Building Strength

AFTER 27 league games in charge of the Pilgrims, Derek Adams believes the squad that he has now is stronger than the one he started the season with.

Argyle are top of Sky Bet League 2 and have won five of their last six games. Derek has added Oscar Threlkeld and Jordon Forster to his side since the opening day win at AFC Wimbledon. Deane Smalley has also returned to the fold for Argyle after a long-term injury, and was on the bench on Saturday. 

"I think now we have got a better squad then we did at the start of the season," Derek said. "We have got a stronger pool of players and I think on Saturday we will probably see that the 18 we will have is a strong 18 and I think that is important."

With Reuben Reid returning to Argyle's starting 11 last week and Graham Carey thought to be in contention for Bristol Rovers, Derek says that he is happy with his side and any new additions to his side will have to add something to his team.

"We have got a good group of players," Derek said. "Graham Carey is an important part of our team. He was one of the ones that was able to propel us on. Some of them have come in and performed really well because they have been given that opportunity. Some players now are looking like they are first choices, and that is a good problem to have.

"He (Carey) has trained this week; he is looking good. He has been fine and hopefully he can progress and build his stamina in his training up over the next couple of days. We will see what he is like for Bristol on Saturday.

"We had Reuben Reid out as well. For 15 or 16 matches he did not start a game for us. To have two goal-scorers back in contention is very good. We have got Brunt; we have got Jervis; Wylde and Tanner all scoring goals, so I think that it is good that we have that competition and everyone that has been put in has staked a claim to stay in the team.

"We have got a good squad here, and at this moment in time we have got players coming back from injury and we are looking stronger and stronger as the week goes on."

Derek is still open to the idea of bringing new signings in, but insists he will be careful about any players that he does bring in.

"Would we like to take in players?" said Derek. "Yes, but they have got to be better than the ones that are here or compete with the ones that are here, to get into the starting 11 - and that is never easy in January. There are many players out there that we could sign but I have just got to be careful that I sign the right player at the right time.

"We have got ideas of what we want to do but we have got a very good squad here at this moment in time and we have got a lot of players that are coming back from injury and we have nearly got a full strength squad now. We are happy with the progress we are making. We have signed one in the transfer window. Time will tell what further developments happen towards the end of the window."

"It is a difficult one in January to get players in that you require to take us on to the next level. We want to keep the group of players here that have performed very well this season, and it is important that we do that.

"Now I have got an 18, hopefully come Saturday that they are all capable of starting a game and I think that that is important as a manager that you can look to your bench, and think 'well, I can bring him on and he can change a game' - we have got that now."

Derek's only signing of the January transfer window so far has been the addition of Scottish defender Jordon Forster from Hibernian, who made the bench against Stevenage on Saturday.

"He will be in the 18-man squad [against Bristol Rovers]," Derek said about Jordon. "It is just about getting the players when they come in to be ready for action and you take some time to settle in to the football club. We have done that in the past with a number of players we have taken in on loan, and allowed them to settle in first."