Coast to Coast

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams was a proud man as Argyle’s rollercoaster season came to an end at Gillingham.

Proud, not of the performance in a 5-2 defeat that smacked of sheer tiredness and spent effort, but of finishing 2017-18 in seventh place in Sky Bet League One just a season after winning promotion.

Argyle went to Priestfield with faint hopes of catching sixth-placed Charlton Athletic and winning a place in the end-of-season play-offs.

However, Tom Eaves’ hat-trick, top and tailed by goals from Josh Parker and Elliott List, gave the Gills a 5-2 victory, with the Pilgrims’ consolations coming from Joel Grant and Graham Carey.

Derek said: “We would obviously have liked the season to have finished better, but we have had a fabulous season. To have finished seventh in our first season back in League One has been tremendous, and we’ve taken it to the last game.

“I think that everybody’s had a really enjoyable time – the supporters have, as well. It’s been a fabulous journey. It’s been like at Disneyland, rollercoaster at times, and that’s something, as a football club, you’ve got to enjoy.

“We have had massive improvement over three seasons – that’s what you’re looking for as a football club – and we’re very proud of finishing seventh this year. Over the last three years, we have not finished outside the top seven in the divisions.”

As well as plotting a promotion charge, Derek has had to manage a goalkeeping crisis that saw Argyle field seven different custodians during the campaign; a rash of early-season red cards; and mushrooming injury problems in the later stages of the campaign.

“It has been difficult, a lot of the time, to deal with the situations,” he said. “That goalkeeping problem was hugely difficult because we took in goalkeepers, they got injured, and we had the seven-day ruling. We got through it. We came through a lot this season and finished above a lot of teams in the league.

“Listen – I keep on saying that we’ve overachieved and we’ll do that every season that we keep on performing the way that we are doing. We’re doing it again this season and that’s testimony to everybody at the football club.”

With the season over, Derek is now going to take a holiday from football. Or is he?

He said: “I am going to take a rest; I think I deserve it. I am going to head back to Scotland and work from there and look to recruit for next year.”