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Pressure Test

20 October 2015

DEREK Adams is not feeling any more pressure because Argyle are top of the table, but knows the Pilgrims will have a difficult test away at Oxford on Tuesday night.

Argyle are currently three points clear at the top of Sky Bet League 2, on 29 points. However, the Pilgrims travel to third-placed Oxford United on Tuesday, in what is sure to be a close encounter. Topping the table does not add more pressure to Argyle though, according to Derek. 

He said: "I don't think we are under pressure; I think we have put ourselves in a very good position. We've got 29 points, and we happen to be at the top of the league because we have got 29 points. We could be somewhere else in the league. We are happy with the progress that we have and we have started the season really well." 

Derek would not be moved on whether the trip to Oxford would be the toughest so far, but despite avoiding the superlative, the manager admitted it will be a difficult test. 

Oxford's top goalscorer is versatile forward Kemar Roofe, who has scored nine times this season for United. Derek will be aware of his threat - wherever it may come from. 

"I don't think it's the biggest test," said Derek. "It is a difficult test. We have had tough tests already this season and we have overcome them. Oxford are a team that, financially, have put a lot into it to try and get promoted and they have started the season well.

"Oxford have played 4-4-2 for most of the season, or 4-4-1-1. They are a well organised team and they are a rigid 4-4 in front, and they don't really play with wingers. It is going to be a difficult match, a tight match.

"It is a difficult league to play in. They have started the season well, like ourselves, and it is difficult to pick up wins in this league, and they have been able to do that. They have got an experienced team, a big squad and they have got players that can score goals throughout their team.

"I watched [Roofe] against Bristol Rovers, he played off the front off of Taylor, other times he can play in the central midfield, right midfield or left midfield so he is one that has to be watched, but we have also got goal scorers in our team, we've got Jervis, Reid and Carey as well. We have got goal scorers in our team." 

Argyle, Portsmouth and Oxford currently occupy the top three league positions, and would be consider by many as being among the bigger clubs in the division. Derek agrees, but points to some other nuances. 

"I think that if you look at it club-wise, [it's] two of the bigger clubs," he said. "Financially, it's a wee bit different; they have obviously got the bigger squad and a more experienced squad than we do.

"They have obviously gone big this season to try and push for promotion, and that is something a number of teams are trying to do in this division." 


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