Taking the Lead

IN a week where Derek Adams and Curtis Nelson were each honoured for their contribution to the Pilgrims' cause this season...

...it is hardly surprising that the manager chose to direct most of the focus onto his captain. 

Both Derek and Curtis were nominated by Sky Bet as candidates for Manager and Player of the Month, respectively, and the boss spoke highly of the man he inherited as his skipper. 

“We have got a very good team and I think there has been a number [of players] up there,” said Derek, “but it is great that the captain has been nominated this month. 

“He’s done really well. He’s been involved in a back five that have kept a lot of clean sheets. He’s improving week on week and he’s been a very good player since I came here.

“He is working at his game; he’s only 22 but he’s got a very good career ahead of him.

“I think that his use of the ball has got better; retaining possession. He's very good in the air, quick across the ground and probably his reading of the game is improving as well.”

In addition to Curtis' nod for the Sky Bet award, Reuben Reid was named as the PFA Fans' Player of the Month for October. This followed Graham Carey winning the only other time the award has been handed out this season, meaning Argyle players have a monopoly on it thus far. 

Reid made a blistering start to the month, playing a part in Argyle's win over Crawley Town, then getting on the scoresheet against Exeter City in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He followed this with a gallant frontman's display against Notts County, against whom he scored twice, before scoring a peach of a winning goal against Accrington six days later. 

Unfortunately, Reuben limped off shortly after that goal with a hip injury, and has not featured since. Derek, understandably, would like to see Argyle's leading goalscorer for the past two seasons back in action as soon as possible. That will not, however, be before Saturday's meeting with Carlisle United in the Emirates FA Cup. 

“He hasn’t trained a full day yet,” said Derek. “We’ll assess things before Saturday, but it looks like he could be out. 

“It has taken longer than we expected; he has missed six games so far this season so we’re a bit disappointed. We would like him back sooner rather than later. I don’t look as far ahead as Millwall.

“He has obviously scored two really good goals in the game against Notts County - and the game here as well, an outstanding goal. He’s been prolific in the games that he has played.”

Finally, Derek was moved to say a little about his own nomination, but used it as an opportunity to credit the team around him. 

"It means that we’re just going in the right direction," said Derek. "We want to continue the progress that we have; we have a good group of players and a good backroom staff in Craig Brewster and Paul Wotton, who I enjoy working with. 

"The players have been fantastic since I came here and they have put us in a very good position."