The Ringmaster

THE circus may have departed Central Park...

...but Derek Adams is still concentrating on his own, very delicate, balancing act.

On the one hand, his Argyle side are looking big at the top, having won six straight Sky Bet League Two games, on top of a 4-1 win over Newport County in the Checkatrade Trophy. All this was topped off by a 2-0 win over Exeter City in the first Devon Derby of the season, on Saturday. 

Naturally, this leads to excitement and expectation. When Argyle hit top spot, and knock off their local rivals in the process, it is not just the Green Army that are excited. Plymouth – indeed, the whole of the south-west – begins to take note. 

Derek, though, must lead his lads through supporters turning cartwheels and juggle the responsibility of generating excitement while tempering expectation. 

Should Argyle allow their heady position to attract complacency, then lose forthcoming fixtures, it would be a huge, metaphorical, custard pie to the face. 

“Always, when you win a derby game, it gives the city a lift, it gives the supporters a lift,” said Derek. “It’s a good game to win to make people happy. 

“We’re in the job to win games. It’s obviously important to win derby matches, but we’re in it to win on a weekly basis. We do treat the game differently, but it’s three points at stake. 

“We just keep our feet on the ground, we’ll work hard. We’ve done that yesterday and today.”

No-one knows his squad like Derek, though, and the Argyle boss is confident that his talented squad who have risen to the summit of the division will have the mental, as well as physical, acumen, to stay there. 

“We have players who are working extremely hard, and they are focused,” said Derek. “They know how difficult the games are, coming up, and that includes Saturday. We’ve got to be bang at it when we go out on the pitch. 

“Coming off a derby win is important. We played very well on Saturday, and to get a sixth win – seven in all competitions – it’s an excellent start to a season. 

“We want to continue that run on Saturday.”