DEREK Adams told supporters in attendance at Argyle's latest pre-season friendly that he is close to knowing his team for the opening game of the Sky Bet League One season.
Speaking after Argyle had lost 3-0 to an FC Twente XI consisting of the Dutch clubs most promising youngsters, and some first-teamers left behind from Twente's current tour in the UK, Derek suggested he was moving towards knowing his side for when Argyle meet Peterborough on Saturday, August 5.
"We’ve got a very good idea of how we are going to go into the Peterborough match," said Derek. "Over the pre-season we have got a blend of the squad, we’ve got a good group, and we are now ready to go."
Against Twente, in a match played at the home of BSC Unisson, just outside Twente's home city of Enschede, the Pilgrims fell behind to goals in each half by Siebe Schets. After giving away a penalty, Argyle's Dutch goalkeeper Robbert te Loeke saved the resultant spot kick from Tim van de Schepop, but the Twente subsitute managed to add a third goal in the final minute of the match.
Pleasingly, despite strict conditions of behind-closed-doors meaning we were unable to advertise the fixture at large, we were given permission to bring our seven official tour guests with us. Afterwards, they conducted the interview, which you can watch in full above.
“It gave the players that didn’t play against Feyenoord a run out,” said Derek. “It was important that everybody got a start.
“It was a competitive game for us. We played against a very good opposition. FC twente had a number of players left behind from their first team who played.
“A number of players needed match time; they’ve been injured and missed a bit of time, and younger players got a bit of time.
“It give them a test, and it gives you a realisation that you are not as good a player as you think you are, sometimes. A reality check is a good thing in any walk of life. Today, it gave us an opportunity to play against some really good players. They are a team that produce some really good youngsters, as well as some players that came down from the first team and performed well for them.
“For me, it was about giving them a start while they are out here in Holland. If it was about the result you would play your strongest team, but I played a number of players who needed game time. The purpose of today was about getting players 90 or 60 minutes.”