Curtis NELSON ©

WHEN the Argyle team-sheet for the home game against Cheltenham Town was revealed... included a pleasant surprise in the starting 11. A surprise, it turned out, which led to a couple of other surprises. 

Curtis Nelson had not featured in an Argyle line-up since the 0-0 draw with Accrington Stanley on January 26 until he was named as a starter for this fixture against the Robins, so it was nice to see his return. 

As it would turn out, he would play the 90 minutes in the centre of Argyle’s midfield, a surprise given that the bulk of his appearances in green have been at centre-back, with occasional cameos at right-back. 

Even more surprisingly, he would complete the game with a particular armband on. For the teamsheet had read: “Curtis NELSON ©”. Curtis became the youngest captain in Plymouth Argyle history, and the 2-0 scoreline vindicated manager John Sheridan for making such a bold decision. 

John said: “I don’t have to give Wotton the armband; I don’t have to give Branston the armband. I know they are talkers anyway.”

“It was a bit of leadership, and hopefully he’ll respond and it will give him a bit of belief. He’ll probably think I think something of him – which I do. 

“He’s been out a while injured and he’s come back into midfield. I thought I’d throw him in there and he looked a bit rusty; it’s a difficult position to play in, but I thought him and Youngy [Luke Young] did well. They did what they had to do. 

“I asked him if he’d played in midfield and he said 'yes'. I thought,with his energy, it won’t be a problem to him. He’s not a passer and he’s not going to spray it around, but he could be a bit of a destroyer, to upset and do the ugly things for us. 

“I’m not frightened of throwing someone in. If he’s a centre-half and people don’t think he can play there, as long as I think he can play there, it doesn’t bother me. It went well today, and it’s alright because we won 2-0.”