Serve and Protect

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams does not believe his players receive adequate protection from match officials.

Derek made his observation after Pilgrims’ midfielder David Fox had limped off during Argyle’s 1-1 Sky Bet League Two draw at Luton following a fierce challenge by Luton’s Jordan Cook. 

Two games previously, Argyle lost Fox’s fellow midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who was put out of action during their home game against Leyton Orient in a similar incident.

Cook was cautioned by referee Darren Drysdale, who had earlier booked Town centre-back Jonathan Smith after an equally robust tackle on Graham Carey.

“We probably haven’t had protection over a number of games now from the referees,” said Derek.”There have been some serious challenges. 

“I thought [Luton] were very fortunate to have 11 players on the pitch. Smith’s tackle on Carey was a bad tackle and Cook’s tackle on Fox, as well...Fox has had to go off at half-time because [Smith]’s gone right over the top of him.

“It’s not a good one – he’ll be struggling for Tuesday night.”

Derek was pleased with how Argyle dealt with the home side’s direct approach, which got them off to flyer when Danny Hylton scored. The Pilgrims were good value for the point achieved through Craig Tanner’s 25th-minute equaliser.

“Today was always going to be a physical match, a tetchy affair at times,” said Derek. “Luton are a team who are long-ball; they like to get the ball into their strikers very quickly and we dealt well with that. We knew that as going to be the trouble for us today.

Derek believes opposition teams see the Pilgrims – who remain second in the division – as a scalp and expects Notts County, midweek visitors to Home Park, to be no different.

“Plymouth Argyle are a very big club and teams want to get the better of us and raise their game,” he said. 

“Every game in this league is difficult at this stage of the season – teams are fighting for promotion and fighting relegation. 

“We’ll have to assess how the squad is and go again on Tuesday.”