PAUL Wotton remains confident that Argyle have a “definite realistic chance of the play-offs” ahead of the Pilgrims’ Good Friday game against David Flitcroft’s in-form Bury side.Argyle currently sit ninth in Sky Bet League 2 following their 2-0 defeat against play-off rivals Oxford United. Yet, the Pilgrims still possess the firm belief that they can reach the play-offs as they remain four points behind seventh-placed Oxford with four games remaining.
Bury host Argyle at Gigg Lane after an incredible run of momentum which has seen them grab 11 points from their last 15, a feat only currently being surpassed by Mansfield Town.
The Shakers have lost only three times at home throughout the season – to Torquay United, Chesterfield and Morecambe. Furthermore, they have earned 11 home draws, more than any other side in League 2, further reinforcing the difficulty Argyle face in earning all three points.
Wottsy acknowledged that playing at Bury will be extremely tricky, but needs must. He said: “It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re in a similar situation as we were after the Burton game – we had to go to Newport and get a win. We have to go to Bury and get a win.”
Earlier this season, Plymouth beat Bury 2-1 at Home Park, courtesy of goals from Caolan Lavery and the prolific Reuben Reid. The Pilgrims will be eager to repeat the result as promotion rivals York City play Oxford in a match which could theoretically reduce Plymouth’s points deficit on the top seven to just one point if York win and Southend United lose.
Inevitably, the anticipation amongst supporters has created a nervous tension around the club, although Wottsy retained clarity as he insisted that the pressure regarding the play-offs is natural and the players will treat the Bury fixture the same as any other game.
“We’ve got to go there free, like we did against Newport,” he said. “We could have scored three or four goals. There is pressure in football, but that’s only the pressure that you put on yourselves anyway.”
Wottsy has played 13 times in his 17th season at Home Park, fulfilling a variety of defensive roles, and, as ever, is enjoying making his contribution to the Greens cause, irrespective of the position.
He said: “I’m not good enough to say ‘I want to do that’, ‘I want to do this’. I’m a team man. I always have been. I need other individuals to help me out because I’m not an individual player.”
Having experienced a multitude of play-off chases and relegation battles during his time at Argyle, he is keeping a cool head for the run-in.
“It’s never easy at Plymouth is it?” he said “We always do it the hard way.
“But it is what it is. We were a game away from the Skrill Premier last year; we’re away to Bury on Friday, when Northampton play Wycombe [in survival battle] so I know which game I’d rather be playing in. That’s not to say we’re settling for ninth, because we’re not.”