DEREK Adams is preparing for Argyle’s toughest test of the pre-season campaign so far.
The Pilgrims meet MVV Maastricht on Tuesday and, for the first time in the build-up to the Sky Bet League Two 2016-17 season, go into the game as underdogs.
Maastricht play in the second tier of the Dutch League – the Eerste Divisie – and will offer a fresh test to Derek’s Pilgrims on MVV’s artificial surface.
“I think it it’ll be a very difficult game for us,” said Derek. “They have played in the top division before, they like to get the ball down and play, and they have speedy players in their team – we’ll have to be bang at it to get anything out of the game.
“They are technically very gifted players, well structured. Our players will have to be on their game, in an away tie where we’ve never been before, and it’s on Astroturf: these are all things we will have to deal with.
“They’ll be favourites for the game, but we’ll go in and try to attack, get the ball in forward areas and be creative – but also be defensively sound as well. As we come to the new campaign, we’ll have to do that on a weekly basis.”
Derek was speaking following the conclusion of training on the first full day at Argyle’s training camp in Delden, in the Netherlands.
The Aparthotel boasts three stunning pitches for the lads to train on, spa facilities, as well a plethora of other sporting activities, from tennis to golf, by way of darts, ten-pin bowling and air hockey.
“It’s a very good setup,” said Derek. “The hotel look after us very well. The training facilities are very good.
“We’ve had a couple of good training sessions today. It’s been very warm, but the playing surface is excellent – it’s been watered, morning and night. Now we look forward to tomorrow’s game. We’ll have one more training session tomorrow, then travel to Maastricht.
“For recovery time we have the swimming pool, the sauna; that’s all good for us. The players can go out on a bike and relax. The golf course is there – they might get on that on Wednesday afternoon if they are lucky – and having that, being able to relax and be around each other for five days, 24 hours a day, is going to benefit us. You get to know people a lot better.”