WITH the highly anticipated Devon Derby drawing ever closer, the motivation of Derek Adams and his Greens squad certainly cannot be put into question...
...and the gaffer is expecting an exceptional atmosphere.
Derek is expecting Home Park to provide, as always, a rapturous reaction for the Devon Derby. A sell-out crowd will be there to watch the Greens battle it out, and the manager is not playing down what a result will mean to the fans or the club.
“It’s three points, but it’s important to the people of Plymouth because it is a Devon Derby," said Derek.
“We’ve shown earlier in the season with a commanding performance against Exeter how well we can do in these games.
“I think that the atmosphere here when it’s packed out is excellent, and the players feed off of that.
“We know that when we go to Exeter they are very hostile and it’s a cauldron at times, and that’s what it has to be here tomorrow.
“Our supporters have to be on the back of the Exeter players from the first minute, have to cause them a lot of trouble, and we’ll be doing that on the pitch as well."
Players form both squads have experience of playing for the rivals. Argyle's line-up may feature Ryan Taylor, David Fox and Gary Sawyer, all ex-Grecians of various eras, while Exeter could start with Reuben Reid and Luke Croll in their side, both of whom have been Pilgrims. Reid, in particular, shone in the green-and-white. He scored 50 goals for Argyle - 10% of them against Exeter - in 165 appearances. Only 20 Pilgrims have ever scored more times for Argyle.
Reuben made his Exeter debut in the 2-0 Argyle win earlier this season, and got a rather mixed reaction from the Green Army.
“It’s always a big match, we’ll see that on Saturday," said Derek. "I think that happens when you have ex-players playing for the opposition; when I was back in Scotland they used to get lots of abuse when they came out and played against each other, and that’s the nature of a derby match.
“When you go over that divide and you sign for someone else you’re due a wee bit of stick, and that’s what will happen on Saturday."
Despite a good run of form by the Grecians of late, the Pilgrims boss is firmly focused on his own squad before the game.
“I’m not concerned with Exeter Football Club, all I’m concerned about is Plymouth Argyle, and the talent that we’ve got in our side that Exeter will have to deal with," said Derek.
“There’s a lot of goals in our team, a lot of pace and creativity. We’ve scored a good number of goals this season, we’ve defended strongly at times.
“It’s more about them worrying about us, than us worrying about them.”
There is no doubt in the mind of Derek, or any Green in his squad, of what result should be when the 90 minutes have concluded. When asked if a draw is an acceptable result, the answer was firm and simple.
“No. we’ll take a win.”