Get Busy

IT is coming to a busy time of year.

Shops are busy, the roads start to get to busy, and people are busy making plans for the festive season: going to see Auntie Maureen, wrapping all the presents, coming to the Argyle Christmas Carol Concert, and so forth. 

As a defender, trying to keep out opposition attacks, one may think Yann Songo’o was not particularly interested in being busy. And one would be wrong. 

Yann and his fellow Pilgrims meet Doncaster Rovers on Saturday at Home Park, in Rovers’ first game since hitting the top of Sky Bet League Two. Doncaster have won four in a row, and have scored in all 19 of their fixtures this season. 

A tough task, then, for an Argyle side that have lost their last three in the league, following an outstanding 14-match unbeaten run. The Pilgrims did keep their first clean sheet, though, in a 0-0 draw against Newport County in the Emirates FA Cup.

“We knew the time was going to come,” said Yann, about the unbeaten run ending.  “It’s football. You aren’t going to go the whole season unbeaten.

“We’ve done really well. We’re still up there in the promotion zone. I don’t think the team is panicking. We know we will go back to winning. We’ve had a bad two weeks, including the loss of our striker, Jimmy Spencer, and a couple of other injuries. I don’t like to make excuses, but I think that has affected us a little bit, but hopefully against Doncaster on Saturday we can get back to winning. 

“It’s a lot. It’s bad luck, but in football these are things you have to deal with. We have a big squad; an amazing squad. After four games not winning, we are still really strong. 

“It will be an interesting game. Doncaster are a really good side. It may suit us more if they play football, and there could be space if the game is quite open. 

“A win against Doncaster would be really good for the team because it would get us back some confidence and winning mentality. 

“Every game is a busy afternoon, every game is difficult. Doncaster is going to be really tough, but I like to have busy afternoons! I’d rather that than to not work hard, not deserve my shirt then go home. I would not feel good about it.”

The injury list to which Yann refers included knocks to defender Ben Purrington, Gary Sawyer and Nauris Bulvitis, necessitating shifts in personnel. Songo’o had been a permanent figure as a defensive midfielder for Argyle until recently, but has been playing as a centre-back of late. 

It is the position he has played for much of his career, though, and he is keen to ensure that the new defensive unit is the first to frustrate Doncaster. 

“I said when I came in that with the mentality I have, I would play anywhere and do my best, wherever the gaffer puts me,” said Yann. “My normal position is more as a centre-back, but I’ve started to enjoy playing in midfield. It doesn’t matter to me the position I play, I’ll give 100%.

“From the Newport game, we have to take the positive thing which is that we didn’t concede goals. All the goals we’ve been conceding have been individual mistakes. I can’t remember a goal where a team really broke us down and it was an amazing goal. 

“We’re working in training and getting better. The Newport game was solid, so hopefully we can continue that against Doncaster.”