On the Knock

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams is waiting on a medical assessment on Graham Carey after the Irish midfielder limped off during Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy match against Exeter City.

“He hurt his ankle in a tackle towards the end of the game,” said Derek. “It doesn’t look like it’s anything serious. We will have to see.”

Carey was replaced by Ruben Lameiras, whose last-quarter cameo, in which he laid on a goal for Nathan Blissett to level the match at 2-2, caught the eye. 

Lameiras also scored one of the five successful penalties in the subsequent 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory as Argyle moved to the top of Group D with four points from two matches. 

“We all know what Ruben can do,” said Derek. “He’s an intelligent player; he’s very skilful; and he has been unfortunate at the start of the season because he started pre-season very well. 

“The spell we have been in, it has been difficult to get a creative player in, but he has shown glimpses that he can really open up defence, and that’s why we have taken him here. 

“It’s just about getting him in the side, because we have had to defend quite a lot of games when we’ve been in this division, but he can open up a defence with one pass, and we’ve seen that a couple of times tonight.” 

Derek resisted the temptation to tinker with his side too much, with one eye on Saturday’s League One match at home to Fleetwood Town. Central defender Jakub Sokolik replaced Gary Miller at right-back, with Miller suspended for the weekend, in the only change from the 2-1 defeat by Bristol Rovers three days earlier. 

“I just wanted to get a bit of continuity,” said Derek. “I didn’t want to chop and change. I’ve had to chop and change because of injuries and suspensions and tonight was just about trying to play players that played on Saturday. I only made one change. I didn’t feel it was the right opportunity tonight to give players that opportunity.” 

Sonny Bradley is suspended for league matches but not the Checkatrade Trophy and Derek said: “I could have played him, but he’s obviously unavailable for Saturday. 

“It was a Catch-22 situation: do I play him, rest somebody and then have to throw them back in on Saturday? There wasn’t a right way or a wrong way to go about it – the feeling I had was to give us continuity.” 

The indications are that Sokolik will continue out of position at right-back for the visit of Fleetwood, with no other fit or available right-backs in the squad. 

Derek said: “When you are a centre-back playing at right-back, is not easy but, if you defend properly and use the ball, it is a position that centre-halves can play. But it’s not easy when you are thrust into that position.”

He also conceded that playing with three centre-backs was an option. 

“We have done that in the past,” he said. “We have got the players that are capable of doing that.”