Call a Halt

DEREK Adams is keen to halt in another Sky Bet League Two side’s surging run.

This season, Argyle have faced Doncaster Rovers and Exeter City, among others, when the opposition were in the midst of a superb run – but it was the Pilgrims who prevailed. 

This Saturday’s opponents Mansfield Town have lost only one of their last 13 games in Sky Bet League Two, but Adams believes Argyle can head to the One Call Stadium looking to put a dent in the Stags’ charge up the table.

“We played against Exeter who were on a very good run and ended that,” said Derek. “We did the same to Doncaster as well.”

Steve Evans’ side are currently in eighth position in League Two, only two points shy of a play-off spot, with 52 points from their 35 games.

The Pilgrims will be looking to get back to winning ways having lost to Blackpool on Tuesday evening. Indeed, a win over Carlisle last Saturday is Argyle’s only victory in the last six matches.  

Argyle will be hoping to make it three wins in three against Mansfield Town this season, having already got the better of them twice. The Pilgrims won 2-0 at Home Park in August thanks to a Graham Carey double, then won 2-1 at Mansfield in the Emirates FA Cup three months later, when Jordan Slew and David Fox were on target. 

It could be a different test for the Pilgrims this time around, as the Stags have made personnel changes at the club, having appointed Steve Evans as their manager in mid-November, shortly after Argyle’s FA Cup victory. 

“We went there in the FA Cup and were able to win 2-1,” said Derek. “They have changed manager and changed personnel; they’ve invested in January and are trying to push in the play-off position.

“He has changed the approach as well; Steve has his idea to how the game is played, he’s been very successful at that at a number of clubs and we have to deal with that.”

The Pilgrims are assessing injured players ahead of the trip to Mansfield, including Antoni Sarcevic and Jakub Sokolik, who were not in the squad against Blackpool on Tuesday night. 

Sarcevic has had a stop-start Pilgrims existence thus far. He was injured during his fourth appearance, against Leyton Orient, meaning he missed a trip to Hartlepool. Antoni would quickly return for the following away game, a 1-1 draw at Luton, and play on another two consecutive occasions, become succumbing to injury once more. 

Sarcevic and Sokolik joined during a busy January transfer window, in which Matty Kennedy also became a Pilgrim. He too, has suffered from injury since arriving, but has managed to play each game so far. 

“We’ve got a few knocks and bruises,” said Derek. “We have to assess them today and tomorrow. We’ll give them every opportunity to be ready for Saturday but we’re not to know until tomorrow who is fit and who’s not.

“Playing Sarvecic (against Luton) didn’t back fire as we got a very good draw away at Luton and that allowed us to keep the points gap between ourselves and Luton to eight points so he’s done well and he played against Carlisle as well and we won 2-0, so I’m happy with that.

“Kennedy started his loan spell very brightly. He has scored three in three but he has picked up a slight injury over the last couple of games and he just needs to get back to his best again. To come in and get nominated for player of the month so quickly shows the directness of the ability that he has to score goals as well as create.

“The injury wasn’t a factor in taking him off on Tuesday but he has suffered a slight injury so we’re just assessing him again."