The Numbers Game

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams is looking forward to a bumper crowd at Home Park getting behind the Pilgrims in their crunch match with Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

A huge crowd is expected – but the only hotter ticket in town is to get a space in physio Paul Atkinson’s room. Argyle may be backed by the biggest number of Green Army of the season, but their squad is about as thin as could be. 

Results in midweek meant the Pilgrims now sit two points behind the Sky Bet League One play-off places with Bristol Rovers a further four points behind Argyle. Derek is well aware of the threats that Rovers, who will be backed by around 1,500 supporters, possess. 

Adams said: “Rovers bring a good number of threats; they have got a lot of talented players in their side. They run forward, play off the cuff quite a bit. They play with one or two strikers at times; they have changed their formation, sometimes they play with three at the back - but they are a very good team. 

“I’d be surprised if there isn’t 12,000 here on Saturday as it’s a big game and Bristol Rovers are taking 1,500 with them so we are sure to have many following us on Saturday.” 

“They (the Green Army) have been magnificent in supporting us. The atmosphere from the Devonport end has really vamped up as the season has gone on. It looks like there has been a group of a couple of hundred have got together and have accelerated the chanting throughout the match and that has helped the players.” 

The Pilgrims have been on a terrific run and are now unbeaten in the last seven matches. However, Derek Adams has admitted that his squad is injury hit as they go into the the final quarter of the season. 

He said: “We have had light numbers for training, at this stage of the season it can be a good thing or a bad thing. So, we had Cameron Sangster and Ryan Law on the bench last week and it is likely to be a similar scenario this week. They have done well for the under 18’s and pushed on. The injury situation allows them to have that opportunity.

“Sonny Bradley has got an illness and has been in hospital for a week. He’s out of hospital now and he has further tests to see what the problem is. He’ll be out until we find out what the problem is. Antoni Sarcevic had an operation two weeks ago, he will be out for up to 3-4 weeks from now. Robert te Loeke is still coming back from his back injury. He should be back in training at the beginning of April. 

“Luke McCormick should be back in full training next week. Then we are hopeful of getting a Peninsula game for him in April to start his progress as he has missed the last thirty games. 

“Jordan Bentley is recovering well from his operation; he has had the pin inserted into his leg and is recovering well, but still a long way off. 

“Jamie Ness has got a calf injury and is doubtful for Saturday’s match. Gary Miller has got a hamstring injury and he is out of Saturday’s match. Simon Church has got a hip injury and he is out of Saturday’s match as well. 

“Ryan Edwards is obviously still out, he has had his last dose of chemotherapy and we are hopeful he comes back in with us around the middle of April.”