Six of the Best
IT was around the turn of the year during the 2003-04 season that Argyle last won six games in a row during the same campaign.
This weekend, the class of 2016-17 has a chance to emulate the Pilgrims’ Nationwide Second Division title-winning side – or, indeed, Ian Holloway’s 2007 Argyle side’s winning sextet across two successive seasons – when they host Cambridge United.
They do so from third position in Sky Bet League Two, 21 places above their bottom-of-the-table visitors who, like Argyle, have extensively rebuilt their squad over the summer.
“They are a good side,” said Pilgrims’ manager Derek Adams. “They have changed over the summer and it takes time for a team to gel when they make so many changes to their squad. We know what it’s like, and other teams are finding it as well.
“I would have thought they would be up there, in and around the play-off places this year. That is the objective for most teams in this league.
“It’s hard for me to talk about Cambridge – I would like to talk about our team and how positive the start to the season has been, taking in 16 players over the summer, keeping the ones that are here already and being able to gel them quite quickly. We have got to look at the positives from our point of view.
“We have had a very good start to the season. We are more than delighted with the way we have started the campaign.
“When you start the season, you want to get wins home and away and we have been able to do that. We have got good competition for places and that’s going to help us, hopefully, throughout the season.”
Argyle led the way during the early part of last season but have snuck up on their opponents this time round after losing their opening two league matches.
Derek said: “I’m probably happier being part of the pack. At this stage of the season, it is important that you’re in and around that area. I think, last year, it became difficult for us. We were in and around that top three for a long time and it is not easy leading the pack.
“The important thing is where you finish at the end of the season, after 46 games. From our point of view, as we know, it’s a long season. We’ve had a good start.
“We have been delighted with the way we have played, going away to the likes of Notts County and Blackpool and picking up maximum points. It’s a tough league, but we have been able to score goals and keep clean sheets, and that’s what you need in this league.
“Away form is vital, as well. We have shown that from last season. It was one of the best away records that this football club has ever had. We have won five on the bounce. We did that last year. I think the only other time the club has done that in recent years was a good number of years before that and a lot of credit has to go to the players for that.”
There will be more credit if, after a good number of years, the players extend the winning run to six on Saturday.