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17 January 2014

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REUBEN Reid has played alongside four different strike partners since Argyle roared into the new year but has remained in consistently good form for the Pilgrims.

He is Sky Bet League 2’s fourth-highest scorer, has netted 13 goals in all competitions with 21 matches still to play, and is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Argyle head to Rochdale this weekend just five points outside of the play-off zone.

“Obviously, you need to score goals,” he said, “and the goals obviously help the team performances. To be in around the top [of the goalscoring chart] is a good achievement on my part, but I owe a lot to the lads and hopefully it continues

“It’s the most important thing – if you don’t get supplied, you can’t score, can you?”

Reuben’s latest strike partner, in Tuesday’s 3-2 FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay defeat by Port Vale, was perhaps the most surprising pick of John Sheridan’s managerial tenure: pacy Cornishman Isaac Vasell, who had never previously started a game for Argyle, and had not been involved in a Pilgrims’ match-day squad since the beginning of the season.

“Isaac was probably a bit surprised himself about being thrown in,” said Reuben, “but I can see what the gaffer’s thinking – obviously, he’s going to be a man to stretch the play. Given it was his first start for the club, he conducted himself well, I thought.

“Obviously, with football, you’re not going to have the legs for a full 90 minutes and you might fade off, but – well done to the lad – he came in gave a good account of himself and contributed to a good team performance.”

Jason Banton, who was cup-tied in midweek, comes back into the reckoning for Saturday’s trip to Greater Manchester and is a player Reuben knows well from their loan spells at Home Park last year when they combined to help Argyle climb away from the League 2 relegation zone.

He said: “Obviously, his goals and performances helped us stay in the league and, now he has come back, hopefully, we can try to get that run of form again.”

Like almost everyone else at Home Park, Reuben was unhappy to see Caolan Lavery recalled from his loan by Sheffield Wednesday, but delighted that the Northern Ireland Under-21 international netted twice on his return to Hillsborough in the Owls’ 6-0 thrashing of Leeds.

“It is very disappointing,” said Reuben, “Just as things were starting to warm up, really, he gets recalled to his club.

“Me and Caolan complimented each other well. I always do well with a mobile striker who gets around the pitch and frees up a lot of space; he had a good touch, and proved how good he was in front of goal, so he was a real good asset for us in the short time he was here.

“But he’s gone back to Sheffield Wednesday and got off to a flyer there, so good luck to him. It would be nice to have him back, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Spotland holds happy memories for Reuben and those of his team-mates who played there last season, when Argyle’s League 2 status was assured. This season has been a totally different story.

“In my opinion, [there has been] a lot more cohesion,” he said. “Everyone could see, at the start of the season, that things weren’t really clicking; we weren’t really creating any chances, although we were defending really well.

“Now I think everyone’s got to know each other; we’re play a lot better as a unit; everyone’s digging in for each other; and we’re actually playing really well, I think. Hopefully, these performances can continue and we can look to trouble those play-offs.”


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