WIN, lose or draw against Bradford City on Saturday, Mission:Marbella was a success.
Argyle’s warm-weather training in Spain this week has been preparation, not just for the visit of fellow Sky Bet League One play-off hopefuls City to Home Park, but the rest of the 12-game season run-in.
Twelve months ago, a similar mid-season exercise saw the Pilgrims spank Exeter City at the Theatre of Greens on their return and stride away to win to promotion.
This year’s retreat has set up the tight-knit squad to be able to do the same.
Manager Derek Adams said: “We’ve had four days of good training in a warm climate. It was a very good trip and we got done what we needed to get done.
“The benefits are that the players are together 24 hours a day and it brings the whole squad together. We’ve taken in new players and it bridges the gap of them coming into a new squad, getting everybody to train at the same time.
“You always have your groups within a group, and it’s about getting them together. They are a good group. We had 22 players away with us. We had two apprentices in Michael Cooper and Cameron Sangster – that gave them good experience to see first-team traveling and first-team training.”
Like a lot of Brits who jet off to Spain, Argyle found the excursion easy on the pocket.
Derek said: “Getting away together...it’s more expensive staying in England, if we went to St George’s Park. It’s expensive to go to St George’s Park to train. It’s a beautiful setting but it is cheaper for us to go [to Marbella].
“The big difference is we are getting heat when we’re across there. We can do more training while we are across there.”
The difference in temperature between sunny Spain and perishing Plymouth is marked but Derek is in no doubt that his players will acclimatise quickly.
“It happened last year,” he said. “It wasn’t very warm when we came back, but we’re ready to go.”