THE Pilgrims step into an exciting unknown this evening with our first game in the group phase of the Premier League Cup at home to the Rams.
After defeating Portsmouth 2-1 in a play-off fixture last month, thanks to goals from Alex Battle and Cameron Sangster, Argyle now embark on the huge challenge of finishing in the top two from a group that contains Cup holders Aston Villa, Bristol City and tonight’s visitors from Derby.
First-team coach Kevin Nancekivell confirmed his squad will comprise a combination of young professionals and second-year apprentices, and the prime objective will be to impose our game on the illustrious visitors under the Home Park floodlights.
“It will be a real big test tonight and top quality opposition for our young lads against a club like Derby,” said Nance.
“They have recently drawn against Paris Saint Germain and we’re all expecting a very tough game, but a game we’re looking forward to. We want our boys to step up the challenge.
“The players involved will be similar to what we saw against Portsmouth and important for them to embrace the experience of playing against better players.
“We’ve watched their games and we’ve got a plan about how we approach tonight, so you do adapt your tactics accordingly, but we’ve got good players as well. We won’t go too far away from what we’re about as a club and as a team.
“It’s a huge occasion for the younger lads to play at Home Park, under the floodlights. This is our home ground and we hope to see a good few supporters here tonight, which only adds to their development and experience.”
Tonight is the third game in a sequence of four across seven days for Nance and the coaching staff, including Tuesday’s long trip to Barnsley in Sky Bet League One, which means forward planning is essential
“As a coaching staff, it has been a busy week, playing at home to Doncaster, travel to Barnsley, tonight’s fixture and then Wimbledon on Saturday,” said Nance.
“It’s full-on but this is our job, and we haven’t actually got to play,” said Nance. “The boys have got to run around, take on the physical side and still do the travelling that we do but we’re all very fortunate to be working in this profession.
“We’re planning our schedule weeks in advance, as far as that is possible, to cover these busy spells but your primary focus always has to be on the next game.”
Tonight’s game at Home Park will kick-off at 7pm and admission prices are as follows:
Adult – £5
Adult Season-Ticket Holder and 1886 Member – £4
Over 65 and 18-21 – £3
Over 65 and 18-21 Season-Ticket Holder and 1886 Member – £2
Under 18 – £1
Admission will be pay on the turnstile (cash only) and entry through the Lyndhurst Road stand, Blocks 10-17.