Second Thoughts

AFTER Argyle nearly disappeared off the footballing map six years ago and subsequently struggled for survival...

...most of the Green Army would happily forgo winning this season’s Sky Bet League Two title and settle for simple promotion.

That does not apply to  ambitious Pilgrims’ manager Derek Adams, who tasted twin title success with Ross County in Scotland, and who wants to replicate that achievement south of Hadrian’s Wall.

Of course, with eight games of the 2016-17 campaign to go, neither the title nor promotion is anything like decided, but it is certain that the result of Sunday’s Sky TV showdown between league leaders Doncaster Rovers and second-placed Argyle in South Yorkshire will have a significant bearing on both.

Derek said: “From my point of view, I would like to try to win the league.

“I have been fortunate in my managerial career so far that I have won two leagues, so I know what that is all about.

“We will have to go to Doncaster and put on a good performance, because we have to win the game to have an opportunity of getting that.”

The arithmetic of the promotion-race offers many potentialities. The facts as they stand are that Doncaster are six points in front of Argyle, who are 10 points away from the leading side outside the top-three automatic promotion spots.

The chasing pack is led by Stevenage, who have won nine of their last 12 matches, but Portsmouth, Luton, Carlisle, Exeter and Blackpool – all of who, of course, played 24 hours earlier than the top two this weekend – also have designs on a top-three finish.

“This league is very difficult to read,” said Derek. “You can see, by teams putting winning runs together and teams putting losing runs together, that anything can happen.

“There are eight games to go and there are 24 points to be played for. We all know what we have got to do.

“After Saturday’s games, ourselves and Doncaster will know what has happened to everybody else and we will know what we have to do.”