A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Marvin Morgan has said that football is a cruel game after Argyle's fourth away loss out of their five away matches this season. Morgan expressed sympathy for the Argyle fans and also for his manager John Sheridan. The striker said: "If you look at the stats we battered them, but it all comes down to results. It's very frustrating. I feel frustrated for the fans who have travelled and I feel frustrated for the gaffer (John Sheridan) because he has got to take the stick. Football is just a cruel world. It really is. You speak to their manager and players, they will tell you we should have got something out of the game, but it is what it is.
"It puts pressure on our home games. We have to win at home and that's what it comes down to. If you are in the top 10 at the business end of the season you have got a chance. It's very disappointing today, but we have got Shrewsbury at home next Saturday and we have got to win that one now."
Ben Purrington faces a spell on the sidelines following a hospital assessment which confirmed that he has broken his wrist in 'several places'. The injury was caused by an awkward fall. Purrington will see a specialist this week to determine the seriousness of the injury.
John Sheridan feels that Argyle would have had a much better chance in their match against Accrington if only Reuben Reid was fully fit. He went on to praise Argyle's all round performance but bemoan the end product: "I think, if Reuben played today, the way he has been playing this season, he would have had a bit of joy and caused them problems. The game just came a bit early after their knocks last week. Hopefully another few days' rest and a bit of treatment and they will both be back for next week. They are improving. Reuben's not here so I have got to think about the players who've played and we've had enough opportunities and enough possession to have won the game, but we haven't. Sometimes it's easier to say the better team won but it wasn't today, and we're making life difficult for ourselves. We should be higher up the table."
It was the same old story for John Sheridan after Argyle's 1-0 loss to Accrington Stanley yesterday- he was not uncomplimentary about aspects of the performance but he bemoaned Argyle's defending. Sheridan said: "The goal that we conceded was very soft - a poor, poor goal The goal was comical. It was a cheap and soft goal and, when you get in front, teams have got something to hang on to and fight for. We have got a good defensive record one of the best in the division but we let soft, soft goals in."
He did however have positive words to say about attackers Nathan Thomas and Bobby Reid respectively: "He's shown glimpses when he comes on, but it's a totally different game when you start. He's just got to get used to playing for the 90 minutes. It won't do him any harm to get 70 minutes and I thought he did okay. I would have liked him to get at the full-back a little bit more. He had one or two chances and got in good positions, attacking-wise; he's just got to get that defensive position in his game and help the full-back who's playing behind him."
"I thought Bobby Reid played really well. He looked confident on the ball, got around the pitch; he had energy; used the ball. I thought he did really well for his first game."
Argyle's poor away record has continued with a 1-0 loss away at Accrington Stanley. A Luke McCormick error allowed Kai Naismith to score with just 13 minutes played. Argyle had many chances in the second half and enjoyed the lion's share of possession but could not find the net. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, McHugh(Cox), O'Connor(Smalley), B.Reid, Blizzard, Alessandra, Morgan, Thomas(Harvey). Subs: Bittner, Allen, Bentley, Norburn.
Kelvin Mellor admits that consistency is the big improvement that needs to be made to Argyle's game this season. He went on to talk about how he himself has adapted to his new club. Mellor: "We're trying to pick up consistency. Obviously winning the game is the main thing and then the good things will come. You have just got to work hard and be prepared to battle against your opponent, and then I think the result will take care of itself. I feel like I'm meant to push on a bit more than I did when I first started. Obviously, being a defender, defence is the priority, but the attacking bit is a bonus. It's nice to be involved in play, and maybe create something: a chance, or a goal coming from it. You play for places in training, and I try to give as much as I can to give me that advantage to get in the starting 11. I do my best on the weekend, and I'm really happy with that."
Plymouth City Council will loan the club £800,000 to help settle its football creditor debts. The council today signed the required documents, loaning Argyle the money so that it can offer the sum to the creditors to settle the debts owed to them. The creditors (mostly consisting of ex players) will get the opportunity to accept around half of the money that has been offered to them in one go rather than have the full money continue to be paid in instalments culminating in a balloon payment in October 2016. Plymouth City Council has agreed a 4.8 per cent interest rate on the loan, meaning a £38,000 return over five-years, and has also secured the following insurance against non-payment: Argyle's shareholders have put up the land they owe as insurance should the club default on the loan, meaning the land that the Higher Home Park development is due to be built on - including a new grandstand, ice rink, cinema and hotel - would pass into public hands.
Argyle have completed the signing of young Bristol City midfielder Bobby Reid. Reid whose Bristol City teammates include former loanee Pilgrim Joe Bryan joins Argyle on what is initially a one month loan. He will be available for Argyle's next six league matches but will not be available to play in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Reid is 21 years of age and made 32 appearances for the Robins in League One last season. He will wear the number 17 shirt.
Reid revealed that he sought the advice of not only Joe Bryan but also his former Bristol City teammate and former Argyle winger Yannick Bolasie when he contemplated whether to join the greens. Both former Argyle wide men gave him glowing reviews. Bobby said: "The gaffer asked me, on Saturday, if I wanted to come and I spoke to Joe Bryan about the club, and Yannick Bolasie, and they said it was a good club. Joe said the fans were great and it's a big pitch. So it was a no-brainer for me. I want three points every week, and I want to be playing games, so hopefully I can contribute to the team pushing forward in the table. I'm a central midfielder, an in-the-hole kind of attacker. Creativity is one of my main strengths, I think, trying to get goals and assists, and contributing to good play."
John Sheridan has high hopes for Reid during his time at the club. He also confirmed that the decision to make the loan spell last only a month was Bristol City's decision rather than Argyle's. Sheridan: "Hopefully, Bobby is someone who is going to push and improve us as a team. He will give us a bit of energy and young legs in there. He's comfortable on the ball and he can get forward. He has not been getting football at Bristol City and he wants to come here and play for us, which is good. I think he will really suit and fit into the way we want to play. It's just for a month. That's Bristol City's decision."
Bobby's namesake Reuben Reid appears to be winning his race for fitness following the injury he picked up in last Saturday's defeat of Hartlepool United. The Argyle boss confirmed that Peter Hartley does not have such a good chance of making the game at Accrington: "They are both coming on okay. I think Reuben has probably got the better chance out of the two for the weekend. We will leave it as late as we can but I think Reuben should be okay, with the improvement he has had over the last two days. Pete is also improving, but whether it will be too early for him we will just have to wait and see."
The Argyle board will be available for questioning from the fans of the club before our home game against Cheltenham on October the 25th next month. This meeting is in accordance with the agreement made upon the abolition of the PASB in which the green army were promised three open meetings per season with the board of the club. Details of the venue and start time are to be confirmed shortly.
Argyle are out of the Under-21 Premier League Cup in the first qualifying round after 1-0 loss away to Gillingham after extra-time. The competition is devised for the development squads of professional teams but can include a minority of players who are older than 21. An own goal from academy right-back Mason Hughes in the 119th minute sealed the win for the home side. Argyle: Bittmer, Hughes, Bentley, Sargent, Moxham, Purrington(Hall), Norburn, Allen, Harvey, Thomas(Miller), Rooney(Vincent). Subs: Roberts, Hannah.
Argyle will play Swindon in the second round of the Johnstone's Pain Trophy at Home Park on Tuesday October the 7th. The Wiltshire side beat Newport 2-1 last night.
Argyle will know within the next two days the severity of injuries to leading scorer Reuben Reid and vice-captain Peter Hartley. Paul Atkinson had the following to say on the matter: "Reuben received a knock in the area between his hip and ribcage, and has a bruise on the bone," said Paul. "We are now waiting to see how quickly the injury settles down. Until we know that, it's too early to say any more at the moment. Peter felt a pull in his thigh and is being treated for that. Again, it's too early to say, at this stage, how it will settle. The treatment is rest, ice and compression. We will know a lot more in 48 hours' time about their potential availability for next Saturday."
Marvin Morgan believes that Nathan Thomas could be a real star for the greens in the future- so long as he works a bit harder: "I'm so happy for him. There are players ahead of him. It's not like the gaffer doesn't want to play him that he's not playing because the gaffer doesn't like him; he's not playing because there are players ahead of him and are doing more. But it's the same thing for me when Rubes is on fire, I have to sit there and wait for my chance. "I think now he's taken his chance and the players who are injured are going to have to take a back seat, hopefully we do well and keep them out of the team. It's a kind of cut-throat industry. He knows he's got ability he's not stupid but work hard in training and he can go on from here. He's got that sparkle and he's got a great left foot. If he can work a bit harder, he's going to be a star at this club."
John Sheridan has expressed general satisfaction with Argyle's 2-0 home win against Hartlepool United. Whilst he did not hail a perfect performance, he particularly praised the second half display and that of the two goalscorers. Sheridan: "After two defeats, to come back with a win is good," said John. "Three points is the most important thing; obviously a good performance is good when you can get one. I thought we started okay. We obviously get a good goal, and then I thought the game was there to go on and get a second goal and make the game a bit easier. I was happy with the second half obviously not with the injuries that we picked up. It does not really concern me who scores the goals. I think it was just important that we got back to winning ways, stay in the pack and get three points. Now we have got to go to Accrington again, another tough game but it is a game I believe we can win.
"It is always good to keep a clean sheet. Luke's made a good save just before half time. I do not think he got bothered too much, even though one or two players have come in: Ben Purrington has come in, Carl McHugh came in at centre half, and I thought he looked really composed when he went there. I thought Dom Blizzard was excellent today. It was a good finish from Nathan Thomas, and he is a good finisher. He has got that confidence in him, and he kicks the ball with pace. They all want to do well, I want to do well, and I think we are all coming from the same boat. I think all the players will tell you I appreciate every one of them. I even said to them the other day that my hardest job as a manager is picking the team. I can only pick 11. I expect then to be upset and I expect them to be grumpy if they did not, I probably would not want them in the team. I am pleased for the two lads who scored. Hopefully it will give them that boost now."
Marvin Morgan's goal was a very special one for him in more ways than one. Not only did he cap off an unforgettble week in which he also become a new father (signified by his baby-rocking mime celebration) but it is also his first goal at Home Park since signing in June 2013. Morgan said: "I'm glad I got the goal," he said. "I know everyone's going think 'It's good for the baby' but it's more relief for me, really. It was good to get my first goal at Home Park. I just want to play and show what I can do. It's weird how it's all kind of worked out. If we'd lost and I'd scored, it wouldn't be so good. I'm more happy that we got the three points going to Accrington next week. Last season was a nightmare season: getting injured; collapsing; not knowing where I was going to be. I'm happy I've gone through pre-season with no injuries. I feel fit, and now I will try to stay in the team.
"Rubes was on my case before the game. He said: 'You have to score today and the celebration has to be that. You can't do it next week it has to be this week.' Before the game, in the dressing-room, there was a lot of tension, knowing we had to win this game. We had to get three points, even if it was scrappy last-minute goal. That's what it comes down to results, regardless if we play well. Hopefully, we can build on it. We got the goal and I looked at Rubes when the goal went in and thought 'this could be six or seven' because we had them. But fair play to Hartlepool they got a few chances and caused us a few nervy moments; the crowd was a bit nervous; the players were a bit nervous.
"We have got enough in Lewi , Dom, myself; Tyler Harvey I still say he's our best finisher and a great player; you've seen what Nathan Thomas can do; Ollie Norburn, as well. "There's young players like River Allen and Aaron Bentley they're really good players; if they start playing, they will probably be gone in six months because they are young and so good. We've got players in abundance. We're in a good position. We have to make this a fortress; we have to win games at home. I want to play up front but I'm happy to play on the left and hopefully more chances like that can occur. I'm in a good place now and I just want to play. I want to show what I can do and why I wanted to come to this club. Rubes is always going to be a handful he's going to get goals but we need to chip in with goals; everyone else needs to take the pressure off Rubes from scoring."
Sheridan has also given an update on Argyle's ever-growing injury list and re-stated the need to sign some new players. Rueben Reid and Peter Hartley were the latest to go off with injuries: "We will just have to assess them - obviously it looked as though they were struggling. They both look like similar injuries. Luckily we do not have a game during the week, so we will get them the best treatment, and hope that it is not a big concern. Jason is out for a month with a groin injury. He had a similar injury last season I think he got it at Dagenham and he was out for about three weeks. Smalley's just got a spasm in his back. Obviously there is not a lot you can do when you get a bad back. Smalley's slowly improving, but he had no chance for the game today. I will have to keep my fingers crossed it is not too serious.
"I have enquired, and I am hoping a player will come in next week. I am looking for two or three players. I am going to watch a game on Tuesday, so we will see what happens. You have just got to keep persevering, looking around and trying to get players who are going to be beneficial to us, and want to play football."
Argyle are back to winning ways, beating Hartlepool United by two goals to nil at Home Park this afternoon. New father Marvin Morgan put the greens into the lead early on and Argyle took the one goal lead into the half-time break. Injuries to Reuben Reid and Peter Hartley enforced their substitutions for Nathan Thomas and Carl McHugh respectively. Thomas the substitute scored with 15 minutes to go to secure a 2-0 victory for the greens. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley(McHugh), Purrington, O'Connor, Cox, Blizzard, Alessandra, Reid(Thomas), Morgan(Harvey). Subs: Bittner, Allen, Bentley, Norburn.
The search for new players is very much ongoing according to John Sheridan. Argyle are naturally looking for a replacement for injury victim Alex Bray although that may not be the end of Argyle's business. Sheridan also confirmed that Neil Warnock's Crystal Palace side is still a potential line of enquiry: "I definitely think we need one or two new players just to add to what we've currently got and give us that little bit of extra strength and depth. With the results, I think people are a bit down and we need someone to come in and give the players a push to try and get the best out of them. I'm trying my socks off. I rang three clubs yesterday. I rang and I enquired about three or four players, a couple for the same position, but you get the same old answer.
"There were one or two Palace players that Paul Wotton and Sean McCarthy liked. The contact I've had is that they're worth watching again. But it's lads who are playing in the Under-21s who have had no real experience of first time football anywhere so you've just got to be careful of whether they can come up into the first team."
Conor Hourihane is being missed by the club this season and should have been sold for more money- that is also the view of manager John Sheridan. He paid tribute to Hourihane's abilities, citing his as a very difficult player to replace. Sheridan: "I think in the centre of midfield I have got a lot of similar players. We are always going to miss a player like Conor. The lad went for £200,000 and should have gone for £400,000 or £500,00 in my eyes. He got nine goals from midfield last season. He's one of those players who drives you on. It's like Angel di Maria at Manchester United. A lot of people have been talking about his enthusiasm and his desire to get up there and cause problems in the opposition's half. I'm not putting Conor in the same bracket as di Maria, but the way they can affect a game is similar. I think we miss that. It's whether I have got the right people in central midfield to play a two. I feel as though I'm okay if I play a three in midfield, but when I play a two there is a doubt in my mind whether I have got that dominating midfield player who can get up and back. That's what you need in a 4-4-2 formation."
Injured striker Matt Lecointe faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Lecointe suffered a occurrence of the injury that ruled him out for the whole of last season. It is not so severe as the first injury but he still may not be playing until the New Year. Sheridan said: "By all accounts, everything has gone okay with the operation. He has had a clear out inside his knee. Hopefully, he will be back in three months, which is good news."
Sheridan also revealed his reasoning for keeping Jason Banton on the pitch in Tuesday's defeat to Wycombe- to toughen him up as a player. The manager stated that he was a firm believer that sometimes a bit of stick can give a player the necessary thickness of skin: "Regarding Jason the other night, I left him on for a reason for his benefit. I don't think he played poorly and I don't think well, but I didn't want to take him off. I think he needs to grow up as a player and me leaving him on the other night will do him the world of good. Things weren't going his way, and we have all been there as players. I was booed as a player, but there was one thing I did though. I wanted to keep getting on the ball and I wasn't frightened. I didn't like people shouting my name out, but it makes you grow up and be stronger as a player, so that's the reason I left him on. And I don't think he hid. He still wanted to get on the ball. I have told him you have got to be strong during your career because people have got an opinion and you have got to expect that. If things aren't going well, just stand up for yourself and prove people wrong.
"He's not someone who is going to win 50-50s, but he does little things that some people look at and think he's not trying, and I don't think that's the case. He's an attacking winger and has come out of under-21 football where it's all nicey-nicey and he's in a man's world.Ability-wise, he's probably our best player at the club so Jason needs to grow up and be stronger, and that is the reason I left him on the other night. I could have taken him off, no problem, but I felt that was the wrong thing for me to do. Things haven't been going his way. He was brilliant in pre-season but he hasn't been playing as well as I thought he would be."
John Sheridan has said that there are 'no excuses' following Argyle's tepid display and 1-0 home loss to Wycombe Wanderers last night. Sheridan made it clear that it was the performance and not merely the result that was below par: "The performance was not good enough there are no excuses. I will take it on the chin, whatever criticism I get. We have got to be better as a group. I can pick a team everyone can pick a team, and think so and so should be playing but I picked a team that hopefully was going to win us the game. We are not going to hide anything. I totally agree with what everyone is saying, or what they are going to say, because the performance was not good enough. Usually when we have played alright, I will stand up and say we have played alright.
"It is back to the drawing-board. You get two good results, and now we have had two bad results, so it is very disappointing. I am the manager, so I will take responsibility. We have got to get back to winning ways. There was a game there to be won. I thought we had one or two decent opportunities before they scored, but then a few heads dropped, and we did not pick it up again. There is not a lot to say about the game, so I just need to pick myself up and pick the players up and hopefully try and get the result we want on Saturday."
Sheridan also admitted that the Pilgrims missed winger Lewis Alessandra in yesterday's game: "It didn't help, obviously, with Dom, Marvin and Lewis missing out. With Lewis, it was right before the kick-off, with flu. I think we missed those players, especially Lewi. He was playing it was two minutes before the teamsheet, so he was down to play. He was in the physio's room, and he was just in a bad way. He said, earlier, that he did not feel too good, but he felt alright to play. Obviously he is an important player for us, and I left it to the last minute. Even 15 minutes before kick-off, Paul Atkinson has rang me in my room and said he is alright, but when I came in to name the team they called me in the physio's room and told me he did not feel well at all. He is a big player for us, because of his work-ethic and his willingness to get at players, and get them on the back foot."
Argyle lost their first home match of the season to Wycombe Wanderers by one goal to nil. Argyle's line-up was full of unexpected changes due to Marvin Morgan and Lewis Alessandra's absences due to becoming a father and illness respectively. Wycombe went 1-0 up in the first half and in spite of Argyle substitutions, the scoreline did not change. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley , McHugh(Purrington), O'Connor, Norburn(Allen), Banton, Harvey, Smalley(Cox), Reid. Subs: Bittner, Thomas, Bentley, Blizzard.
Newly appointed Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock may be set to loan Argyle some players, due to his multiple connections with the club. Not only did Warnock once manage the greens himself but he also maintains a friendship with current manager John Sheridan. Sheridan has said that Warnock is happy to loan Argyle some of his younger players and the Argyle coaching staff will assess who is suitable. Sheridan: "I spoke to Neil and he said if there are one or two players who are available and would interest us he would help us out. We are always looking for players. There are probably about 20-30 18-year-olds who I could easily get tomorrow, but is an 18-year-old the right player? I know I brought Alex in, but he had been involved in the first team at Swansea in pre-season. Some of these lads are doing really well in the under-21s but are they ready for the step up? I have inquired about one or two experienced players who I think would do a great job for us, but it's difficult because of money and location. We will keep plugging away because we had a bare 18 in the squad on Saturday."
John Sheridan was surprised and disappointed at Argyle's patchy defending following their 2-1 loss at the Globe Arena. The manager stated how difficult it was to win once two such poor goals have been conceded. Sheridan said: "You can't concede two goals like we have today. It is really poor on our part. People have just got to be alive to the situation. If you are going to concede two goals, you have to score three to win, so you can't concede goals like we did. I have lost the game, so I do not really want to talk about goal we scored I would rather reflect on the goals we have conceded, which have ended up costing us the game. With the second goal, Ellison has miss-hit it, and full credit to the lad Devitt; he has followed it in at the back post, but the ball should never get to there. We should not have lost the game. If we had to get a draw, we should have taken a point, but we switched off."
Anthony O'Connor also said that the loss was a nasty blow but he looked positively towards the game against Wycombe on Tuesday night. He said that it was important that the Pilgrims moved on quickly from such a disappointing defeat and took that hurt into the Wycombe game to secure a victory. O'Connor: "That is just my character: I do not like losing football matches," said Anthony. "I do not like losing in general I do not care what it is. I presume it is the same for all the lads. To travel all this way and lose like that I can't even describe it. Coming off the back of two wins, we wanted to get a bit of a run going. The game was looking comfortable for us. The gaffer was saying that we looked the better team. We probably needed to just take it up a gear kick it up a notch, grab the game by the scruff of the neck and win it, but we didn't. I really had the feeling that we were going to go on and win it. The lads were buzzing in the dressing room. We were a comfortable side, we were good on the ball, and we did not really look like conceding again. I do not think Luke had to make many saves.
"All we can do now is try and focus and forget about it, but saying that, I do not want to forget it too much. I want to take that hurt into Tuesday night and bring it all on to the field, to make sure we do not feel that again. Home form is massive, if you can win your games at home, whilst picking up points away, which we should have done today, and we won last week against Luton, so there are some positives from the last two games. We go into two home games now looking to take maximum points no less. It is early days, but home form is massive."
Argyle have lost 2-1 to Morecambe, sipping to tenth in the league two table. Morecambe took an early late but Argyle shortly equalised through Peter Hartley's first goal for the club. Morecambe got their winner with 7 minutes to go. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, McHugh, O'Connor, Cox(Thomas), Blizzard, Alessandra, Reid, Morgan(Smalley). Subs Bittner, Purrington, Harvey, Norburn, Banton.
John Sheridan has offered his condolences to Alex Bray following one of the shortest Argyle careers ever. He drew comparisons with previous injuries and said that he is still looking for new additions to the squad. Sheridan: "I'm disappointed for Alex more than anything else," said John. "I thought he came on and looked bright. Since the day he came in he looked bright in training. It's a crying shame. I've spoken to Alex and told him to stay positive. He'll get the best treatment from Swansea. The lads were gutted for him. I know he was a new player to us, but he was a nice kid and settled in well from day one. It's just of them unfortunate things. I remember Jamie Lowry doing it at Chesterfield when he was my best player. I probably would have ended up selling him for five hundred grand. He did it in the last minute of a practise match on a Friday with no-one near him, a bit like Alex the other day.
"It's an injury that surgeons now can get round. Years ago your career could be at a standstill. There's lots of players that have come back. Shearer is a prime example, and Phil Jagielka has done it and is playing at the top level still. If you get the right treatment you can come back stronger.
"At this moment in timer everyone is fit and fighting for places. Deane Smalley is looking strong and Marvin Morgan is looking well again. I've mentioned that a right sided winger was the priority, so after Alex's injury I feel as though I need to bring someone in. We need one or two players to give us a bit of strength in depth."
Peter Hartley has sung the praises of Argyle's new defensive coach Paul Wotton. Wotton is new into the coaching side of football but Hartley says that he has taken to it very well: "It's so far so good. I have got to give a lot of credit to Paul Wotton, who is putting so many hours into it. "The gaffer has given him a job this season, to look after our back four, and he has been different class with us. We are watching videos on all opponents and on ourselves, and he's putting on sessions on how we can improve. I think we are reaping our rewards at the minute, but we can't take our eye off the ball. We are only six games into a season. He knows what it's all about. He has won things here. He's good because he keeps your feet on the ground. We have done so many things well as a defence, and as a team, but he always shows you where you can improve. It really keeps you on your toes. It's a good thing to have."
Alex Bray has declared himself devastated following the news that he will be out of action for several months due to his ACL injury that was revealed by a scan this week. He did, however, have warm words for Plymouth Argyle and the way the club treated him during his short spell with the greens. Bray: "I'm devastated. I just want to say even though I was only in Plymouth for a week the whole club and fans made me feel welcome. I hope to return to Plymouth one day."
Alex Bray has been delivered devastating news following a scan into the injury that he picked up in the match against Luton on Saturday. Bray, who joined Argyle on deadline day, had an eventful debut involving a booking and being involved in Argyle's only goal of the game. He also however picked up an injury which was today revealed to be a rupture to the Anterior Ligament which has ruled him out of action for 6 months. The winger will see a surgeon on Thursday and is expected to undergo surgery next week.
An Argyle eleven today lost 3-0 against a Yeovil Town eleven at Huish Park in a behind closed doors game. The team line-up was not specified.
John Sheridan has said that Argyle are deserving of their 1-0 win against Luton Town- he stated that it was a good performance from both an attacking and defensive point of view and that the victory could act as a springboard for the greens in their upcoming League Two matches. Sheridan said: "It was nip and tuck in the first half, but I'd like to concentrate on the second-half performance it was 0-0 and we took the game to them a little bit more. We looked solid and we caused them problems. "I am very pleased to keep a clean sheet and come and win 1-0. It was a tough game. Luton are a good team. They move the ball quickly; you could see that in the first half. You are going to come under the cosh when you are away from home the home team is usually going to bring the game to you but I said told the players: 'Stay solid, help each other'. We got organised because Luton do pass the ball and have one or two players up front who get into areas and give you problems.
"The second-half performance was really good. We got them on the back foot a little bit more and moved the ball a little bit quicker. You get the goal and you get something to hang on to, and I thought we saw the game out really well. It was a team performance. We had one or two opportunities to score other goals and didn't take them but I won't grumble we came; we kept a clean sheet; and we won the game; three points is the most important thing. Hopefully, it will get us on a little run two games, six points, and now we've got a tough game against one of the teams that is doing really well this season, Morecambe. I want us up there and competing. There's no way I'll be getting carried away and I'll make sure my players won't get carried away. We'll try and carry on and win as many games as possible and get us in a healthy position."
The manager also made a particular effort to sing the praises of particular praises, speaking first about the matchwinner Dominic Blizzard and then about his two full-backs: "It was great composure and great feet, but he has got that in his game and I'm really pleased it was him who got the winning goal. He has missed a lot of football through injury and, hopefully, this will give him a boost. He's a really good player when he's fully fit, and he hasn't been that since he has been at the club.
"I thought my full-backs played really well today. No-one ever mentions Kelvin or Carl McHugh. Carl was getting a bit of stick, and people were telling me this, that and the other about Kelvin last week. But I just worry about my team. That's all I'm bothered about."
Alex Bray has returned to Swansea City in order to undertake a scan following the injury he picked up in yesterday's match. Sheridan gave his condolences to the youngster and gave his hopes for a positive outcome, saying: It's a crying shame for the kid. Obviously it was his first game for us, and I thought he was really bright. It was innocuous I think he probably slipped or something. I don't really know. Hopefully, he's okay and we'll look after him as best we can. The introduction of Alex was probably our spark. He came on and had a few little runs and got us going."
The goalscorer Dominic Blizzard himself has had his say on his own performance. He agreed with Sheridan's assessment that his fitness has been a problem throughout his time at the club and hopes that this could be the start of a new era with Argyle. Blizzard: "I came back for pre-season in probably the best shape I've ever been in but I got a tear in my quad and this is the first game in about four months. I'm just delighted for the win, to be honest. I've been working really hard with John Harbin and Paul Atkinson. It's been really difficult coming back from injury when you felt so positive for pre-season but I'm happy because I've put a lot of work into getting myself back on the pitch. It's an important year, so it's been really, really difficult for me, but everyone's been really good with me. They haven't thrown me back in and have supported me very well. It's probably the most difficult thing about being a professional footballer, being out injured, but you have to focus and work on being fit. I'm just thankful I'm back and feeling good.
"I'm working hard and I've still got a lot of work to do to catch up on my fitness. Hopefully, I'll knock out some of the rustiness I feel I've got, and kick on. Last season, I struggled with a few injuries which knocked me back a little bit and just never really got going. I'd play a few games, and then have an injury. I was tiring quite a bit towards the end today but I'll be stronger next week for the 90 minutes today. This a big season for the club and for everyone, and especially myself, and I think we've got a good chance of being up and around the top of the league."
Argyle continued their winning run with a 1-0 victory at Luton Town which was seen by the nation via the Sky TV cameras. Dominic Blizzard was the surprise introduction for Argyle in the match which kicked off at 12.15 but his selection was justified when he scored the game's winning goal on the 68th minute with a fine strike. Alex Bray was Argyle's first substitute but was shortly subbed back off for Deane Smalley when he suffered an injury. Reuben Reid was awarded the official man of the match award by Sky TV. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, McHugh, O'Connor, Cox, Blizzard, Alessandra, Reid, Banton(Bray (Smalley)). Subs: Bittner, Purrington, Harvey, Thomas, Norburn.
The greens have been drawn at home in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. They will play the winners of the Newport/Swindon match in the first round- Argyle received a bye from that stage of the competition. The match will be played at Home Park in the week commencing October the 6th.
Argyle will be away to Gillingham in the first qualifying round of the u-21 Premier League Cup. The southern section tie will be played at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday, September 23, with a 1pm kick-off.
Argyle schoolboy Daniel Rooney has been called up by Northern Ireland for the UEFA u-17 Championship Qualifying round mini-tournament. The tournament is being held in Slovenia between September 16-25, with Northern Ireland due to play matches against Portugal, Turkey and Slovenia on September 19, 21 and 24 respectively.
Ahead of Argyle's visit to Kenilworth Road, John Sheridan has revealed his excitement at the signing of Alex Bray. Bray was a second half substitute when Swansea beat Argyle 4-0 in a pre-season game at Home Park in July. "Straight after the game we asked about his availability," said Sheridan. "Alan Curtis (Swansea's first team coach) kept us informed of his situation. It has been going on since then."
With an amusingly-titled article called Greens on Screen, Argyle's official website has described the motivation that will be provided by the TV cameras at Luton tomorrow, which will be televised live on Sky at 12.15pm. John Sheridan said: "I think it is exciting for the players, obviously, it is always nice for people to see you play. I think it will be a good game; Luton are a good team and they have just come up after a good season last year. So the game being on telly gives and extra incentive for the people watching, but we will just take it as another game. It is a game we are going to try and win after a good result in Saturday [Southend] and we will go into the game with confidence, but it will be a tough game."
Luke McCormick is looking forward to being re-united with his former Plymouth Argyle teammate Paul Connolly when the greens face Luton Town on Saturday. McCormick and Connolly were already firm friends by the time they both made their debut in the same match back in 2000 and went on to play together 110 times further in a green shirt over the next 10 years- discounting individual performances where the other did not play. McCormick said this about his old teammate: "Paul's one of my best friends. I'm looking forward to coming up against him. I'm sure he'll be out on Saturday to play as well as he can against one of his old clubs, a club that he's still got a bit of a soft spot for. He spent a lot of time here and, like myself, he's made friends with a lot of Plymouth people away from football. So he keeps in contact with them and, when he can, he pops back to see them. I'll see him afterwards and we'll shake hands and all that but, during the game, it's about winning the game he's any other player.
"I met him from the train station when he turned up on trial, so I was the first person he saw when he stepped off the train at Plymouth. We instantly hit it off and have become the best of friends. He moved on; I've watched his career and he has done well. He's at the stage now where he's just trying to get himself fit, back playing games, and enjoying his football again. I think Luton is a good place for him to be able to do that. He's had a good career, and rightly so because he's a good player he showed that at his time here. It's a shame we couldn't hold on to him but players seem to come and go these days and he followed a path that he thought was right and I think it probably was right because he played for some good clubs.
"In the two promotions which I've been involved in, we adopted rivals from the London area. We seemed to go about our business quietly and let our football do the talking while the other lot shouted their mouths off a little bit. I think it was one for the fans, to be honest; I think they enjoyed it. I'm sure those supporters who were supporting us those years ago will be looking forward to the game."
Alex Bray has given his reasons for choosing to join Plymouth Argyle on a loan spell from Swansea. The Welshman explained how the move first came about and then gave praise to the size of the club and the fanbase. Bray: "When I played against Plymouth in pre-season I saw it was a great stadium and a great crowd. I want to start building my career up and this is the perfect place to be. It was one of my strongest games in pre-season. The gaffer Garry Monk trusted me and I thought I did him well really.I came on and got an assist, and I thought I looked lively, to be honest. It was quite a successful pre-season for me, and it has paid off because I'm here now. If I hadn't played against Plymouth, I wouldn't be here, so I have got to thank the gaffer Monk for giving me the opportunity. I only found out probably a week ago that Plymouth were interested, but apparently he Sheridan has been trying to pursue me since the game. It's nice to go to a club where the manager actually really does want you to play.
"For a League Two team, the stadium is class. You could play in the Championship with that, and I thought it was just the perfect place to be at. To be honest, I wouldn't mind even being on the bench because I have just come in and I'm getting used to it all. But if I start, I start, and I will take my chance. You can see the Plymouth fans have greeted me well. It's a good fanbase, and that's one of the reasons why I came here as well. I have had some brilliant messages. I'm not used to that really, but it's nice to see."
Argyle will play Exmouth Town in the second round of the Edenvale Turf Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup. The game will be played at Exmouth's King George V Ground on Tuesday October the 28th at 7.45pm.
An Argyle development side beat a similar Torquay United side 4-1 today in a friendly match at Home Park. Marvin Morgan, Lee Cox, Dominic Blizzard netted for the Pilgrims in addition to an own goal. Argyle: Bittner, Allen, Bentley, Sargent(Moxham), Purrington, Cox(Miller), Blizzard(Steer), Norburn(Wotton), Harvey(Vincent), Morgan(Smalley), Thomas(Rooney). Subs: Hannah.
Alex Bray cannot wait to get started at Argyle following his loan move from Swansea City on transfer deadline day yesterday. The young Welsh winger spoke about Argyle's pedigree as a club and then about himself as a player. Bray: "I think it's a great pitch, a great stadium to be honest. It's one of the best in the league and I can't wait to get going. This club is great and I want to make it what it was. I found out a couple of days ago that Argyle were interested, and then I got a 'phone call in the morning that I'm going to Plymouth. I couldn't wait. In football, that's what you're expected to do go to different clubs. You are never going to stay at a club for, say, more than five years. It's just football.
"I like to think I'm attack-minded; like to beat players, running with the ball; I can pass and move. I'm quite quick, so, hopefully, in this league, I can be quite dangerous on the counter-attack, especially. I played for the Under-19s in the Euros in the summer, against Belgium, Portugal and Greece. We came second in the table, so we did well. I was on standby for the Wales Under-21s, as well. The games are next week, but I think I'd rather be here."
Argyle confirmed the deadline day signing of winger Alex Bray on a loan from Swansea until the 10th of January. Bray played against the Pilgrims in Swansea's 4-0 pre-season victory over Argyle and assisted Gylfi Sigurdsson's first goal for the away side. Bray will be available for both league and cup matches and he is a youth level international for Wales. John Sheridan particularly praised his width and directness, saying that he expects the youngster to go straight into first team contention. Sheridan said: "He's a player I've liked and I've asked the question about his availability since that game. He's young and he looked really bright when he came on in that game, and one or two people tell me really good things about him. He's in a position that I've been looking for a right-sided player, who's very good at going forward and attacking. He'll come in and fit into the way we want to play, and that's why I brought him in. I like young players who are keen to go out and play football and Alex is really keen to come and try to get some football under his belt. He's attack-minded, and I want him to be attack-minded. Wingers nowadays have a defensive role but I think he's just got that thing in his game where he wants to take a full-back on. I like those players who can get you 20-30 yards up the pitch quickly. Directness and willingness to get at his full-back - that's what I really like about him.
"It's a bit of a change for him, coming to Plymouth; the physical side and so on. He's playing at Swansea one of the best footballing teams in the Premier League so it will be a little bit different for him, but it will do him the world of good and I obviously appreciate Swansea letting us have him. He'll get a couple of days under his belt before we travel and he'll be involved. I have brought him in to be involved in the first team. It's always difficult, no matter who you are, when you go to a new place and you don't know anyone. But we've got a good group and good dressing-room and I'm sure they will look after him."
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