ONE way or another, Derek Adams is anticipating that set-pieces are likely to play an important part in Argyle’s Emirates FA Cup first-round tie at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The Stags are familiar foes, having lost 2-0 at Home Park already this season in a Sky Bet League Two encounter, although Argyle’s manager expects his counterpart at the One Call Stadium to vary his strategy following a run of just one win from their last six home matches.
“We’re unsure about how Mansfield might go because Adam Murray has spoken about their home form,” he said. “One thing is for sure – they are going to be direct and we are going to have to deal with a lot of high balls into the box because they have got a very good physical element to their team.
“They have changed their style a wee bit this year – they have got a lot of six-foot-plus players in their team. When they came down here earlier in the season, their players became bigger and bigger as they were coming off the bench.”
Playing into the mix is the wild card of a change of essential equipment for the change of competition. The Mitre ball used in EFL games stays in the dressing-room, usurped by the Nike FA Cup ball with which the Pilgrims’ players have been practicing this week.
Derek said: “When we change from manufacturer to manufacturer, the feel of the ball, the weight, the way it flies through the air, the way it bounces on the pitch, is all different. People will think it’s strange but that’s the way it is – it’s a different coating to the ball and a different manufacturer.
“We received them earlier in the week. It’s always interesting when they come out; the players get a wee bit excited.
“They will be practicing their free-kicks and corner-kicks. It does fly a wee bit different to the league ball.”