RYAN Brunt is enjoying his best form since joining Argyle, and the forward is revelling in his new, more integral role under manager Derek Adams.
After signing for the Greens in January of this year, the forward often found himself a bit-part player in the Pilgrims’ starting line-ups, as he aimed regain his match fitness and fight for a place with strikers who were already settled at Home Park.
Taking the place of an injured Reuben Reid, Brunt has gone from strength to strength since trading in substitute showings in Argyle’s first five games of the season for starts against Newport County and AFC Wimbledon.
The striker netted his first goal of the season in the latter fixture on Tuesday night, getting on the end of a Gregg Wylde cross and firing a header into the far corner, but Ryan is not taking his own fitness, nor his place in the team, for granted just yet.
“It was nice – I think it was needed for me, personally, just to get off the mark,” said Brunt.
“Last season, we were usually chasing the game if I was coming on, really. That’s always frustrating, because you can’t get into the game; you can’t get a true footing in the game.
“But when I’ve been coming on [this season], I’ve been doing quite well, and it’s usually to steady the ship. It’s been different, and we’ve been scoring a number of goals in games. We’ve conceded a few as well, but it’s been more open, counter-attacking play.
“I have to wait for my chances, but hopefully that will give me the confidence now to take my chances and progress, as I said I would in pre-season.
“I’ve got to earn my place really. By getting the goals and putting in the performances, that’s how I’m going to do it, so I’m still on the ladder to doing that, but it’s a step in the right direction. I needed those two games in the reserves that really spurred me on to get match-fit.
“I need to help the team out – it doesn’t matter if I score or get assists. As long as we’re winning, that’s the main thing.”
The 22-year-old also laid on one of Argyle’s three goals on Tuesday night, and he believes that working with an influx of new, diverse attacking options, such as Wylde, Jake Jervis, and Graham Carey, is also a factor in the early prosperity shown by himself and the entire team.
“It’s nice to be able to find the passes and have the runners behind me,” said Brunt. “Sometimes I have my back to goal too much, and it’s a struggle for me because I’m only going to play backwards. But with runners on the wings like we have, I think it’s a positive thing for us.
“That’s what’s a big change for us: we’ve got runners going forward, past the central striker, which I’m not sure we had too much last season when we played. I think that’s a big benefit for us.
“There’s different types of players; There’s not really two players who are exactly the same, which is nice, because if the manager wants to go different ways in different games, he can.”