ARGYLE step up their pre-season preparations on Saturday, when Birmingham City visit Home Park for the first of a double-header that sees Preston North End come to town on Wednesday.The Pilgrims completed a satisfying quartet of away matches against Westcountry lower-league opponents on Tuesday, when they beat Tiverton 2-1 at Ladysmead.
Championship side Birmingham and League 1 Preston are, of course, a different prospect.
Manager Carl Fletcher said: “When you play the local sides from lower divisions, a lot of it is about attitude and professionalism and I have been very pleased with the way the guys have played.
“Sometimes you can go into those games and maybe take your foot off the gas but, all in all, generally, we’ve been okay.
“It’s a different kind of test when you play higher opposition.
“We’re looking forward to the game. It’s great that Birmingham are coming down. Hopefully, we can go out there and get out of it what we want to.”
Midfielder Ladjie Soukouna is a doubtful starter for Argyle, having damaged a knee against Tiverton.
“It’s an impact injury so we’ll monitor it over the next couple of days and see how he gets on,” said Fletch.
“It might one that settles down quickly, or it might be a little bit longer. We’ll see.”
If he does not make it, Ladjie will join new signing Jamie Lowry on the sideline, the former Chesterfield man having been ruled out for three months following an ankle ligament injury.
“It’s important we make sure he gets properly healed and we make sure that, both mentally and physically, he’s all okay – sometimes it’s tough when you’re injured and you are spending a lot of hours in the gym with the physio.
“It’s disappointing. He’s a nice, honest lad who gets on with things.
"He’s fitted in well with the rest of the squad. He’s very professional and obviously wants to get back as quickly as possible.”
Admission prices for both pre-season games at Home Park are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Club members who buy a ticket for both the Birmingham and Preston friendlies will only be charged half-price for one of the games.
...that ALL of our memberships include discount in the Argyle Superstore.