TORQUAY United deservedly go into Saturday’s Devon derby as favourites, according to Argyle manager Carl Fletcher.Unpalatable as that historical anomaly might be to the Green Army, it is impossible to argue with that view.
The Gulls beat Argyle home and away last season for only the second time ever on their way to finishing pretty well the entire length of npower League 2 above the Pilgrims.
They are undefeated this season, and have scored six goals in a draw and a win at Plainmoor.
“Torquay have got a good side and we go into the game as underdogs,” said Fletch.
“That’s the way it is. They did really well, got to the play-offs. Rightly so.
“They had a good season with some good players, and have got some good players again this year.”
Derbies, of course, supposed be a great leveller, but, at the same time, a notch above your average league encounter. With Exeter City also in League 2, the three Devon professional teams will meet each other for the first time in 11 seasons.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Fletch. “We’re all excited. It’s great for the area.
“The main thing for us is to concentrate on what we do. There is a little mini-league with Exeter and Torquay but there are 20 other teams in there that are trying to be above us, too.
“It’s important we play the game, and not the occasion. Sometimes, with derbies, you can get sucked into the way the games go – frantic and hectic – but we’ve got some strong characters and some good experience.
“In this league, some days you are going to have to fight and battle and scrap, other days you can try to get the balls down and play well. I think both sides have got a mixture of that.
“It should be a great atmosphere. There’ll be a full house. Everyone’s really looking forward to it.
“They have got a new stand there, and we’ll have a great support behind us. “
Another difference for the Pilgrims is that, not only will they travel to an away match on the day of the game, but on the afternoon of the game, after a pre-match at Home Park.
“We’re looking forward to an away game that’s not over four hours away. It’ll take us about an hour to get there, which is a real bonus.
“It has given us the chance to make progress on things we need to, and improving on other things, and to make sure each and every one of us is given the best opportunity to put in a good performance on Saturday and try to get a good result.”