Fitting Fixtures

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams is pleased to start the 2016-17 season with a home fixture - whilst also having the chance to get a few lengthy journeys out of the way early on.

For only the third time in ten years, the Pilgrims kick off a campaign at Home Park, as Luton Town head south for the opening weekend of the new Sky Bet League Two season on August 6.

Eye-catching trips to Carlisle United and Notts County then follow for the Greens, and Adams is looking to head out on the road after a home victory that sets the tone for the campaign.

"I think having a home game is always great for the first game of the season," said Derek. "I think any club would want that, so we're happy with that.

"Then we've obviously got the long trip to Carlisle, which we get over and done with early, then we've got a midweek game against Notts County. The fixtures are what they are, and over the season you'll get a good run and a bad run.
"Last season we went away from home to Wimbledon and made an excellent start, and we'll be looking for that at home this year. I think that it helps the momentum of the season."

Also part of Argyle's opening set of fixtures is a trip to the Madejski Stadium, where Adams may well bump into a familiar face. The Pilgrims play Reading in the opening round of the EFL Cup, where former Green Craig Tanner could well feature for the home side.

"We're looking forward to it," said Adams. "Craig did very well for us last season, coming in on loan from Reading. It'll be good for him and it'll be good for us going there.

"It's obviously a difficult match against Championship opposition. It's always nice to go to these types of clubs."

Before all that, though, Adams is tasked with ensuring a new set of Argyle players are up to speed and ready for another gruelling campaign. Despite such a quick turnaround and many negotiations still in the works, the boss expects to have a very fit, competitive squad at his disposal come August.

"In pre-season I like to have a squad together very quickly," said Derek, "but this year it's going to be a wee bit more challenging.

"I think that we'll still be a number of players short of what I would like squad-wise in pre-season training, but by the time the season starts, we'll be prepared.

"I think it's important that players are fit and able to last the season - and last year we were able to do that. We had a very tight squad last year; we're just hopeful that we can add some more permanent signings, rather than having so many loan signings."