10 into 11

DEREK Adams is backing Graham Carey to bounce back from the disappointment of being left out of the Argyle starting 11 for the Pilgrims’ midweek Carabao Cup tie at Millwall.

The talismanic Irish midfielder has, this season, yet to hit the mercurial heights which have endeared him to the Green Army since Derek signed him four seasons ago.

Wednesday saw Graham make way for new signing Stuart O’Keefe in what Derek afterwards described as a “horses for courses” selection. 

“We have got competition for places now – really good competition – and you have got to be on top form to be in that starting 11,” said the Argyle manager, as he prepared the Pilgrims’ for Saturday’s Sky Bet league One visit to Portsmouth. 

“It’s up to Graham to get back to what he has been doing well, and I’m sure he’ll do that. 

“He’s one that creates chances, scores goals, and has been a mainstay of the team. 

“He can score a goal out of anything – that’s the beauty of having player like him.” 

Argyle travel to Fratton Park still looking for their first win of the season, against a side whose 0-0 draw at Doncaster Rovers last time out saw them drop points for the first time this campaign. 

The turnover of players at Home Park since the two sides last met in April has seen Argyle field 11 new Pilgrims, including five defenders in an area which needed renovation following the departures of Oscar Threlkeld and Sonny Bradley. 

Derek said: “The start of the season is always about blending in new players and, if players are going to leave for bigger money to go to other clubs, you are going to have to take in other players. 

“It’s the nature of the business. There are players who have left the squad – you have got to replace them; if you don’t replace them, you are not going to have a squad. You are going to have to make signings. 

“Either that, or you are going to have to pay over the odds to keep players, and that’s not what this football club is prepared to do.”

Wednesday’s cup-tie and the last half-hour of the previous league game, at home toPeterborough, saw club captain Gary Sawyer in central defence, and Derek said: “He started off there as a youngster and played there until he was about 19, and then got moved to left-back.

“He’s quite capable of playing there – he did well the other night – and we have good competition in that area.”