CONTRIBUTIONS from the starting 11 and substitutes played major roles in Argyle’s 3-1 win over Leyton Orient - a luxury that Derek Adams hopes to maintain for the rest of the season.
Individuals all over the Matchroom Stadium played their part in Argyle’s second away win in four days that has left the Greens outside Sky Bet League 2’s automatic promotion places on just goal difference.
Graham Carey was at his dynamic, creative best on the night, sending in free kicks for both Peter Hartley and Jake Jervis to head home, before late efforts from Ollie Palmer and a second for Jervis in stoppage time completed the scoring.
“Graham’s obviously been a big player this season,” said Derek, “and he’s back to his best now after his injury.
“He’s creating a lot of opportunities for us - from set plays and in open play. One to Jake Jervis, who’s got one from another free kick, a header, and Jake’s been able to get the third one on the counter attack.”
Carey was given license to roam as a pair of young loanees held the fort in Argyle’s midfield. Hiram Boateng and Jordan Houghton continued to forge an impressive partnership in the middle of the park, with work rate and quality that set the tone for the evening.
“They’re 20 years of age, the two of them,” said Adams. “They play above their years; one at Chelsea, one at Crystal Palace. It’s been a great learning experience for them, and you can see by the way they move the ball and make tackles, and now they know when to play forward.”
The squad available for selection by Adams has never been as deep as some fellow Sky Bet League 2 promotion contenders, but there was certainly some variety on show this time round. Jervis’ brace came after coming on to replace Reuben Reid in the first half, whilst Jordon Forster stepped in for Carl McHugh after the break to put in an impressive display at centre half.
“Jordon’s a central defender by trade,” said Adams. “He goes and heads the ball; he’s an old-fashioned centre half.
“He is struggling a wee bit and it was a risk putting him on, but he’s been able to get through it. We’ll dust him down and look at them Wednesday and Thursday.
“I’d like a fully fit squad, but we’ve seen tonight we’ve got Jake Jervis and Jordon Forster coming on and doing well.”
Having options at his disposal is a weapon that Adams is keen to keep hold of as he leads the Pilgrims into battle for three final games this season. Regardless of the players available to him, though, Derek’s simple, committed mentality will remain unaltered.
“The target is to win as many games as we can,” said Adams, “and that’s the last three games of the season. I’ve said since the start of the season that the target is to win every game, and we try to do that on a weekly basis.
“It’s a very good league, it’s very competitive - you see that with the scores tonight. We need to keep working away and try to gather the points it’ll take to try and get into that automatic position.”