PETER Hartley believes Argyle’s unfortunate run of injuries and results has......served only to bring a confident dressing-room even closer together.
Until his return last week against Cambridge United, Hartley was one of many Pilgrims forced to watch on because of injury, as his team experienced their trickiest spell of form so far this season.
Whilst the centre-back feels that slumps in form should be expected when injuries occur, he sees light at the end of the tunnel already, thanks to a competitive and high-spirited group of teammates.
“I think it’s obviously disturbed our form, our confidence,” said Hartley, “but it does it to every top team – I mean, look at Man United! It’s the same there as what’s happened to us, really.
“It’s really good to see that we still picked a couple of points up, and we’re getting boys coming back now. Every day, someone’s feeling better and better, so we’re slowly climbing that hill again to where we belong.
“It’s been tough, but it’s brought us closer together as a team. There’s always got to be people pushing for places in the first team, and there still is, to be fair. Tyler Harvey’s been coming on and doing really well, and he’s training unbelievably – it’s the best I’ve seen Tyler since I came to the club – so he’s definitely warranted the pitch time he’s getting. Obviously Deane Smalley’s back fit now, so this is why you need your squad.
“It’s not just about the 11 people on the pitch; it’s about the 22 people in the dressing-room. All successful teams have a good, strong dressing-room. If we get through what we’re getting through now at the minute, I think it will stand us in good stead for the stronger games we’ve got coming up towards the end of the season.
“There’s still a real buzz and confidence in the dressing-room. People are saying we’re a bit low on confidence and stuff – I can see where they’re coming from, but the group of players we’ve got are more than capable of winning this league without a problem, if we keep everyone fit.”