Man in the Middle
30th January 2015
ON a weekend where Argyle's long trip to Hartlepool is being sponsored by communications giants Three...
...there is a chance that a particular group of three that have come together this season could be reunited.
An Argyle back three of Curtis Nelson, Carl McHugh and Peter Hartley has proved profitable for the Pilgrims this Sky Bet League 2 campaign, and they could be lining up at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Hartley has been on the shelf since December 13, with the exception of a first half appearance at York City four weeks ago, in which the injury to his hip flared up again. He will rejoin the squad this weekend, and is in line to return to the starting eleven.
Nelson, Harltey, and McHugh all played their parts in helping Argyle achieve their highest league position so far this season, the trio have all helped the Pilgrims stack up 14 clean sheets so far this season.
"It does help to have that bit of continuity between us," said McHugh.
"Earlier on in the season me, Pete, and Nelse were playing a lot of consecutive games together, and we know each other really well now.
“You are always going to get injuries and suspensions that can break that up, but we have got to keep ploughing on.
“It will great to have Pete back involved.
“He’s been a big player for us and a big character. He’s a massive presence for us around the place and it will be good to have him back.”
McHugh began the season in a left back role, but swicthed to his preferred central-defensive role when manager John Sheridan opted to swicth to a 3-5-2 formation.
Carl had never before played in the system prior to coming to Argyle, but it did not take long for him to adapt.
“I think I played it in a few friendlies, but I never played first team games with it," said Carl. "I only ever played centre-half as a four.
“I’ve loved it to be honest, I’ve loved playing in the middle of the back three. I think it’s suited me pretty well, so I’ve really enjoyed it.”
With Hartley to the left of him, Carl has Nelson to the right, as the song goes. Carl also had words of praise for his other central defensive partner, and team captain, Curtis.
"He’s brilliant, he’s a top player," said McHugh.
“He’s been great to play beside. I think he’s got a really bright future ahead of him, and I think he’s really stepped up to the plate being the captain this season, especially at 21.
“He’s too good for this league in some ways."