Driven to be the Best

DEREK Adams and the memories of 2015-16 are the twin drivers of Argyle’s successful start to the season.

The Argyle manager has steered the Pilgrims to top spot in Sky Bet League Two on the back of a remarkable 12 wins and two draws from their opening 16 matches.

They take that superb form into Saturday’s Armed Services Day game against Grimsby at Home Park, determined to maintain their seven-point lead over their divisional rivals. 

“The foot is to the floor,” said Derek. “We have still got to pick up a lot of points. 

“We have got 38 points already and we want to add to them. There are 30 games to go, a long way to go. We have given ourselves a very good start and hopefully can continue that.

“I think it is going to be very tight this season to get into the promotion places.

“The league is better than last year. The reason I say that is that, between third place and mid-table, there are a good number of teams on equal points. There are a lot of teams that can beat each other and they’ve shown that throughout the season.

“We’ve got experienced players in the team and players that want to succeed. We’ve got a lot of players that want to drive on, which is important in a squad. We’re pushing them, day in day out, to make them better, and we are seeing the fruits of that.”

Argyle went off like a train last season, only to falter towards the end of a better-than-hoped-for campaign and ultimately suffer heartache in the play-off final at Wembley.

Derek said: “As a manager, you want to be the best; we were trying for that but we were two wins short of automatic promotion. We should have had it, but we didn’t perform well enough in two games.”

Derek, the 31st longest serving manager in English football, will come up against the third-shortest on Saturday, Marcus Bignot having been appointed Grimsby gaffer on November 7. 

“He’ll be finding his feet at the football club and be getting to know the players that are there,” said Derek. “They have started the season really well; they are in the play-off positions. Like Barnet last year, they have come up from the National League and done really well, putting a lot of pressure on the teams around about them.”

Bignot has linked up again with hot forward Omar Bogle, who he sold to the Mariners from previous club Solihull Moors.

Derek said: “They have got a number of talented players. Bogle is the one that stands out for them and we’ll have to watch him.

“You just have to look at the scoring charts. He scored two goals last week; he’s quick; he’s direct; and he’s robust. We will have to watch out for him.”