ARGYLE may be making their longest trip of the season to face Hartlepool United......but manager Derek Adams thinks home advantage counts for very little in this situation.
With the Pilgrims’ visit to Carlisle United moved to Ewood Park, their trip to Victoria Road is the longest – in mileage – that they will face. However, the hosts have not had the most settled of preparations for the game either, needing extra time to see off Salford United in their FA Cup second round replay in midweek.
“They played on Tuesday night, and they’ve been able to progress to the next round of the Cup,” said Derek. “Obviously they’ve had to exert energy, so that’s definitely something we have to try and take advantage of.
“If we’re able to run faster and run more than them, then it will give us an opportunity. On the flip-side, they’ve got the confidence that they’ve won the other day.
“They’ve done well at times in the league, they’ve changed their squad a lot since season – they’ve taken in a good number of players and it’s always a test going there; Plymouth found that out last year, losing 3-2.
“We’re hopeful we can go there and win the match. Oxford have gone there and won 1-0; Leyton Orient went there and lost, so we know it’s a difficult venue, but I believe we’ve got the team and the players to overcome that and get a positive result.”
The Greens will begin their long journey to Hartlepool on Friday, but are already well acquainted with extensive coach rides this season, with some difficult trips to London safely navigated. Away teams have had plenty of success in Sky Bet League 2 during this campaign, with Argyle being one of the most successful sides of all on their travels, and Adams has full faith that his team make the trip worthwhile this weekend.
“We’ve had a lot of long trips this season, time-wise,” said Derek. “Maybe not so distance-wise, but we’re hopeful that we get a clearer run up the M6 than we do going across to London. It’s proved troublesome this season, going across to London.
“I think that we’re seeing that teams are going away from home and having a right go at the opposition. The onus is always on the home team to go out and try and win. That then in turn leaves gaps in the defence and leaves you a wee bit open at times. Your home fans always want you to go and try and win the game. Teams play more and more on the counter-attack nowadays, and that’s why you’re seeing away teams picking up very good points.
“It’s just who performs better on the day. We can look into so many things, but you need your team to go and pass the ball well, create chances, and be stronger and harder than the opposition. That’s what we need to be.
“We’ve got to be wary, but I feel that I’ve got more than capable players here to go and win the match.”