Pressure Points

DEREK Adams admits feeling under pressure, but not because his Argyle side are bottom of Sky Bet League One and winless in eight matches going into their Westcountry derby at Bristol Rovers.

The Pilgrims’ manager is convinced that he will achieve the club’s aim of still being a League One side at the end of the season, and the only pressure he suffers from is that which he brings on himself and which he knows comes with the territory. 

“I always feel pressure,” he said. “Since I came to this football club, every day, you feel under pressure because that’s the onus you put on yourself. 

“We’ve come up from League Two; we’re in League One; we’re competing. We’re delighted to be in League One and we want to be there at the end of the season. We think we will be. 

“We are where we are at this moment in time. Football’s a long season. This season is not over ten games – it’s over 46 games. We always get people who panic but usually the managers are the strongest people at a football club; that’s why they are in the position. 

“I remember my first season in the Premier League in Scotland after we got promoted and we were sitting in 11th position around about the 20-game mark; we finished fifth in the league, just a win off a European place.

“It turns around so quickly when you get a run together but, the day and age it is, people want instant fixes and, sometimes, that’s not the best way possible. 

“We’ve got a plan in place. We’ve got promoted and a position in place where we’re looking to stay in the league. We spoke about it at that the start of the season and it is about consolidating our in the league in our first season for six years; that’s still our aim and we are still in a position that we can do that.” 

Managing expectations was probably always going to be more difficult than managing the team this season following 2016-17’s buoyant promotion ride. Supporters have got used to a steady stream of increasing success over the last four seasons. 

Derek said: “It is always the man at the top where the buck stops. That’s the nature of the business.

“Rough with the smooth – you just get on with it. As a manager, you have to have a strong character; you have got to be the strongest person when things are going well and when things are not going well.

“You will always get criticism at any level. We were criticised last year when we were top of the league and we are getting criticised this year when we are bottom of the league. You have a philosophy and an understanding of where you want to go to in place, and you don’t get ahead of yourself, which we’re not. Our purpose was to stay in the league.

“When you are a manager, you have to deal with the circumstances at this moment in time and the circumstances are that we have not been able to get the wins that we need to move up the league. 

“We’ve competed well in some of the games; in other games, the teams have been able to get the better of us, but our aim at the end of the season is to stay in the league, to consolidate, and we have still got a long way to go.”