Secret Ingredients

ACCORDING to Argyle coach Paul Wotton, the secret to Argyle’s recent form... that there is no secret. 

Following a win over Sky Bet League Two bottom side Newport County on Saturday, the Pilgrims’ continued to build momentum, extending their winning run to 12 games.  Some have raised the question as to what the magical ingredients are that produce such a run. Paul cannot directly answer that. 

“There really isn’t [a secret],” he said. “We don’t do anything different in preparation for an away game that we don’t also do for a home game. 

The only thing is the travelling, but we are where we are and travelling is what it is. We get to stay in great hotels and we get looked after really well, so the boys get everything that they need to prepare properly for the game. 

“As far as the actual game is concerned some away games feel like home games because of the fans that we’ve got, especially for a London game, and even Newport on Saturday.”

The Pilgrims are enjoying their best start to a League season for 86 years. You have to journey back to the 1929-30 season to match such an achievement. The League Two leaders are keen to push on and consolidate their fast start in order to make club history.

Two goals at Newport took Graham Carey on to seven for the season. He tops an Argyle goalscoring list that already has 11 different names on it – and seven of those have more than one goal to their name. 

Sharing the goals around, says Wotton, could be a big key to success. 

“I think it is vital,” he said. “If you are too reliant on certain players, then with suspensions and injuries suddenly your goals have gone. 

“There are a few cases where teams have a twenty-goals-a-season man but they haven’t got to the play-offs because no one else is chipping in. It is important that we can score from all areas.”

Wotton is in a better positon than most to pinpoint the sources of success in this current crop of players. In addition to making over 400 appearances for the club, he captained the Division Three title-winning side of 2001-02, from which so many comparisons are being drawn, and perhaps pressure added to live up to that fondly-remembered team. 

That year, Paul Sturrock’s Pilgrims swept all rivals aside, and coasted to promotion. This term, nothing has been achieved yet, says Wotton, who you sense would be satisfied if the talk of comparison were to cease, yet the results continue to come. 

He said: “The only comparison that I can see at the minute is that we are both winning games and in that sense a comparison is quite easy to make. 

“We have the same work ethic. The boys work extremely hard and there are perhaps better individuals in this team at present. 

“As for the changing room, I am not really in there now unfortunately, but people make comparisons at the moment because both teams were winning, it’s an easy one to make. 

“The biggest pressure that can ever be on them is their own personal pressure and like you said we are on a good run and enjoying ourselves.”