Grant Maintained

JOEL Grant is not surprised that Argyle go into 2018 showing promotion form.

The Pilgrims’ 2-2 draw at Blackpool on Saturday extended their unbeaten Sky Bet League One run to six matches. 

Although Argyle remain in the bottom half of the division, it is all a far cry away from the first quarter of the campaign, when they were almost adrift at the bottom of the table. 

Three goals from midfielder Joel has helped the cause, but he always knew that the character at Home Park would pay dividends.

“We’ve got a very strong group, a very strong coaching staff,” he said. “The times when you see the best players and best coaches are in times of adversity and I think we’ve dealt with it really well. 

“Of course, we are still not where we want to be but, as I’ve said before, the ultimate goal is, at the end of the season, to be where we want to be. You do that by taking each game as it comes.”

Saturday’s draw was the second time in three away matches when Argyle, who led 2-0 at the interval through Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey, have been deprived of a victory by an injury-time equaliser. 

“It’s a disappointing result in the end,” said Joel. “Taking a 2-0 lead, we are disappointed to end up taking a point. 

“It’s a bit of déjà vu. You could say that’s four points lost in those two games, but, there again, it’s undefeated – it keeps the run going. 

“You have got to take the positives as well, so we move on to the next game.” 

Joel came on as an early second-half substitute at Bloomfield Road, with express instructions from manager Derek Adams to look after Blackpool’s former Pilgrim defender Kelvin Mellor. 

“He wanted me to come on and do a job on their right-back,” said Joel. “He was pushing on quite a bit so it was to try to stop the full-back and try to take him the other way.” 

Argyle had to settle for a point from their endeavours when Blackpool substitute Viv Solomon-Otabor tucked home the ball in the fourth minute of time added on. 

Joel said: “We had a chance to clear it, didn’t quite get our lines right, and they put the ball in the back of the net.

“You are coming on to try to stop that and go the other way. As an attacker, you want to come on a score and be influential that way; it’s not always easy to come on and defend.”