DEREK Adams believes that the flip side of the injuries that blighted the early part of Argyle’s season is now helping to benefitthe Pilgrims as they enter the Sky Bet League One home straight.
Saturday’s 2-1 win at Shrewsbury was sparked by a first-half equaliser from midfielder Jamie Ness, who, like Ryan Taylor and Oscar Threlkeld, missed a majority of the first half of the campaign through injury.
Victory was ensured when defender Zak Vyner, on loan from Bristol City, bundled home Graham Carey’s second-half corner.
Add in sterling performances of late from the likes of Ruben Lameiras and Antoni Sarcevic, who have only recently nailed down a starting spot, and there are some quality players with not too much 2017-18 mileage on the clock.
“The thing to remember,” said Derek, after the game, “is that we’ve got players in the team who are fresh: Vyner, Threlkeld, Ness, Lameiras, who have not played a lot this season; Sarcevic, as well. With 14 games to go, they are ready to play these games.”
The Pilgrims’ second successive defeat of a team in the League One promotion places continued a run of form which is up there with the division’s best and has got the Green Army daring to dream of a place in the end-of-season play-offs.
Though not writing off that prospect, Derek jokingly outlined the magnitude of reaching sixth spot – which is now only five points away – after being in bottom place in the first week of December.
He said: “If we finish in the top six, I’ll not be Plymouth Argyle manager – the players we have here will move on, as well, because it will a tremendous achievement.
“We have got 14 games to go now and we have just got to keep putting that foot to the pedal, firmly down. The players are all ready for that.
“We just have to keep on taking it game by game. Let’s see how many points we can pick up. We have just got to be careful we don’t get carried away, and we don’t get carried away – other people do that for us.
“We’ll try to get as far up the league as we possibly can, and we’ll continue to work hard.”
That hard work continues with the visit of AFC Wimbledon to Home Park on Tuesday, followed by a visit to Oxford United, for which the Green Army have already snapped up every available ticket, next Saturday.
Derek said: “I am delighted we have got a game so quickly.
“Wimbledon are a team that we know well and we want to continue the form that we have shown.
“We have done exceptionally well at home; we are coming off a win against Blackburn in our last home fixture; and we want to continue that on Tuesday night.”