Focus Groups

ARGYLE’S 1-0 defeat to Barnet halted another strong run of form for Derek Adams’ side, and the boss remains pleased with the club’ league situation as they turn their focus to another competition.

The Greens were unable to make it seven games unbeaten, as a header in the 13th minute from Mauro Vilhete was enough for the Bees to record their third consecutive win over Argyle. Despite the loss, the form of Derek’s side in the first half of the season means they sit inside the Sky Bet League Two promotion places as 2017 kicks off.

“We’ve done really well; we were on a six-game unbeaten run, and today it’s come to an end because Barnet have been able to get that one goal,” said Derek.

“We’ve been on a very good run. We’ve taken 48 points; it’s as good as we’d hoped. We’ve won fifteen games; it’s only ourselves and Doncaster who’ve been able to do that in the league. You want to be in and around that area with five games to go. You want to keep yourself in and about, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The defeat at The Hive was Argyle’s only a loss over the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule, which included wins at home, on the road, and earning the right to face Liverpool in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup. Attention now turns to next weekend’s special occasion, and the boss is looking forward to approaching the match with a very different mentality to league affairs.

“It’s been difficult, obviously yesterday and playing today, but it’s the same for everybody else in the league,” said Adams. “Now we’ve got the FA Cup to look forward to. 

“It’s a great day for the football club, and a terrific achievement from the players to get the football club this far, and to get a game at Anfield where all the supporters want to go.

“We’ve played week in, week out with a lot of pressure on us. This week we have no pressure, going to Anfield. Nobody expects us to do anything there so there’s no pressure on us. We just look forward to the game.”

Argyle loanees Craig Tanner and Paul-Arnold Garita will both be desperate to earn a place in the starting XI against Liverpool. Both players’ loan deals extend past the date of the third round tie, and a decision on their future past those contracts can be expected soon.

“At this moment in time, there’s nothing happening,” said Derek. “We have spoken to the clubs and we’re waiting to hear back if they’re able to stay with us, if we want them to stay – and also if the players want to stay. 

“We’d like something to happen, but it’s got to be on our terms – not on everybody else’s terms.”