for Fulham in the Premiership and I can see why. I'm just going to work as hard as I can and when I get a chance to play in the first team I will try to prove myself." Samba played in Spain for Malaga's B team last season. He said: "The football in Spain is really different. It's much more technical than in England, and the lifestyle is very different too. I'm glad I went out there for the two years. I think I have come back a better player and a better person." He added: "The manager, all the players and everybody I have met in Plymouth have made me very welcome. I feel like I have been here for years. What I like about people in Plymouth is they are down-to-earth and very friendly. It's totally different from London."
Over the past eight weeks Anthony Mason has scored his first goal for Argyle's senior side, played against Real Madrid, and got the winning goal in an Under-19 international. He has also joined Tiverton Town on a work experience basis and is playing regularly in the Southern League Premier Division. "It's been pretty hectic," he said. "But it's all for the good. I've enjoyed every minute, and it's been a very good experience for me." It was at Tiverton's Ladysmead ground that Mason scored for Argyle, in the 4-0 friendly win in July. "I'm just glad I got noticed and got to play in that game," he said. "I was sent on for the last ten minutes or so and managed to get a goal, which was great. The tour was an experience I'll never forget. It was brilliant, I enjoyed every minute. The training was good, and off the pitch with the lads everyone was really good to me. The hotel was beautiful too. It was a massive step-up for me, compared to what I've been used to." The appearance against Madrid was an occasion to savour. "It was amazing," he added. "A lot of credit to Ollie for giving us that run-out. That experience will be with us forever, and I think he knew that. We really appreciated it." Now Mason's footballing education is continuing at Tiverton. "I'm glad I've come here," he said. "It's a massive learning curve. In youth football I'm used to turning and running at defenders because they usually give me a bit of space, but it's a different game in the Southern League. It's really good." Mason's front-line partner at Tiverton is Steve Flack. "He's great. I'm learning a lot about how to deal with things off the pitch as well as on it," Mason said. While Mason is a Plymothian, his mother is Irish, which led to a call-up to the Republic of Ireland Under-19 side this season. He scored the winner on his debut in a 2-1 friendly win against Ukraine last month, and also played in a 0-0 draw against the same opponents. "Last year I was injury prone, and when got the call from Ireland I was never fit for the occasion," Mason said. "This year they've given me my chance and I managed to bag the winner in my first game. It was really good."
Marcel Seip cannot wait for his first taste of English football . He believes he is the sort of rugged and uncompromising player who will be very much at home in this country. "It will be good for me here," he said. "I'm a tough defender, and in Holland you have to do a little bit more than only be tough. They don't like it. That's why I like England." Asked how he ended up at Argyle, Seip said: "My agent told me Plymouth were looking for a defender. I like England very much and last week I was here on trial. The people are nice and the city is good, and now I have a contract until December. I think Plymouth will be good for me. I don't feel pressure, but I know I could be released in December. But I want to perform well and I want to prove myself here. It's a good level for me and I hope I'll play very well, and then we'll see. I think Plymouth are at the same sort of level as the team I've come from, although they play a little different. They always play with two strikers, and I think the fitness levels here are much better." Versatility is one of Seip's assets. "Centre-back is my best position, but I have played at right-back for the last one and a half seasons for Heerenveen," he added. "I was there for five years. The first two seasons in the reserve team and the last three years in the first team. But I was in and out of the team in my last year, and I didn't like that. Here I can build a new career for myself. I like English football, and I think I'm a typical English player." Heerenveen are regular participants in European competitions and Seip added: "In the UEFA Cup I played against Benfica, when I was marking Nuno Gomes, and Newcastle. I learned from those games, and I played in some beautiful stadiums." Last month Seip went to Russia for a trial at Dinamo Moscow - but he made a swift exit. "The level there was terrible," he said. "I thought they were a good team. Maniche and Costinha were there, but I booked an early flight out. I didn't want to play there. Most of the guys were only there for the money. It would not have been good for my development." Seip also attracted interest from Dutch clubs Excelsior Rotterdam and Willem II Tilburg and Turkish side Kayserispor, but he rejected them all in favour of Argyle. "Now I am here, and I have four months to prove myself," he said. Seip admitted Ian Holloway was a different type of manager to what he had been used to. He said: "I think he's a good guy - you can laugh with him. In Holland, you can't talk with the manager like that. I told him I like the club and the players and it's a good level for me. I hope I can perform well here and we will see what happens."
Ian Holloway has yet to decide whether to offer contracts to French trialists Oumar Bakari and Sofiane Zaaboub. Both players can still be signed, even though the transfer window is closed, as they are currently free agents
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