Freedom of Speech

DEREK Adams is keen for his players to keep communicating, on and off the pitch.

Argyle head to Mansfield on Saturday for an Emirates FA Cup first-round game at the One Call Stadium, a faintly ironic name given that the home side’s manager, Adam Murray, has banned his players from using mobile ’phones at the club.

He reasons that the ban will oblige his players to talk with each other more which, in turn, will enhance communication in a match-day environment. 

While not disagreeing with his Mansfield counterpart, Derek will not be asking his Pilgrims to switch to silent at Home Park.

“Since I have come into management, I have treated my players as adults,” he said. “We obviously have rules and regulations, but I have always given them very good leeway. I think that’s important.

“If they go past it, they have a problem. They are all mature adults, with families, with mortgages. I read a lot and see certain things getting banned. It is maybe right for some clubs, but I don’t have a problem with it.”

Certainly, there seems to be little wrong with Argyle’s on-field interaction this season, with plenty of movement in the opposition’s final third of the pitch. 

“I like my players to be creative; I don’t like them to play rigidly,” said Derek, “although I do like them to play rigidly when they have not got the ball. When we have got the ball, they have got the licence to go and excite the crowd. 

“We are in an entertainment business and we have got entertaining players. You have got to give them licence.

“It’s like a school kid on the park at school – you can’t coach them too early; you have to give them that freedom. Then you have to give them the good habits that they need to defend. 

“Defending is very important, but we have to go and entertain people.”