SOME have described Argyle’s season as a roller-coaster. When considering the things that Derek Adams and his team have had to deal with during the season, it resembles more of an obstacle course.
Whether red cards or injuries, bad form or transfers, Derek has had to steer the Greens through plenty of roadblocks along the way. The latest, at this critical stage, are injuries to players at very much the wrong time.
Moses Makasi missed the trip to Northampton, ostensibly being replaced by Paul Paton, who got injured during said game. Lionel Ainsworth came on as a substitute three days later in Rochdale, and was later brought off because of an injury of his own. All this, and forward Ryan Taylor remains missing.
Should Argyle win their remaining three games and clinch a play-off spot, it would be an extraordinary denouement to this unorthodox season.
“I’ve never had it before,” said Derek. “It’s not just that it’s things that happen on a daily basis that I can’t talk about that you have to deal with. It has been amazing we have done so well; it’s a testament to the players as they haven’t let their disappointment affect them for too long. That is important as a person and a football player to forget about the last game and move forward. You can only move on to the next game and enhance your reputation.
“We had an issue on Monday before we left with one of the players as well. There was an injury there, we have to deal with so much and we are just trying to have the strongest team possible till the end of the season.
“We have had a difficult season that way. The mentality in the squad is very good and we keep pushing them each day to do better.
“[Paton] has ankle ligament damage. It was badly swollen so he is going to have a scan on his ankle. Lionel has a hamstring injury and is not training, so I would rate him as highly unlikely for Saturday.”
Derek added Simon Church to his squad as cover earlier in the season but he too is injured. Decks has been shuffled, rearranged and tinkered with to try to get the best out of the squad. Derek shed more light of the effect January had on the squad, especially as regards incomings and outgoings.
“You can only have a big a squad as you can,” said Derek. “We have had competition all over the pitch, we tried to take in players in January and for one reason or another it didn’t happen.
“But, it’s not to say we have had Taylor and Church out injured, we should have had enough there to see us out over the last 16 games. We have had two players injured and we would have had to take another one in and he would have sat on the bench or in the stands. It’s all well and good saying that’s the way to do it, but some players aren’t happy to do that.
“Nathan Blissett and Jake Jervis both wanted to leave the football club because they weren’t playing here. So we had to make it the best possibility of moving forward. If a player doesn’t want to stay we need to move them on.”