THE camaraderie between Oscar Threlkeld and Craig Tanner was clear for all to see as they returned to Argyle, the day after re-signing for the Greens on loan.
Both 21-years-old, born just a couple of months apart and both renewing their loan deals at Home Park from Sky Bet Championship clubs, it is not too surprising that Oscar and Craig are sharing an apartment in the city. In a press conference filled with tongue-in-cheek moments and inside jokes, the pair of loanees gave us an insight into how they’re settling in.
“It wasn’t easy, but it seems I’ve found the right guy to live with,” said Oscar. “Me and Craig: obviously we bounce off of each other and we banter and all that lot.
“I couldn’t find a better person to live with! He helped me settle in really quick. The rest of the boys did, but obviously Tanner more because I’m living with him. He’s teaching me how to cook, how to be a man… obviously it’s good to have good people around me.”
“This is how it normally works”, started Tanner. “He’ll wait until he’s really hungry, and then be like ‘do you fancy some food?’ I’m the one who cooks, so I have to get up and show him how to cook a couple of meals. He does the washing up so I use as many pots and pans as possible, force him to wash up, then we sit there and just have a laugh all evening and watch films.”
The companionship between Tanner and Threlkeld typifies the positive feeling around the Argyle dressing room this season, as a tightly-knit group of players have grown closer in the face of adversity to push on and solidify their place atop the League 2 table.
“There’s a really strong team spirit,” said Tanner. “We’re always doing stuff together, whether it’s going out for a meal or FIFA competitions or whatever, and I think it’s really shown on the pitch.
“When we did have that couple of games [with poor results], we all knew we would turn it around. We had a lot of injuries at that time, and we didn’t slip out of the top three, so it shows character in the team.
“Even with the injuries we only had a small, not massive, blip,” said Oscar. “We always seem to bounce back, and we know that. Even if we go 1-0 down we know we know we’re going to either get a draw or win the game.”
That mentality should serve the team well as they head into their next game, as Argyle’s closest rivals in the division, Northampton Town, come to Home Park on Tuesday night.
“It could make or break the season, you never know,” said Tanner. “It would be better if we didn’t have the break because I thought we were flying, but it is what it is, and it just gives us more of a chance to practice on the training pitch to get it right.”
“The injuries obviously affect the team,” said Oscar, “but I don’t think it affected us too much because we’ve won four games on the bounce now. Once we get all the injuries back we’ll have an even stronger team, and it’s going to be hard for Northampton to come and beat us.”