AFTER starting the 2015-16 campaign with three successive away victories...
...Argyle manager Derek Adams is not about to start tinkering with a winning formula: consistent results warrant a consistent selection policy.
Ten of the 11 in the Argyle starting line-up have been the same in all three matches. The exception was in Tuesday’s 3-2 come-from-behind Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Wimbledon, where Ryan Brunt came in – very effectively – for injured Reuben Reid. In actuality, Brunt played the bulk of the game at Northampton, too, after Reid limped off at an early stage.
Injuries notwithstanding, the midweek 11 are likely to do duty again on Saturday, when Argyle make the second of three consecutive trips to the Home Counties to face Stevenage.
“We have got a group of players who are capable of playing really well and I don’t see the need to change too much,” said Derek. “If we’ve got to change one or two, then we’ll do that, but that is all we’ll be doing. At this stage, it is important we have the consistency of team selection.
“You don’t want to change too much. Players know their position in the team and know who they are going to play with; there’s that understanding. We’ve got players who are more than capable of coming off the bench and being able to change the game, and being able to start the match.”
Argyle have scored 18 goals in their seven league and cup games this season and it is a measure of their threat from all parts that the continued absence of Reuben Reid – top scorer for the two previous campaigns – has had no detrimental effect on the team, as evidenced by a goal and assist from Ryan on Tuesday.
“I’m delighted for Ryan,” said Derek. “He’s worked hard in pre-season; he’s been in a good position at times and scored many goals in pre-season, but it’s good to get him up and running in the cup competition.
“We have got competition for places in the forward area with Jake Jervis; Craig Tanner can play in there as well. There is nobody at this moment in time who has got the right to play up front. They will have to push each other.
“It’s good to see Ryan getting that opportunity and taking it. He works hard. He’s still young and there are still areas of the game which he needs to work at – he knows that – but he’s a wiling boy and that’s what you need.
“It’s always nice to have players in reserve or ready to come on, but the players that are playing just now are doing really well.”