GRAHAM Carey believes that a new-found maturity is a crucial factor in Argyle’s barnstorming start to the season.
The Pilgrims cruised past Westcountry neighbours Yeovil Town at Home Park, winning 4-1 to maintain their early five-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League Two.
They have taken 25 of the last 27 points available to them after starting the campaign with successive defeats at home to Luton Town and at Carlisle United. That all seems a long time ago now.
“Even when we lost the first two games, we knew we had it in us because of the pre-season we had and the type of football we played,” said Graham, who scored a typically eye-catching goal for Argyle’s third.
“We probably weren’t as street-smart as we are now – we know how to grind out games and we have done that. We haven’t played well in some of the games and we’ve got victories. Maybe, last year, we would have got draws or lost those games.
"We’re more grown-up this year as a squad, a lot older, a lot more experienced, and I think it tells.”
Graham struck midway through the second half after two goals in four minutes just before half-time, from Jimmy Spencer and Jake Jervis, had put them in command of the game. They almost immediately lost that when Darren Ward pulled one back for Yeovil seconds before the interval.
“It was at an important time of the game,” said Graham, of his fifth goal of the season. “They had had a few chances and 3-1 just gives you a bit of a cushion.
“I’d had a few shots from outside the box when I tried to lace them and put too much power on them. I thought ‘just bend it around the defender’ and it kind of conned the ’keeper – I think he was expecting a bit more power. I don’t think he even saw the ball. It was a nice finish.
“I had some family over today and I always seem to score when they come over.
“We knew, going into half-time, when we had conceded the goal just before, that [Yeovil] were going to come out of the traps, and they did. They had few chances, probably from our sloppy defending at times, but I think, all in all, we had the game under control.
“Every time we lifted the tempo and lifted the pace, they couldn’t live with it. Even if they did get a goal, we were still comfortable, creating chances. Some of the play today was great and some of the movement and patterns of play were brilliant.
“It showed today with me, Jake and Ryan [Donaldson] – we found ourselves in positions where, at times, they couldn’t live with us. It’s the freedom the gaffer gives us – once we are in the defensive shape, the front four can express themselves.
“Apart from the goal – it would have been nice to keep a clean sheet – it was probably the most complete performance of the season.
“For the complete 90 minutes, I thought we were dominant; we played with a bit of freedom, with a bit of arrogance, almost.”