OVERCOMING injuries and a positional change, Carl McHugh intends on continuing to play an integral role in Argyle's ambitions of promotion in their final six games.
The Irishman has only missed eight games of the Greens' 2015-16 campaign, but half of those fixtures came in February and March. Key games against the likes of Oxford United and Accrington Stanley went by without the presence of McHugh, but since returning against Luton Town, he has been his usual, commanding self in the middle of the park.
“It was tough – I don't deal with it too well,” said Carl on having to sit out matches. “I don't deal with being out of the team or not being fit or able to train.
“It was tough not being out there to help the lads, so the last three games have been great for me to get back. We've had a few wins; obviously Saturday was a massive disappointment, but I'm just glad to be back and able to help the boys now for the run-in.”
Carl has had a major influence on the side all season despite plying his trade in a position unknown to him since his schoolboy days. Ever since pre-season, McHugh has made the holding midfield slot his own, and believes his defensive experience has served him well in the role.
“At the time I just saw it as an opportunity of getting in the team,” said Carl, “because obviously you've got Peter [Hartley] and Nelse [Curtis Nelson] - two really good centre halves - and it looked like we were playing a flat back four.
“It looked like a good opportunity, and I had confidence in myself that I could play the position, so I just worked hard over pre-season. It's went quite well: I started the season in there and stayed there for the large part. You have the defensive mind-set in that position, obviously because you're a defender you sense the danger where maybe more attack-minded players might not, so that's probably helped me as the season's went on.”
McHugh has often played alongside Oscar Threlkeld, whose loan spell away from Bolton Wanderers will conclude after Argyle's game against AFC Wimbledon. Carl was full of praise for the youngster who has come on leaps and bounds during his time at Home Park.
“I think he's done brilliantly,” said McHugh. “He had a slow start obviously; the team were doing really well so he had to bide his time and wait to get in, which isn't an easy thing to do.
“But he stayed very professional, trained really hard, waited for his chance, and he was probably one of our best players over that spell that he was playing in midfield. He'll be a big loss to us when he goes back. He's a great lad around the changing room as well – everyone's got really good time for him. He's a positive character and we'll miss him, definitely.”