ARGYLE midfielder David Fox believes the Pilgrims’ form and being perceived as one of Sky Bet League Two’s big clubs makes them a target.
Derek Adams’ side travel to Hartlepool this weekend with an objective of their own: to hunt down leaders Doncaster Rovers, who are three points ahead of second-placed Argyle having played a game more.
Tuesday’s surprise 3-2 home defeat by Leyton Orient prevented them from closing the gap on Rovers, with the visitors’ late two-goal salvo the latest incidence of rivals upping their game when they come to Home Park.
David said: “When you are up there, you are there to be shot at.
“I think teams see us as a scalp, which can make it more difficult. I think a lot of teams do raise their game because it’s an enjoyable place to come and play: nice pitch; big crowd; it’s what players want to do.
“It’s something we’re kind of used to, something we’ve got to deal with. We’ve dealt with it alright so far; we have just got to keep going. We’ve dealt with it all season.”
The loss, coming after the high of a home win over neighbours Exeter City, has generated considerable reaction from the Green Army, but David said: “It’s important, as players and staff, we try to keep on an even keel throughout and try not to be influenced by everything that is going on around us.
“You try to keep your head down: we haven’t got too high after any victories and we haven’t got too disappointed after a defeat.
“Those that can keep their heads calm, maintain their focus and understand what it is going to take are the ones that are normally successful, so it is important we blank out the external noises coming from everywhere and focus on winning football matches.”
And what does “successful” mean for Argyle this season?
“We have got to get promoted,” said Foxy. “That’s the whole aim of the club before I even walked in the door. We are probably one of two or three whose target was to get automatic promotion, and there are a lot of teams that feel they can achieve it, as well.
“Ultimately, our aim at the minute is to try to catch Doncaster, and that is how we have got to look at it. You have got to try to look above you, keep trying to catch them.
“Then, hopefully, getting promoted will take care of itself.”