Talking The Walk
“BIG Mouth” Paul Wotton knows that talking the talk without walking the walk is not an option for him and his team-mates in this weekend’s Devon Expressway Derby at Exeter.The 36-year-old born, bred and fiercely proud Plymothian has recently been held up by manager John Sheridan as a much-needed example of someone who organises, cajoles and exhorts his fellow Pilgrims during games.
If that quality is only required once this season, it will be on Saturday at St James Park.
“It’s important in any game, at any level,” said Wottsy, “even under-10 level. It’s something that’s natural to me. It’s not something I think about. I’ve always been the same.
“It’s going to be hostile. I wouldn’t say it’s an intimidating place to go, but you have got to embrace the atmosphere.
“It’s going to be loud at certain stages, so I suppose having a big mouth will help.”
However, the former skipper, who is now just 22 games shy of 500 appearances for his hometown club, rejects the assumption that the match is more important to him than any other Pilgrim.
He said: “Because I’m from Plymouth, people think it means more to me than to the other players, but we’re all professional footballers and they are all fully aware of what it means to the club and the fans. And the city, as well.
“I’m sure it’s the biggest game of the season to lots of people. They are great occasions and it’s the one the fans look for straight away.
“So we’re under no illusions that they are expecting us to go there and put on a good performance.”
Argyle’s stuttering start to the campaign has worried some of those supporters, but there are no concerns inside the dressing-room.
“It’s not an issue for me, at all, and it’s not an issue for the lads, either,” said Paul. “There are highs and lows all the way through the season, and we have only just started the season
“I can’t remember being out of the bottom three [since I’ve been back] and we were a game away from the Conference [last season]. There are lots of positives. The club is on an upwards curve and Saturday is another step on that curve.”
Neither is he too concerned about Saturday’s opponents.
He said: “You can get caught up thinking too much about the opposition: if you don’t go and perform, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against – it’s about what we do on the day.
“The lads who are fortunate enough to be picked to play will have a great game on their hands, that’s for sure.”