Derek Understands

SUCH has been the form of Argyle’s number ten this season that the Green Army are beginning to show concerns about how long they will be able to sing their favourite song of praise to him.

"We’ve got Carey, Graham Carey…’ is the somewhat tortuously shoehorned opening line to the fans’ refrain for the Irish midfielder; the worry is that other clubs would like to be able to say the same in the future.

Graham’s Home Park contract expires at the end of what has so far been a hugely productive campaign for him: of the 35 goals scored by the Pilgrims this season, just under 50% - 16 - have had either been scored or directly assisted by the Dubliner. 

Argyle manager Derek Adams has moved to head off interest from possible suitors and discussed a new deal with Graham and his people. That is as far as things have gone.

 “They want to wait,” said Derek. “Graham has done really well for us, so he is just keeping his options open. There is nothing else we can do at this moment in time. We have spoken to the agent and the player and it is in their court. We have done our side if the business.

“We would obviously like to keep him beyond the end of the season.”

Graham followed his former Ross County gaffer to England after Derek was appointed Argyle manager in the summer of 2015, and won plenty of admirers in Plymouth and beyond, as well picking up the Pilgrims’ Player of the Season award.

“Graham has done really well since he came to this football club,” said Derek. “Nobody in England really knew Graham before he came here and he has gone on to prove what a talent he can be.

 “So it’s great for me, as a manager, to see the creativity that Graham has got, and he’s used the platform and done well for the football club while he’s been here.

“We have got Graham contracted until the end of the season; he’s doing well and we are delighted with him.”

So, is Derek braced for interest from Argyle’s competitors and beyond when the transfer window opens in January? Will he be leaving Home Park midway through the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet league Two promotion push?

“I don’t see that happening,” said Derek, “unless there’s a bid that we feel is acceptable to the football club – that is the nature of business.
“Nobody has come in at this moment in time; we haven’t had any bids.

“Clubs will probably look at that possibility but obviously there is a value to the football club on his deal until the end of the season, and a value to the team – we’re in the promotion places.”

Crucial to Graham’s success and influence on Argyle is that he is playing for a manager who understands and knows how to get the best out of his mercurial talent. The Green Army will be hoping that plays well when the midfielder comes to deciding his future.

Derek said: “I know how Graham works; Graham knows how I work; we’ve got a very good working relationship and we’ve had it a number of times. 

“When he goes somewhere else eventually, which he is going to do, he has got to try to get that relationship with someone else. It’s never easy.”

Argyle meet Grimsby in the annual Armed Services Day fixture at Home Park on Saturday. Tickets are cheaper in advance - click here to get yours