Pointing The Way

DEREK Adams praised his Argyle side’s ability to stick to their guns and execute a game plan to perfection in their 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.

The Pilgrims ended a five-year run of opening-day games without a win in emphatic style as they put a rough-and-ready Dons side to the sword in Kingston, thanks to superb strikes from debutants Gregg Wylde and Graham Carey.

As expected at a raucous Kingsmeadow against such a physical side, things were far from plain sailing for the Greens, as Wimbledon heaped the pressure on in the game’s opening stages. However, Adams had watched the hosts’ final pre-season fixture the previous weekend and worked with his team all week to form a plan of action, so the boss was ecstatic to see the lads stand firm to the challenge.

“There wasn’t a surprise – we had seen it before,” said Derek. "We had watched videos and the players were primed; we knew it was coming. 

“We didn’t expect it come in the droves that it did at the start of the game, but that’s the nature of the first day of the season. 

“We obviously had to deal with a lot of balls into the box, and we coped really well with that. They had more possession and had more of the ball, but that’s always going to be the case at home.

“We didn’t change anything, because we knew that as the game went on, we had players in the team that could open up the opposition, and that’s how it panned out. 

“We knew we had to control the game somewhere on the park, and we tried to control it in the middle area. We knew there would be a lot of long balls; that was evident throughout the match. They had umpteen corners in the first half but we dealt with that, and we dealt with the physical presence of the team. That was pleasing for us.

“It took a wee bit of time. The game was played at a frantic pace, but I’m delighted with the performance, to come away, because Wimbledon will do well here. Our play at times, going forward, meant that we could’ve scored a few more goals today. 

“It was roasting today – down in the dugout I probably got sunstroke! But it was a day that you needed to dig in, and the players did that.”

The first of many long-distance trips this season for the Green Army was capped off in the perfect fashion, and Adams was pleased to give the outstanding support the reward it deserved.

“It’s an outstanding performance,” said Derek. “The travelling support we had here today warranted a performance, and we gave them that. 

“It was loud throughout the game. The fans were outstanding today, to a man.

“It was a very good start for us. It’s a tough game, coming to Wimbledon and to come away from home. You want to get up and running as quickly as possible, and we’ve been able to do that away from home.”