Target Red

DEREK Adams says that his Argyle players have all the motivation they need as they head into their Emirates FA Cup second round replay against Newport County on Wednesday night.

The winners of the tie will be rewarded by a trip to Anfield to meet Liverpool in the third round of the famous competition, bringing with it financial incentive, as well a chance for players to play on a grand stage. 

Wednesday’s replay will be television live on BT Sport, as will the third round game, whoever Liverpool will end up hosting. 

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Derek. “It’s a big match. We all know that to progress to the next round we get an opportunity of playing Liverpool in the next round. 

“For the players, they want to get through to the next round, and get to Anfield. There’s no more [motivation needed] than that. Liverpool awaits the winner; we’ll drum that into them and hopefully put on a really good performance tomorrow night. 

“It’s a big occasion for everybody. That’s why the television cameras have chosen the game, because it’s an important fixture. 

“There’s pressure; but then there’s pressure every week. It is a competition that the players, at the start of the season, wanted to do well in. It’s a difficult game because we are away from home, but it is a venue we have already won at this season.”

Argyle’s victory at Rodney Parade came almost two months to the day before their second visit arrives. A 3-1 win in Sky Bet League two not straightforward, but Argyle deserved their victory. With Graham Carey’s penalty double and a Jordan Slew goal enough to see off the Exiles, whose response came from Jon Parkin, now no longer with the club. 

Argyle have played Newport on another two occasions this season, both at Home Park, both in cup competitions. A 4-1 win in the Checkatrade Trophy in August was followed by a 0-0 draw earlier this month, which has led to the imminent replay. 

The Pilgrims are top of the league, as they were last Christmas, and are hoping to use their league superiority – Newport are bottom of League Two when matters turn to the FA Cup. 

“The league is important because we’ve made it important,” said Derek. “That’s down to the players and staff that we’ve been able to put ourselves in a very good position. 

“We’re grounded in the way we think. There are a lot of very good teams in the league, and we have put on a very good run. We’ve been able to progress, beat the league leaders Doncaster last week, then gone on to win away against Accrington. 

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position in the league. We have to go in and play as we did at Accrington. Be dogged, and by doing that, and taking our chances, we’ll hopefully progress. 

“We’ve played each other; we know the type of player they’ve got. They have changed things about a wee bit in their last few games; we’ll have an understanding of how they are going to play. 

“We are in confident mood. We have to deal with what Newport will throw at us, and put pressure on them.”