Settle Down

PERHAPS the most salient point about Argyle’s seven-game winless streak is the relative lack of effect it has had on their Sky Bet League 2 position.

After picking up just three points from the last 21 available, they have dropped just four places in the table and remain within easy striking distance of the play-off places.

Although such a situation cannot persist for much longer, the Pilgrims’ position is not lost on captain Curtis Nelson.

“There are points left to play for and we’re four points off the play-offs – we are in a position where we can definitely kick on,” he said. “Four points means it is two games and we could get back in there.”

Like many of his team-mates, Nelse has been absent for part of that unhappy seven-match run, as injuries, suspensions and the vagaries of the loan market have disrupted a side that, before Christmas, was playing as well as any in the division.

With Tom Flanagan, Olly Lee, Ryan Brunt and Drew Talbot bedded down, Anthony O’Connor back, and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis already training with his new team-mates prior to his loan from Charlton Athletic being completed next week, John Sheridan’s fiddler’s elbow selection dilemma is now a thing of the past.

“It’s had a bit of an effect,” said Curtis. “Obviously, when you are settled, you know how each other is playing; then you’ve got new faces coming in. But you have got to learn quickly and get on with it, get to know each other’s games and get settled as soon as possible.”

Not only is the talent at Home Park, there is also a good mix.

“It is important, and that’s definitely happened,” said Curtis. "All the lads that have come in have got on well together. No-one gets left out and everyone is involved with what’s going on.”

Like everyone at Home Park, Nelse was equally surprised and pleased with Monday’s news that former Pilgrim Andy Kellett had joined Manchester United when everyone – Andy included – thought he would be returning to Home Park from Bolton Wanderers for the rest of the season.

“I was delighted for him,” he said. “He did really well when he was here and he’s obviously been doing the right things when he was [at Bolton]. He’s had people watching him from the beginning and he’s a very talented lad.”

From the Theatre of Dreams to the Theatre of Greens, and Saturday’s get-back-on-the-horse match with Accrington Stanley. After Stanley’s 5-1 home drubbing by Northampton last weekend, it should be a simple matter of turning up and collecting the three points, should it not?

Of course not. “No-one ever gives you an easy game,” cautioned the skipper, “so I am expecting a challenge, but we have just got to go out and play our own game.”