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THE DAILY DIARY

A Round-up of Argyle News

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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.

Wednesday 29th September 2021

Lowe has re stated his happiness with a great start to the season, with Argyle picking up 19 points from their 10 games in August and September. The manager said: "To have 19 points from 10 games is really pleasing, it's a good start but now we can sit down an assess the next ten," Ryan said after the match. I would have been a lot more pleased with an extra two points, but I can't grumble with the start we've had. We kept pushing right to the end and it wasn't for the want of trying. They were tough to break down. We adjusted well to going behind early. We got back into it and were on the front foot. We have to give Crewe a little bit of credit, especially the first half. They put their bodies on the line and we had a lot of shots blocked. We had 47 penalty box entries and if we were just a little bit more clinical, we could have won it. They are honest lads, and they work their socks off. The medical team have looked after them as some of them are a little bit fatigued, but they have been giving us everything. The fans can see that and it pleases me. We will go again on Saturday and try and get the points."

28th

Argyle had a somewhat frustrating draw against relegation fighting Crewe, but extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches on a night when the club paid tribute to the effort and endeavours of the NHS over the past 18 months. The visitors took a very early lead but Argyle pressed away and eventually found an equaliser from (who else but) Ryan Hardie. The game ended 1-1. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson (Galloway), Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton, Edwards, Camara, Broom, Grant (Garrick), Jephcott (Law), Hardie (Agard). Subs: Burton, Randell, G Cooper.

26th

Whilst Ryan Lowe was not crazy about Argyle's performance, he was delighted with the perseverance as they beat Doncaster 2-1. He said of his team: "I think there was great character shown and resilience. It wasn't the greatest performance to be fair, they caught us with a counter for their goal. We're not always going to have it our own way and we know that, but I am delighted with the team today. We looked a little bit laboured, and I said at half time we had to raise it. I get it, the games have been coming thick and fast and fair play to Doncaster they came with a game plan and nearly executed it.

"I felt today was a fans win I must say because they dragged us through it. We weren't quite right today but they got us through it. They're coming out in their numbers, and they are certainly helping us. We can't get too carried away, we can't get too high or too low. We found a way to win, and the resilience and the character was different class. We are a good team and when you don't play particularly well in games, it is a good sign when you do go on and win. We don't want to just be a good team because there are a lot of good teams in this league. We want to be an excellent team."

Conor Grant mentioned his surprise at finding himself the man to take Argyle's matchwinning penalty, after two substitutions put him in the hotseat. Grant mentioned of that winning feeling: "I had a word with the manager and Steven Schumacher earlier in the season and basically when neither Ryan and Jeps are on the pitch, I would be the next one in line. I was looking around and hadn't realised Ryan had gone off, so when I realised he had, I thought 'sound' it's me."

"I don't think I have taken one on a professional game before. I was just trying to focus on where I was going to put it and I'm just glad it went in. It wasn't an easy game for us, and we had to work really hard for it. Three points is three points and that's the main thing. We just wanted to continue the form, after Tuesday we were all a little bit deflated but today was a bit of retribution for that I think. Today shows our character, we were fighting for each other and the fans. We need to keep doing that going into Tuesday that's for sure."

25th

Argyle have returned to winning ways in fine fashion with a dramatic 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers. The league's bottom placed side went ahead surprisingly, midway into the second half but two Argyle penalties secured the victory. Ryan Broom was barged for the first and Luke Jephcott duly converted. The welsh striker was subbed off by the last minute of the game but Conor Grant deputised superbly when Keiran Agard was pulled to the ground. The unbeaten run goes on. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Galloway (Gillesphey), Houghton, Edwards, Camara, Broom, Grant, Jephcott(Agard), Hardie(Garrick). Subs: Burton, Tomlinson, Law, Randell.

23rd

Ryan Hardie has spoken of a close personal friendship with Luke Jephcott which only compliments their cohesion on the pitch, the pair netting 11 goals between them already. Hardie said: "We know each other inside out; we know each other's personalities and each other's strengths and weaknesses in the game.It massively helps that we are good mates off the pitch, we do a few activities outside of football together and were always laughing and joking about it. It's important to have this relationship because when I didn't slip him in against Sheffield Wednesday that could have caused a bit of friction between us if we didn't get along."

"We do always want the best for each other, sometimes we get angry, but we get over it very quickly and move on. We've had a bit more freedom where Luke can come to feet and receive the ball a bit easier and then that leaves more room for me. The gaffer has given us that freedom this year and it's worked quite well. He's looking really sharp and we've both started the season really well and long may that continue."

Argyle's new head of Fitness and Conditioning, Elliot Turner, has spoken of his excitement of starting his new role. The 27-year-old has joined the Pilgrims from National League side Solihull Moors and cannot wait to implement his ideas with the squad. He said: "I am really looking forward to being part of the club and looking forward to getting going and starting the job. John Lucas has been here for a couple of years and has done an amazing job. You don't want to change stuff too soon but at the same time you want to try and make it your own. The philosophy here has to be recovery there is a lot of travel. I think it's the best thing for a manager to keep the same eleven on the pitch all the time. I then have to build a robust squad to be able to supply that and create an 85% availability within the squad. If the gaffer can have eight out of eleven players each week that's a good thing that's what my job is."

"From a young age I have been interested in it. Until I was 16, I was in the Wolves academy, and I first started to really understand the conditioning side of things, it was something new at the time. It was something that was really interesting for me. I finished playing when I was 21 but I think if I'd had a long career, I would have gone into this anyway. Obviously I came into it a little bit sooner than I would have wanted but I am happy with that."

22nd

Ryan Lowe expressed pride in his Argyle side after their fighting 2-2 draw at Fratton Park, their second in two season. He said, philosophically: "I am proud of every single one of those boys in there, every one of them, to a man, was fantastic. We played, we penetrated. We played through the thirds, we played with calmness. Today we were unlucky, their goal right at the end, but look, that's football. Everything we asked them to do, they did. Portsmouth threw the kitchen sink at us, didn't they? On Saturday, AFC Wimbledon did it as well. It was a great spectacle for League One, I thought we were fantastic. We silenced the crowd a little and scored two fantastic goals.

"It's four points from two away games but we're greedy aren't we, we want six. They matched us up which is something they haven't done all season, that is a compliment to us and what we are trying to do."

Ryan Hardie echoed his managers words, adding: "Before the game, if you said we'd come here and get a point off the back of Saturday's performance and result, I think it's a good point and another point on the board, but I think it was gutting the way it ended. We had three in our hands and a little bit of lack of concentration gave them a free header in the box and they put it away. It was an intense game. I think you've got to be concentrating for every minute of the game, especially in midfield. It was very tough up against Marcus Harness, and the two boys in front of me were man-marked as well, so it was tough to get on the ball, but I think we really dug in and did the dirty stuff well. They've come and matched us up which is a real compliment to us I think, gone high press because they know we dangerous we are. It was a tough start, they scored early, so I think to come back into the game like we did and just to be so close is gutting."

"It depends, as well, on Saturday. If we can get a win then it's a very good week. Two tough games away from home, but we've picked up four points. Fratton Park is always a tough place to come and I think it was a perfect game plan away from home - we were strong, we were resolute, and we countered well. There are so many positives to take from everyone throughout the whole team, in both games, it's been two very good performances away from home. We know it's not always going to be easy but hopefully now we've got a couple of home games that we can have a little bit more control, hopefully get a couple of wins and push forward. I'm looking forward to those."

Argyle have announced the departure of Head of Fitness and Conditioning, John Lucas. Lucas leaves after two years with the greens to take up a post at Salford City, nearer to his roots in the North West. Ryan Lowe said of his association with Lucas: "John has been an important member of my staff at Argyle, and I have nothing but good things to say about him. An opportunity came up for him closer to home, and we didn't feel it was right to stand in his way. We thank him for his work, and wish him nothing but the best for the future. I would like to express my thanks to everyone associated with Argyle for making my time at Home Park an unforgettable experience. It was a very difficult decision to decide to move on to something new, and that's testament to my relationship with the gaffer, the team, the staff, and everyone at the club. I have no doubt the club will continue to make progress on and off the field, and I am grateful to have been a part of it and experience the highs of promotion."

21st

Argyle were just seconds away from going top of League One before a gutting last gasp Portsmouth equaliser ensured the spoils were shared, in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Fratton Park. Pompey went a goal up early on via direct free kick and it stayed that way until half-time. Two Ryan Hardie goals, fine finishes from Panutche Camara assists, turned the match in Argyle's favour. It looked set to be a famous win but the Pompey goal deep into stoppage time denied the win. Argyle however remain in the play-off zone with the unbeaten run at 7 games. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Galloway, Houghton, Camara, Broom (Law), Grant, Jephcott (Agard), Hardie (Gsrrick). Subs: Burton, Tomlinson, Gillesphey, Randell.

19th

Ryan Lowe has once again praised the attitude of his players after the 1-0 win over Wimbledon. He assessed the game by saying: We rode it a little bit in the first 20 minutes. "They're a good team, we know that. I thought we were excellent in our defending. This is a really tough place to come, not many teams will come here and do well as we have seen so far. They're a threat from set pieces, they're a threat from open play. We gave the lads the game plan all week and I think we nullified them really. I thought our lads were excellent from front to back. We can still do better with the ball but we scored a fantastic goal and go away from the game with the points."

"There are still a lot of games left and we have to keep grounded. We have to keep doing the right things. I think we still have more in the tank. We played well today but we can play better and that's what we'll try and do."

Mike Cooper expressed his pleasure at yet another clean sheet, saying: "To get through the first 15 minutes is quite vital because they were piling the pressure on us. In the second half we came out well, started really fast and Ryan Hardie took his chance. We were really composed and really resolute and saw the game out. To come here, be resolute and grind out a 1-0 is perfect. In a weird way, everyone wants to get a touch of the ball early on just to settle yourself into the game, but it was a bit of a different game today. They had a few more chances on target that a few other teams haven't done, so it's nice to come away with a clean sheet again. It shows the work we've been putting in on the training ground, everything from pre-season up until now is starting to come through.

"We know that we're not going to keep clean sheets every game, obviously that's the aim, so as long as we try to do that, I'm sure we're going to keep banking them in. I think the changes from last season, with Covid, are everyone is in the changing rooms and spending a lot more time together, the quality has gone up which is pretty evident to see on the pitch and it's a real togetherness. I think you can see that as well through our performances but we're going to keep taking each game in our stride. I'm looking forward to Portsmouth on Tuesday night, the stadium is going to be rocking which is what we've missed and what we're going to love. We know we're going to travel well as well, our fans are going to be top class again, so it's another one to look forward to."

Finally, Ryan Hardie reflected on another goal and an electric start to the season for both himself and Argyle. The Scotsman said: "The first 20 minutes, we've never started anything like we should've. We knew Wimbledon would come at us fast; we'd been warned about it, I think we were surprised ourselves with how quick they did come out. After that we got a bit more of a hold on the game, we started to pass the ball, started to impose our style again so you could say it was professional because we did have to dig deep and find it within ourselves to find a way to win. We dug in, and we stood strong together to make sure that we kept that back door shut. If the defenders can keep it shut, we've always got a chance and luckily enough we managed to get a chance and it was nice to put it away. It was a massive win. It feels as good, if not better than the Sheffield Wednesday win. The gaffer asked for a win last night, we got him cake, but he said, 'the only thing that I want is three points tomorrow for my birthday' so I'm glad we delivered it for him. When I went through, I was ready to hit it first time. Then when they dive in to block the shot, which they have to if I'm able to shoot, then I had the opportunity to drop back inside and have a pass into an empty net. Football is all about confidence. Last season, for whatever reason, I never felt that confident, but I've got off to a really good start this season.

"I scored quite a few in pre-season and that was my sixth on Saturday, so it does equal last season's goal tally, but I just want to keep it going. Every week I know I'm getting chances and the ball's being played in the right area for me so if I get a couple of chances in a game, I'm quite confident I will score one or two of them."

18th

After a fluent win against Sheffield Wednesday, Argyle showed that they knew how to win ugly with a hard fought 1-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon. Ryan Lowe got the perfect birthday present as Ryan Hardie slotted home with a precisely executed finish, early in the second half. Argyle saw out the win well, continuing the fine start to the season. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Galloway, Houghton, Garrick, Camara, Broom, Grant (Law), Jephcott(Agard), Hardie. Subs: Burton, Tomlinson, Gillesphey, Randell, Shirley.

16th

Dan Scarr is greatly enjoying his first season as an Argyle player, following their third clean sheet of the season and Scarr's first goal. The midlander also spoke warmly about moving to the South West. He said: "To get the big crowds in and to play in games like Saturday are some of the reasons why I came down here. We just need to stay grounded and work hard but it's nice to get the recognition. I still feel we have more to give, and I try to take every game as it comes. There weren't really any doubts at all," he said on the move to the South West. "I hadn't really been away from home, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. There aren't really any distractions, you can just go and play your football. When something feels right for you everything falls into place you have to go for it and so far that's seems to be the case here."

"My mum and dad, as soon as they heard it was going to be a move here, they bought a caravan in Bigbury. Everything is quite easy, and they come to every home game now as well. We all work incredibly hard, and we do a lot with the coaches on the defensive work. Our job is to keep clean sheets and keep the opposition out and I feel we have done alright so far. There is competition there and we gee eachother on to do well. If someone does something good in training, even if they're on the other team, we'll always shout out and say, 'well done.' We meet up and go for food, go for a coffee down by the water, it's great. We are always spurring eachother on and wanting the best for each other. There are some really experienced players here and the coaches here are really good, so I just want to keep learning and try to get better myself. You can learn off everyone in the team. We get on really well off the pitch, we are very pally and it's such a good atmosphere."

14th

Argyle youngsters Finley Craske and Ethan Mitchell are heading out on work experience to continue their football development. The duo are in their third year of scholarship at the Argyle Academy, following an extension granted after a covid-impacted last season. They will be heading out to Southern League sides Tiverton Town and Plymouth Parkway respectively.

13th

Argyle have given an update on the latest developments in partnership with the NHS. From Friday 1st October, a new agreement has been struck with the NHS to allow them to continue to operate within the club's facilities, with a few changes made to the format of the vaccination centre. All events booked at Home Park Stadium will continue to go ahead as planned. However, on dates where there are no events booked at the stadium, the NHS will use the venue to support the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme.

12th

Ryan Lowe praised the green army who turned up in great numbers as the decisive factor in Argyle's 3-0 win against Wednesday. He described the noise at Home Park as 'electric'. Lowe said: "Today felt like I was at a Premier League game, I couldn't hear my self and I've lost my voice. When we've got our numbers like this, the place is going to be electric. The performance of the lads today was fantastic. We gave them a game plan and they've gone an executed it spot on. We have put on a performance today; this place was bouncing. The excitement around the game today helped us. Sheffield Wednesday are a massive club. I know, I played there, I know what it means. It was a fantastic performance, but we need to keep these performances up, we need to be consistent. We've got to keep working and putting games plans together and if they can perform like they did today we'll win a lot of points. We were keeping things alive and creating good chances, Joe scored a great goal. Scarrsy's goal from a set play was great and we've been working on them on the training ground. The one at the end epitomised it for me, I was pleased for Lawsy and we've been asking him to do more in the final third. We have to be careful, and I know I'm being boring aren't I? But this is a tough league and some of the games will be very tough. The expectations will go through the roof, but we have to keep grounded and keep them down. AFC Wimbledon will be another tough one. This one is gone now, it's three points in the bag now and we move on."

Of his first professional goal, Ryan Law added: "As a wing back our job is to score too, with the strikers obviously. So just getting into those positions just gives me a better chance of scoring so any chance I have got in there I have to take it and hopefully score. I didn't see it hit the back of the net to be honest, when it went past the 'keeper, I was off. Everyone is buzzing at the moment, everyone wants to win, it's just a good place to be. Everyone was class today, Coops made some great saves, the defence was class, midfielders the strikers all of them were unbelievable today."

Finally, Joe Edwards described the euphoria of his overhead kick goal as well as his pride in his teammates after the excellent win, saying: "I've never scored one like that before, it was amazing. The atmosphere at the start was electric, I thought we replicated that in the way we started, the intensity we started with was fantastic. It's just emotions that come out and you don't really know what you're doing half of the time. I think we spoke about it last year when we had that last minute winner against Lincoln and we said that if there was a crowd that day the roof would have come off. When you score a goal like that in a game like this with the crowd that was in, I felt like the roof did come off."

11th

The biggest Home Park crowd since January 1st 2020 was rewarded with a spectacular performance and result as Argyle dispatched much-fancied Sheffield Wednesday 3-0. The greens took the lead with a wonderful bicycle kick by captain Joe Edwards and Dan Scarr opened his Argyle account shortly before half-time after a Conor Grant free-kick was lofted into the penalty area. Argyle saw the game out well in the second half and the cherry on the cake was Ryan Law's first professional goal. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gallloway, Houghton, Edwards (Garrick), Camara, Broom, Grant (Law), Jephcott (Agard), Hardie. Subs: Burton, Gillesphey, Mayor, Randell.

10th

Argyle have completed the signing of striker Kieran Agard on a short-term deal until January. The 31 year old free agent was most recently at Milton Keynes where he scored a creditable 50 goals in 166 games. He is the tenth player to join Argyle this summer and will wear the number 18 shirt.

9th

Conor Grant tipped Argyle to surprise doubters on Saturday when they face arguably the toughest test of the season yet, promotion favourites Sheffield Wednesday. The Argyle utility man said: "We have started off pretty well and I am quite pleased with the performances. We would have probably liked a couple more points on the board but I think we have started off positively. This is a huge game and one we are really looking forward to. It will hopefully be a big crowd against a good team, and it will be a real tough test for us. You want to play against the best players, and they have a lot of quality in their squad. But it's a chance for us to show what we can do - we can't go into the game being fearful. We are a together group everyone is on the right page, and we are playing with confidence, but I really think there is more to come from us as well which is good. These games are the best. It's why you play really, the crowd being back this year has been a big difference already and I can imagine that Saturday will be bouncing. I am really looking forward to it."

2nd

Argyle's League One trip to Portsmouth will now take place on Tuesday 21st September, with a 7.45pm kick-off. The fixture was initially scheduled to occur on the weekend of 4th September, before being rearranged to the following Monday for live Sky Sports coverage.

1st

Ryan Lowe said that his crop of young players have a lot to learn after their 2-0 loss to Newport in the Football League Trophy. That said, he expressed optimism about Argyle's young stars, especially record-breaking striker Freddie Issaka. Lowe assessed: "We wanted a little bit more. There were lads in there who are in and around the first team and we need to do better. They were playing against some kids themselves. We weren't a big enough goal threat tonight. We got into some pretty good areas and just need to be a bit more positive. I just felt we didn't compete enough against a Newport team that will always compete."

"I'm happy that Willo has got 90 minutes in the bag and Jordon Garrick has, Calum Burton has another game under his belt. I am also pleased for the youngsters making their debuts, but they need to get used to this first team football. I want them to get their heads down and work hard."

"It was a proud moment for Fred, his mum and his dad. We spoke to them last week regarding Fred. He's going along the right lines; he gets rave reviews, and we need to keep him grounded. When I said he would be a part of the squad tonight, he was over the moon. We have got a good group of youngsters there; they'll continue to keep learning that's for sure."

At 25, Callum Burton was one of the senior pros of the night. He said of the unusual experience: "To see so many youngsters getting their debuts and competing against a good League Two side is brilliant. At 25 you don't want to be one of the senior lads. You just have to encourage because, I remember my debut, it is nerve racking and sometimes you do get caught up in the adrenaline. We had some calming influences in there, we had Willo, Ollie, Rands and having them alongside you and praising you is only going to help them. I've loved it, coming to a club like this you want to play as many games as possible and help the club get to the next level. Since I've come in, Mike, Luke, that goalie group is such a good environment. We all just learn off each other. Me and Coops learn off Luke and were trying to drive each other on. Whoever is playing the other is just backing them up. I think that will only bring the best out of both of us."

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