The Case For The Defence

GREAT teams are built from the back.

Not only do Argyle have Sky Bet League 2’s best goalkeeper, they also have the best defence. Or, at least, one of them.

Following the 1-0 victory at Tranmere, thanks to Reuben Reid’s first-half goal, the Pilgrims have conceded just eight goals in 12 league matches, a figure that only leaders Wycombe and fourth-placed Luton can match and that no team can better.

The triumph at Prenton Park was only Argyle’s second victory of the season outside Devon but the sixth game out of six that they have won after taking the lead. That, thinks centre-back Carl McHugh, bodes well for the future.

“It is pleasing – for, especially, the defenders – that we are keeping clean sheets and we have got the joint-best defensive record in the league,” he said. “That is something to be proud of and something to build on.

“It shows a bit of resilience that, when we get ahead, we are able to stick in there and grind out the wins. That’s a good sign. It shows you that defenders want to keep clean sheets. That’s what we’re here for.
“We’ve had a few 1-0s. I think it was important to get that second win away from home because we haven’t done the best away from home. If we can keep our home form the way it is and back it up with good results like that, we will do quite well.”

It was the second game in succession, following the midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory over Swindon, that Carl had played in the middle of a three-man back line, between captain Curtis Nelson and Peter Hartley.

“I’m enjoying it,” he said “I’ve got two good players beside be, to be fair. We’ve looked quite solid. We were bit disappointed after Swindon, because, although they had a lot of the ball, we thought they didn’t cause us a lot of pressure but we conceded two goals.

“I probably feel a little bit more natural there but, as I’ve said before, I want to play and help the team be successful this year. Wherever that is, I’ll do my best, but I’m enjoying that position at the moment.”