Centre of Attention
AFTER displaying some adept defensive versatility, Gary Sawyer confirmed he has no qualms about playing a central defensive role for Argyle.
Spending of all his playing time this season at left back until last Saturday, Sawyer was moved into a central role during Argyle's 2-2 draw with Oxford United, as the Greens reshuffled to cover the injury to Peter Hartley.
Centre back is by no means an alien position to the 30-year old, though, and the switch was as comfortable for the man himself as it looked to everyone else at Home Park last weekend.
“I like centre-half – if I had a couple more inches I probably would've probably been a centre-half originally,” said Sawyer.
“I played there for Exeter when I was there, and I played probably two or three games for Bristol Rovers there. I've probably only played five times [at centre back] since I left.
“I loved it; I haven't played it for years, so it was quite nice to go back in. I grew up being centre half through the youth teams, and played a lot of games in first teams as a centre-half. It takes you a couple of minutes just to get back into it, but I enjoyed it.”
Sawyer had already caught the eye of many onlookers at Home Park with his first-half performance at left back, and secured a deserved man-of-the-match award. by not missing a step when shifted inside.
“In any game you play,” said Gary, “if you do the first couple of things right then it does obviously put you on a high.
“Centre-half is not something that I don't know how to do; I've played it enough times, so it was just a case of getting back used to it, really. It's different in terms of where you receive the ball, and obviously a lot of your game is dominated through the air with the aerial challenges.
“I enjoy centre-half – I always have done – but it is a bit of a shift. You don't get the chance to get forward as much and I wasn't allowed up for corners, so I had to stay at the back!”
Sawyer's switch was an after-effect of a fortnight's worth of injuries taking their toll on the Argyle squad, but the defender is backing both active and side-lined Pilgrims to pull to once again pull together in the face of adversity.
“It's football, unfortunately,” said Gary. “We haven't got a massive squad, but we've dealt with that all year and had injuries through the season, so it's just another stage that we have to get through.
“Hopefully the injuries won't take too long, and we'll be back up and running with everyone as soon as possible.
“We don't tend to change a lot from personnel coming in and out. Everyone's played their part this season, and that's going to be the case until the end of the season now with the injuries we've got.”