WHAT a difference a transfer window - and some healing up time - can make.Prior to last Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over against visitors Accrington Stanley, Argyle had gone without a win since December 20.
The victory over Accrington was followed up by an impressive 2-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.
With loan signings Anthony O’Connor, Bobby Reid and Andy Kellett all returning to their parent clubs following impressive spells at the Theatre of Greens - plus an extensive injury list that saw many senior players missing from first-team action - Argyle’s play-off push was put on halt.
Although it yielded just three points from five games, January may well be looked back on a pivotal month for good reasons.
O’Connor and Reid returned to Home Park during a transfer window that also included the additions of Drew Talbot and Olly Lee. Add to this the recent acquisition of Tareiq Holmes-Dennis to the ranks, and the return to fitness of many key players, including Peter Hartley, and things are certainly looking rosier.
Two wins tend to help the cause, too.
“I think the biggest thing is I’ve got my team back and the characters within my team who are hopefully going to help us get better results,” John said.
“I’m a lot more confident now. I just look at my personnel and I know we’ve missed them. I haven’t gone on about it, but we’ve missed them. I expect us to get better results now and that’s how I’m going to look at it.
“Players who have come back, like Anto and Pete, have that desire to win and that will rub off. I don’t want it to sound bad, but you don’t have to be the best player in the team to have an influence.
“You don’t accept if someone’s not doing the little things like tracking back, not doing your job or not getting tight with people - Pete and Anto do that.
“Pete’s so pumped up before a game, probably a bit too much if anything.
“All players are different and you need those type of players in the squad. I was always vocal on the pitch but, before a game, I’d be very quiet. But Pete’s pumped up, it’s like you’re going out for a cup final every Saturday.”
While the boss was reluctant to get carried away with Argyle’s recent success, he was well aware of the importance of securing maximum points this weekend against visitors Cambridge United.
“We’ve been on a bad run and we’ve only just won the last two so I’m not getting carried away. We’ve got to get on a good run of games and try to pick points up and just get back in the mix if we can.”