Derek Sets Targets

DEREK Adams has already made the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs his number one target.

The new Argyle manager began work at Home Park on Thursday and revealed his ambition within hours of taking charge.

“You’ve always got targets and you always want to do well,” he said. “Plymouth Argyle had a fantastic season last season, getting into the play-offs, and I think we’ve got to push to get there again.”

The 39-year-old Scot has, appropriately, travelled 500 miles (as the crow flies) from his former posting as manager of Scottish Premiership Ross County to take the Argyle reins and proclaim his target.

“It’s a long journey,” he said, “but this is a big football club. It’s a pleasure to come here and work for Argyle. 

“It wants to get back to where it thinks it belongs, and that’s in the Championship. For me, that’s the ambition this football club wants to show.

“That’s why I’m here. I’m here to try to make the football club successful, like John Sheridan did before, to move that on.”

Derek, Scottish Manager of the Season in 2011-12, took Ross County from nowhere to mixing it with the big boys of Scottish football in his seven seasons with the Dingwall club.

He said: “It was achieved by a lot of hard work; by bringing a lot of people – the community – together.

“It was about not only building a first team, but also building a football club and I think that’s important. It’s important to try to build a football club and that’s what we’ll try to do here.

“At any football club, you want to look after the youngsters and I think that brings the whole community together – you want to see a local player coming into the first team, through the youth academy and, finally, playing for Plymouth Argyle. I think that’s what could benefit the whole city.

“Coming here and hopefully using the skills I have from being at Ross County and moving that on to Argyle, that’ll help me.”

The Argyle players report back for pre-season in the first week of July and Derek said: “They’ll be expected to work hard, that’s the main thing. 

“If they can work hard, they’ll get plenty of information from myself and my coaching staff to improve. We’ll improve them as people and as football players. 

“One thing they’ll want to do is create an enthusiastic atmosphere at the games, which it can be. Over the years, they’ve taken a lot of fans away from home but the enthusiasm at home is beneficial as well.

“Strengthening is a priority and obviously we’ve got a core of the squad from last season. We’ll definitely obviously have to add to that and, over the coming weeks, and we look to do so.”

Derek had a break from the sharp end last season when, after being involved in the professional game since he was 16, he parted company with Ross County.
“It’s been good for me,” he said. “I’ve been in Spain and watched a number of clubs in their winter camp; a couple of German teams, as well. I’ve been to the USA and watched Chicago Fire in their set-up; just to enhance your views on the game and be ready for your next move. You learn a lot when you’re out of the game.”

One of the things he learned was that he misses the pressure that comes with the job.

“I think that, when you’re under pressure, sometimes you perform better; you know you want to do well,” he said.

“I’m driven, I’m determined and I want to succeed. With that, you’re going to get pressure and that’s what drives me on.”