PILGRIMS boss Derek Adams was full of praise for next opponents Coventry City ahead of this Saturday’s match.
Argyle head to the Ricoh Arena for a league fixture for the first time in nine seasons on the back of a 1-0 victory at Championship side Bristol City in the Carabao Cup.
“They’re a very good footballing side, and I did enjoy watching them towards the end of last season,” Derek said of Coventry, who earned promotion into League One after winning the play-off final against Exeter City. Managed by former Scunthorpe United boss Mark Robins, the Sky Blues have lost and then drawn in their previous two league matches, sitting in 18th position before their meeting with Argyle this weekend.
“They’ve got a young player in Bayliss on the right-hand side in midfield [who is] very good. They’ve got Doyle in the midfield who’s tiresome and a very experienced player; Ogogo as well, and Davies at centre-half. From my point of view, a very good team.”
Asked if the 1-0 win against Bristol City in the League Cup would bolster the team, Derek said, “Yes. We’re going [to Coventry] in good spirits, obviously; we’ve come off a draw with Southend and a win against a Championship club, and the players were very happy.
“We’re going to try to use [the Bristol City game] to draw confidence; I think we have to go to a beautiful stadium in great condition. These are the types of places we want to go to.”
After two opening league games which saw Argyle lose and then draw respectively, the squad which earned a hard-fought victory against Bristol City to progress to the second round of the League Cup shone brightly in comparison.
“I think that from my point of view, if the Tuesday night game was a league game then there was a strong possibility that I was going to make the same changes,” Derek said on the potential selection headache he could face for Saturday. “Everyone is [fit and healthy]; we look like we will have the same 18 as the other night.”
Speaking of player selection, Derek had a lot to say about the performance of lone goal-scorer Yann Songo’o against Bristol. “He’s got goals in his head, he hasn’t got goals in his feet! To be fair, I don’t need Yann to be that far up the pitch as a defensive midfield player.
“I do feel that maybe at corner kicks he could get some more goals because we have got very good height, and we’ve got good delivery at times as well. If he could score maybe five or six goals a season, that would help us.”
Looking ahead to fixtures beyond Coventry this Saturday, Derek said: “They’re all difficult, it’s a hard league; you look at the fixture list and everybody would be the same in our division, thinking, ‘Wow, this is a hard game.’ We’ve got away to Coventry, at home to Wycombe, at home to Peterborough, all difficult games.
“You can’t just say [we’re going to win that match] because we have an average gate of ten and a half thousand and that we deserve to be better than the opposition. I think that sometimes we get a bit of an arrogance, and that’s to do with the playing squad, as well, thinking that we’re better than we are; we have to go and show that we’re better than we are, and the players did that [against Bristol].
“We have to be better than them on the pitch, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”