Ground Force

JOHN Harbin is pleased with the Argyle squad’s ability to keep their feet on the ground whilst embarking on an impressive run of form.

The Greens’ 1-0 win against high-flying Shrewsbury Town at the beginning of October kicked off an outstanding run of form that continued with a purpose against Portsmouth, with an emphatic 3-0 victory.

The Pilgrims are unbeaten in seven Sky Bet League 2 games, have won seven in a row at home and have lost only one in ten in all competitions – all the while boasting this season’s best defensive record in the entire Football League.

Despite the striking set of results, performance manager Harbin believes both the squad and coaching staff are not getting carried away, with many making their voices heard to make sure the team stays grounded.

“It's the coaching staff and the players: they do not let each other get carried away,” said Harbin.

“Consistency gets you promoted, doesn’t it, so it is important to be consistent. Of course, every win you have, you are that much closer to a loss, and every loss you have you are that much closer to a win. We have kept a level head about it all – there are no champagne bottles coming out.
“I think in the old days, players used to shout at each other a lot and abuse each other, but that is not the case here. I think it is probably more about respect that you do not have to scream and shout at them. The senior pros - Peter Hartley, even though Curtis Nelson is young he is seen as a senior pro here, Luke McCormick - they make sure everybody is grounded.

“To be fair, we have handed over a little responsibility to the players themselves in how the training sessions are done. We certainly decide what is done, but they have some input into how it is done, so they demand standards.

“The test of how vocal we are is when we are losing games. Right now, we have plenty of vocal players, but it is like boxing: if you get a smack in the mouth, you tend to go quiet. When you lose, that is when it challenges how vocal you are going to be.

“…But we are not going to lose to test that theory, by the way!”