Don't Say The 'S' Word

ALTHOUGH it has probably been high in the consciousness of Argyle supporters...

...the Pilgrims’ FA Cup debacle at Stourbridge a year ago has not been mentioned in their dressing-room during the build-up to this season’s competition.

Carl Fletcher was player-manager when Argyle capitulated 2-0 to the Midlands side in a televised first-round replay less than a year ago; on Sunday, the cameras will again be out when the Pilgrims travel to Blue Square South Dorchester Town.

Fletch – who has, of course, lost the ‘player’ part of his title – has not used last season’s dismissal by the Evo-Stik League side as either a carrot or a stick in this week’s preparations.

“He doesn’t have to,” said centre-back Maxime Blanchard, who had yet to join the Pilgrims when they lost to Stourbridge.

“The players who were here remember it. I think it was one of the worst moments of the season last year.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game. We don’t need reminders like that. We just need to be positive, to work hard, and the result will come.”

Argyle go into the game after a disappointing performance which led to a 1-0 defeat at Rotherham, the second of two losses in a week, following a 2-1 reversal at Cheltenham. That double defeat came after three consecutive victories.

“The game before doesn’t matter,” said Max. “We just have to get on with it and try to make it good the weekend after.

“We were alright against Cheltenham. It was just a one-off against Rotherham.

“We weren’t too high, and still working hard, after the three wins in a row, and have still been doing the same after two defeats in a row.

“It doesn’t change anything - whether we win or lose, we work hard on the training pitch.”

That hard work may well be needed if Argyle are to overcome Dorchester and make progress towards the dream of a big third-round game.

“We know upsets happen every year and we know it’s going to be a hard game,” said Max. “Dorchester are going to be on it; they are going to be really good, maybe even better than usual, and we have to cope with it.

“There is the possibility, in a few games, to play a massive club and try to go as far as we can, and playing against a Premier League club, or a Championship club, is a good thing to do.”