Adams Adapting

SOME unfamiliar names and unfamiliar line-ups were on show during Argyle's 2-2 draw with Oxford United, as Derek Adams once again adapted to cover off injury issues.

Following the serious injuries of Jordon Forster and Ryan Brunt against Barnet on Tuesday night, Oscar Threlkeld picked up a knock on Friday that ruled him out of the Oxford clash, in which headers from Curtis Nelson and Craig Tanner cancelled out a Peter Hartley own goal and a Kemar Roofe strike for the visitors.

Hartley himself was also forced to withdraw at half-time, leaving Gary Sawyer and Ben Purrington to form part of Argyle's defensive setup, but the boss was impressed by the showings of both players.

"We obviously had to change a number of times in the game because of injuries," said Derek. "Gary Sawyer's gone to centre-half and Ben Purrington to left back.

"Ben's making his first league start of this season, and played very well. He was very good. 19 years of age, and we had no problems putting him in there today. I thought he was excellent.

"He [Sawyer] was outstanding when he went back there, and it was good to see. He's a good reader of the game, very experienced, and it was a good performance from him."

The injuries meant Adams was unable to name a full set of substitutes against the U's, with the six players on the bench including academy prospect Jordan Bentley.

"He's a 16-year old," said Adams, "and from my point of view he's a defender, and we needed a defender on the bench today.

"He's trained with the under-18s and played with them, but we needed a defender on the bench and he was the best option for us."

Bentley's inclusion exemplifies the issues Adams has been faced with over the last week, but the boss has already shown an adeptness in shuffling his pack when needed, and is in mood to shy away from the task on his hands.

"It's very frustrating, but [there's] not much you can do with somebody smashing into a barrier or possibly doing a cruciate ligament," said Adams, "so not much you can do but get on with it and deal with it.

"That's what we do, and that's why we're managers - because we can deal with these circumstances - and that's why other people are not managers."