ON the form-book, Argyle should beat Torquay United in Tuesday’s Devon Derby at Plainmoor and take their unbeaten run to eight games.However, as anyone who knows anything about football, or even football clichés, knows that the form-book has already been propelled with alacrity out of an unseasonably open fenestration.
Argyle are nine places and eight points above their nearest neighbours, with Gulls’ manager Alan Knill’s side occupying the higher of the two Sky Bet League 2 relegation places. Pilgrims’ manager believes that is a false position and that local rivalry will close the gap.
He said: “I know they are having a bit of a bad time but they have got players who, on their day, are good players for this division.
“I know Alan Knill well. He’ll be hurting and I know he’ll want to get a good result. He’s probably looking at this as a good game to get things back on track for them.
“I’ve played in derbies when the team I’ve played for was near the top of the league and the team we were playing has been near the bottom, and we’ve come unstuck. Derby games are totally different, for some reason. Usually, they are tight affairs and there is not much between the teams.”
Nevertheless, there is a feeling at Home Park that back-to-back victories over Lincoln and Dagenham & Redbridge have maybe been this season’s corner-turner.
“We’ll go there confident and try to get the three points we’re after,” said John. “We won’t change much. We’re playing with a bit of confidence; we’re unbeaten in seven games. If we’re not confident now, we never will be.
“We are playing with a bit of belief, and hopefully we can get a positive result which will take us up the table, but I expect a very tough game. It will be a battle, and we have got to be prepared for that. Everyone will be ready.”
Ready for Torquay, and ready for a crackling atmosphere.
John said: “When you are a player, you want to play in these type of games when the atmosphere is going to be good. Our fans will be noisy all game, I know that.
“Obviously, it’s a game we want to win because of where we are in the league and how we’re going; it would be good to keep the unbeaten run going,”