Locks, Taking Stock and Giving Both Barrels

TWO home defeats in four days might have other football managers tearing their hair out, but Derek Adams does not look like heading out for the minoxidil any time soon.

Instead, he is encouraged by his Pilgrims’ performances in their Capital One Cup loss to League 1 Gillingham and in Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 penalty-points reversal by title-favourites Portsmouth.

On the eve of another home league game, against Carlisle United on Tuesday night, Derek said: “You’d always like a win, but performance-wise and [given] the teams we’ve played against, we’ve been playing very well and I'm happy with the progress we’re making.

“You’d like try and win your home matches to give you the best possible chance and, tomorrow night we’re going to go out and try to win the match.”

With Derek keen on Argyle taking their game to the opposition and Carlisle coming to Home Park on the back of an eight-goal home game with Cambridge United, few will take a punt on Tuesday night turning out to be a drab 0-0 draw.

Derek said: “[Carlisle have] got this system in place where they've been playing a 3-5-2 formation – sometimes it goes to 3-4-3 – so they like to get forward and they can score: four on Saturday, but they also conceded four.

“It’s the nature of the game sometimes that, when you’re behind and you try to get back into the match, you also leak a goal. But they’re capable of scoring goals, that’s for sure.”

Tuesday’s crowd is likely to be around half that of the weekend, when nearly 11,500 packed into Home Park for the Battle of the Ports, but Derek knows he can rely on the Green Army to get behind the Pilgrims with the same gusto.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere on Saturday, generated by two sets of supporters,” said Derek, “and we probably won’t get that travelling support from Carlisle tomorrow night. But I'm sure that our own fans will be very vocal in supporting the team.”