PETER Hartley believes the outstanding support of the Green Army at Adams Park played a big role in Argyle coming out 2-1 winners against the team that denied them promotion four months ago.
Returning to the scene of their Sky Bet League 2 play-off semi-final defeat last season, the Pilgrims came out to face Wycombe Wanderers with a point to prove and a chip on many of their shoulders.
Inspired further by the unrelenting support of 777 away fans, goals from Reuben Reid and Jake Jervis sealed a third win in four visits to the Wanderers’ stomping ground – although Hartley felt right at home all afternoon.
“I felt like we were the home team, to be honest with you,” said Peter. “I didn’t feel like we were away from home.
“I felt comfortable in the game, and to have fans and phenomenal support like that behind you, it was like a 12th man to help take the points back home to Plymouth.
“Having the disappointment of the play-offs last season, to see those fans and sending them home happy, there’s no better feeling.”
The defender was one of six members of the starting line-up that were present for the play-off defeat in May, and he believes some excellent recruitment and a much-needed break over the summer also played a part in the better outcome this time around.
“I was 60% fit in the play-offs,” said Hartley. “Carl McHugh was struggling, Reuben was struggling. Now we’re fit and we’re sharp, so that’s the difference: fitness.
“It just goes to show you: a few fresh faces in the summer and a little break, and we look like a different team. We’ve got an edge, we want to win, and we love defending. There’s just something about us this season.
“We just need to keep grounded, keep working hard in training, and look forward to Bristol Rovers next week.”
Indeed, despite Argyle picking up five wins out of their first seven league games and lying second in the League 2 table, Hartley does not expect the team to get carried away, or look any further forward than their next game: Bristol Rovers at Home Park next Saturday.
“You can’t take anything away from the start we’ve had, but there’s another 39 games left,” said Peter.
“We’re not even a quarter of the way there yet. We’ve just got to keep ticking those games off a game at a time, sticking to our plan, working hard every day in training and executing it on a Saturday.”