ONE of the many compliments that have been directed towards Derek Adams since he became Argyle manager is that you know where you are with him.
The sentiment is the same within the dressing-room and without. To such an extent that most of the Green Army, never mind Derek’s coaching staff and squad, could predict his starting 11 for Tuesday night’s home match against Barnet with a fair degree of accuracy.
Seven of the team that took the field for Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Mansfield have started every game this season – including the whole back four – while another three players in the first-team squad have played some part in every match.
“There has been consistency throughout the side and we’ve not made a lot of changes to personnel,” said Derek.
“[Kelvin] Mellor and [Gary] Sawyer heave been outstanding at right-back and left-back – I am delighted by them; [Peter] Hartley and [Curtis] Nelson have combined well at centre-half; and Luke McCormick is an experienced goalkeeper behind them.”
Luke will make the 250th appearance of his Argyle career against the Bees, drawing level with Billy Forbes in 42nd place on the list of Pilgrims who have represented the club most often. If he plays every game for the remainder of the season, he will end the campaign in at least 28th spot.
“When you reach these milestones, it is important,” said Derek. "He has been a very good servant to the club."
Luke, 32, is ranked fifth of all goalkeepers who have made played for Argyle, having recently overtaken Plymothian Tich Horne (1904-06) and Cornishman Harry Cann (1928-39) in the last few months.
Next in his sights is his friend and colleague during the glory days of the first few years of the century, Romain Larrieu (2000-12), one of only four goalkeepers to have played more than 300 times in the Green.
The top three comprises Bill Shortt (1945-56); Luke’s former goalkeeping coach Geoff Crudgington (1979-87); and Fred Craig (1912-30), who is fourth of all Pilgrims on the all-time appearance list.
ARGYLE’S TOP TEN CUSTODIANS
1 Fred Craig 467
2 Geoff Crudgington 385
3 Bill Shortt 374
4 Romain Larrieu 318
5 Luke McCormick 249
6 Tich Horne 240
7 Harry Cann 232
8 Jim Furnell 207
9 Jon Sheffield 175
10 Pat Dunne 164