Take it to the Bridge
ARGYLE go into Saturday’s home Sky Bet League Two game against Cambridge pursuing a sixth successive victory for the first time in a decade.
Even that, might not be enough to persuade manager Derek Adams not to change a winning team.
“It doesn’t mean we won’t change the system,” he said. “I have shown that before. We have to have players who perform well every week. If they are not performing, we have got players on the substitutes’ bench who are ready to come in.”
That is no idle boast. Six of the seven potential replacements in the squad that beat Cheltenham Town 1-0 a week ago had already previously started at least one game and the seventh – new signing Arnie Garita – made quite an impact when he came on early in the second half.
Derek said: “We have got very good competition up front. We have got five or six players that can play in that area. Arnie came on and performed well for his first outing here and hopefully he’ll do well between now and January.”
With former Cambridge forward Jimmy Spencer – whose last goal for the U’s was against Argyle, at the end of last season – having injured a thigh against Cheltenham, a pathway may open up this weekend for Arnie, or David Goodwillie, or another ex-Abbey man, Jordan Slew.
Whoever leads the line, all of the Argyle front men bring something different to the party, and all will contribute to the season-long campaign.
“Jimmy’s shown, last season, that he can score goals,” said Derek. “He’s done really well for us in the forward position by taking other players into the game and allowing them to express themselves.
“We tried to sign him in the January transfer window and were unable to do that. We’ve kept tabs on him for a long time. He’s a youngster and one that combines well with the rest of the players we have here.”
Those players include a third former Cambridge United man, midfielder Ryan Donaldson, who has been an integral part of a team that has won its last three League Two games without conceding a goal.
“He’s settled in well,” said Derek. “He’s a trustworthy individual. He can play in a variety of positions and you need players in your team that you can trust on a weekly basis.
“He’s one of these players, like James Milner, who can play in a variety of positions and give you seven out of ten every week.”
With three ex-U’s in the Argyle squad, there is potential for inside information and the motivation of facing former employers. However, Derek will stick to tried and trusted principles.
He said: “When you play against your former team, you want to do well. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s difficult, but they always want to do well.
“It doesn’t change my thought-process on what team we are going to play. I am going to play a team that is capable of beating Cambridge on Saturday.”