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Field of Dreams

Derek Driven by Anfield Experience

3 November 2017

WHETHER it is giant killings, non-league success stories or a trip to Wembley, the Emirates FA Cup always has the potential to create fantastic opportunities.

Last year saw Argyle create one of their own with what ultimately became a double tie against Premier League giants Liverpool. Previewing his club’s return to the competition, Pilgrims boss Derek Adams deemed it his favourite FA Cup memory to date.

“Obviously going to Anfield last year and taking Liverpool to a draw and taking them back to Argyle for the replay, was a very good experience,” said Derek, a view no doubt shared by many of the Argyle faithful.

“I think it’s always important that you have moments like that throughout your career. As a manager, it was nice to take a team to a Premier League ground and pit your wits against better opposition. That’s what Liverpool were, and we were able to nullify them.”

Although Plymouth couldn’t quite topple the former Champions League winners, Adams believes it was a beneficial experience for the club, especially on a financial level.

“We went to Anfield and drew the game in front of a live TV audience all over the world. It was a full house at Anfield, and then for the replay here it was a full house again. So financially, it was a huge boost to the football club, like the play-off final the season before. It always helps a football club run.”

First up this year are a side that Argyle know well from their encounters last season. Grimsby Town frustrated Plymouth on the final day, and Adams expects a similar meeting on Saturday.

“They’re much the same as last year,” said Derek. “They’ve made a few additions to their squad but they’re playing the same style. They were difficult opponents last year and this year we’ll have to be better than we were last year. They’re set up in a way that’s hard to beat but we’ve got players in the team who can score goals.

“They’re mid table in League Two, pushing to get into that play-off position, so we’ll just try and progress and get into round two.”

With the club remaining burdened by injuries, primarily in the goalkeeper department, Norwich have given permission for on loan Remi Matthews to get experience in the competition.

“Yes, we’ve got permission from Norwich, which is very good of them and I’m delighted. We thank them for allowing him to play,” said Derek. 


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