The M Word
TWO wins in four days and the arrival of Craig Tanner at Home Park has provided the Green Army with a new buzzword: momentum.
Victories at Notts County last midweek and at home to Mansfield on Saturday have catapulted the Pilgrims from bottom of Sky Bet League Two to halfway up the table, despite a gruelling opening to the campaign.
Manager Derek Adams said: “We have been our travels for the majority of games; we have won two games; and we are well on our way now. It’s always important that you win games, and this season is one when we want to win as many as we possibly can – last season was a very good season for us and we want to take it on to the next step.”
The next little step towards the next big step means a Bank Holiday weekend trip to Blackpool, and more mileage along the extremely unhelpful M6 on one of the busiest travelling weekends of the year. Clearly, the EFL fixtures computer was not programmed with information about what happened last season when the Pilgrims played at Morecambe on a Bank Holiday.
“It has a big impact,” said Derek, about the travelling. “Within a week, we had three away games, and we had to do very tiring journeys in that time. We also had to play against a Championship team on the Tuesday night. We’ve done that, and we’ve got another long travel this Friday.
“[Blackpool] are not long out of the Premier League. They have moved down through the divisions and we expect a tough test from them.”
The return of Tanner to Home Park on loan from Reading has added to the positivity around PL2 3DQ.
Derek said: “He’s settled in well. He came in last Thursday and trained Thursday and Friday. It was good to have him back and he’s pleased to be here. He’s fit and ready to go; he just has to get to know the players at the football club.
And to get to grips with the condensed pitch?
“A lot’s been said about that,” said Derek. “It’s no different to many grounds we play at in this league and it’s probably a lot bigger than many we will go to this season. There’s still a lot of space to play on our pitch.”
A week before the transfer-window closes, Derek is looking to bring one player in a does not anticipate having to fend of offers for any of his squad, Mansfield match-winner Graham Carey included.
“There hasn’t been any interest over the summer,” he said, “which is good for us. We’ve got a week to go and I wouldn’t expect to sell any of my players coming up to the transfer window, unless somebody wants to play above our valuation.”
The one in will not be former forward Reuben Reid, who remains without a club since turning down Argyle’s new contract offer in the summer.
“We’ve moved on, a couple of months ago,” said Derek. “We’re happy with the players we’ve taken in.”
Happy, too, with the progress of players who have been at the club for a while, like second-year professional Louis Rooney.
“He’s pushing himself,” said Derek. “He’s still got a lot to learn about the game and being in and around the first-team squad at his age has really helped him. He can only improve over time. We want competition for places.”