TUESDAY night will be a unique experience for Argyle centre-back Zak Vyner – the first time since his loan from Bristol City began that he will not have faced a League One team from outside the top two.
After debuting for the Pilgrims in an unlucky home defeat against leaders Wigan, he missed the subsequent win at Oldham, but was back to contribute to a 2-0 victory over Blackburn at Home Park and, on Saturday, he scored the winner in a 2-1 away win against the team which had replaced Rovers in second spot, Shrewsbury.
The victory took the Pilgrims to within touching distance of the division’s play-off places and, with AFC Wimbledon to visit Home Park in midweek, last season’s League Two runners-up have an opportunity to frank their fine recent form.
Zak said: “We came up last season, but we are not here just to be here. We want to push on. We want to get in the play-offs; we want to go up.
“We are on the way to doing that, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. That would be wrong. We have just got to take it step by step, game by game, and go again on Tuesday.”
Zak forced home a Graham Carey corner midway through the second-half at Montgomery Waters Meadow to seal another three points after Jamie Ness had cancelled out the home side’s early opener.
After that, the on-loan defender got back to his number one job, partnering Sonny Bradley in the centre of the Pilgrims’ defence, a role which has been his since Ryan Edwards was obliged totake time out to receive treatment for testicular cancer.
He said: “[Shrewsbury] chucked a few big lumps and they gave us a bit of a hard time but, with me and Sonny, we are starting to get a bit of an understanding.
“I think the whole back four – the whole team, in fact – is getting an understanding. We’re starting to work together and get a few results.
“Coming into a team that has been on such great form, obviously in terrible circumstances, has been a great a run of games for me. Hopefully, we can keep on going.”
The understanding that Zak has with Sonny will be, you suspect, crucial to that aim.
“He’s brilliant,” said Zak.
“I feel like we complement each other in different ways. He’s taller than me, stronger than me, I suppose; he’s good on the ball. I think everyone thinks that someone that size isn’t good on the ball, but he is. He knows he is, he can play out.
“He’s been a great player for me and, even over the three games, I’ve learnt a lot off him.”