Step To It

HAVING clambered 18 places up Sky Bet League One since the start of December, Argyle’s next step on their incredible 2017-18 journey is arguably the biggest.

If they continue their climb, the Pilgrims will enter the play-off zone, a prospect that looked wholly unrealistic as recently as 13 games ago, when they were still in the relegation places.

Victory at Home Park on Saturday over Bradford City, one of several teams that they must face in the last 12 games who also harbour similar hopes, would probably put them in the top six. So what would a win over the Bantams mean to manager Derek Adams? 

“It would mean we’ve won another game and that’s what we want to continue to do, to try and win our games,” he said. 

“That’s the opportunity for us if we win the game and we’re going to try to do that. It’s another game where we can try to gain three points and move forward. 

“We’ve done particularly well at home recently and we want to continue that form.” 

Argyle have done particularly well under Derek’s management for the last two and half years. Indeed, no other team playing in England has won more matches than the 65 achieved by Derek in that period. 

“We’ve got a fantastic record and we’re proud of the record we’ve got,” he said, “but I’m sure there are a lot of people who didn’t realise how many games we have won over that period. That’s something some people should be wary of.” 

Bradford come to Home Park under new manager Simon Grayson, who was appointed following the dismissal of Stuart McCall after the closure of the transfer-window. 

He is tasked with raising Bradford’s game to put them back into a play-off position that they comfortably occupied when Argyle won 1-0 at Valley Parade earlier in the season. 

The Pilgrims’ opponents are one position behind them, and are just one of several teams that Argyle will face between now and the end of the season that are hoping to make the play-offs: Rotherham, Charlton, Scunthorpe, Peterborough, Portsmouth and Gillingham. 

“There are a whole host of clubs that still want to do well this season,” said Derek. “It’s a very tight league, as we have seen, and we just want to finish the season strongly.”