DEREK Adams is desperate to permanently bring the good times back to Argyle, after taking the city on a memorable journey in the Emirates FA Cup.
Argyle bowed out of football’s oldest cup competition to Liverpool thanks to Lucas Leiva’s 18th-minute header in the third round replay, but not before giving the Reds an almighty scare in front of a national audience on two occasions.
Not for the first time since Adams arrived at Home Park, the Pilgrims have found themselves at the forefront of the football landscape, making plenty of new friends along the way. Those new admirers will know what the Green Army have known along: that Argyle has the potential to be much further up the footballing ladder than it is currently placed – and Adams believes he is the right person to guide them there.
“Tonight, we’ve put Plymouth Argyle on the map again,” said Derek. “A lot of press coverage has come from this game.
“The attendance was fantastic, and I think the support we’ve had over the two games – to travel to Liverpool and then fill out the capacity crowd tonight – has shown a worldwide audience that this football club can get back to where it belongs, and they believe it belongs in the Championship.
“They’ve had a lot of hard times over the years, and we’re just trying to rebuild that and get it back to where it’s been before.
“The city has got a population of roughly 300,000, and I think that it’s the largest city not to play in the Premier League. Over the years, they want to get there. We’re building the blocks to get them back there. I’ve been at a club in the past in Ross County, taking them from the Second Division right up into the Premier League. We’re trying to move them through the leagues here again.”
To achieve this, focusing back onto Sky Bet League Two matters and earning promotion is now of the utmost importance. With the confidence of going toe-to-toe with one of the country’s greatest sides and the backing of the Green Army, the signs are certainly positive.
“We’re in a tough division,” said Derek. “We play against teams who play in different styles. Tonight, Liverpool were a passing side and we stopped them creating many opportunities. On the flip-side, we also created opportunities.
“The fans were fantastic over the two games. To take 9,000 to Liverpool and then tonight, we’ve had to put extra seating in just to accommodate them. They generated a terrific atmosphere for the football club.”