MARGINS. At the stage of the season where every point won or lost is more acutely felt, analysed, celebrated or lamented, Argyle manager Derek Adams is determined to maximise his side’s potential.
The Pilgrims face Blackpool at Home Park on Tuesday night – with an earlier-than-usual 7.30pm kick-off – sitting in second spot in Sky Bet League Two and looking to close the gap on leaders Doncaster Rovers to a single point.
Assiduous as ever, Derek has been looking beyond the fitness and tactics of his team to consider what other aspects of the game that he can tweak in order to enhance the Pilgrims’ progress, on the pitch and off it.
He has no shame in standing down the Home Park ballboys if he feels the game needs slowing, and is quite prepared to ditch the Greens’ traditional home shirt colour during night matches if he thinks it will aid his players.
The combination of dark-dressed supporters in dark green seats creating a dark background on a dark night under floodlights that are not the brightest hampers instant recognition of team-mates wearing dark green from top to toe.
Derek has already tinkered with the players’ kit and, after successive Tuesday night defeats at Home Park, he may not have finished.
“We have an issue with the strip,” said Derek.
“We have changed to white socks because we feel the strip is too...green. We feel the white socks allow us to stand out more.
“I have had it before at other clubs, where we have played with white socks many times. It definitely helps the players stand out.
“The green on green with the pitch, and with the seating as well, does blend in. We just need a greater brightness to see people.”
So, will he take the white is right philosophy any further? Could the Pilgrims wear their ‘away’ shirts at home? After all, they wear their ‘home’ shorts away quite often and a lot of people who only watch the Pilgrims at Home Park never get to see the second strip live.
“That’s something we have spoken about,” said Derek.
“We have thought about that. We just have to be careful in what we do because we have got to respect that the home shirt is the home shirt.
“But, at times, we will wear the away strip for home games.”
He is not, though, blaming the shirt colour for the recent midweek defeats by Leyton and Notts County.
“It’s coincidence,” he said. “We were two minutes away from winning against Leyton Orient, and we didn’t play well against Notts County. These things happen.”
As for standing down the Home Park ballboys, Derek said: “If they are retrieving [the ball] too quickly, they get removed.
“Some grounds don’t have any ball boys or girls.
“We have just got to realise the situation we are in – we are in a big business here that has to be controlled in the proper manner.”