ARGYLE’S Sky Bet League One match at Charlton Athletic on Saturday will be the fourth time that the Pilgrims have lined up since their 1-0 home defeat by Blackpool seven days earlier.
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League wins against Launceston, on Tuesday, and Saltash, on Friday, sandwiched an Edenvale Turf Devon St Luke’s Challenge Cup victory at Willand.
All of which ensured that the Pilgrims’ non-playing first-team squad members and the club’s reserves were able to get a valuable run-out.
Manager Derek Adams said: “We got match-time for a lot of players, which these games are used for. We have got a lot of fixtures to fit in but to progress through the Devon Cup was very good because we went there with a younger side.
“Having these games helps us get match-fitness, rather than just training all the time.”
Keeping players ticking over is not merely an exercise either. Argyle were without midfielders Jamie Ness and Conor Grant last time out – victims of training-ground injuries – and they were joined on the sidelines in the opening minutes of the Blackpool game by central defender Niall Canavan.
Derek said: “He's hurt his groin. He just over-stretched in the penalty area early in the match. He is going to be out for Saturday. It is still sore so we will just have to wait and see how quickly it recovers.
“Jamie Ness went to hit a shot and he hurt his groin - not too serious. He'll hopefully be back training next week. Conor Grant has got a calf strain and that might be a wee bit longer. He's still a wee bit sore.”
Forward Lionel Ainsworth was already under the physio after suffering a hamstring injury in a Peninsula League victory against Helston.
“It's slight,” said Derek. “He’s with the medical team; he’s running now and hopefully will be back next week.”
The Pilgrims ended last week’s game with Ryan Taylor and Ruben Lameiras having come off the substitutes’ bench to join Graham Carey in a familiar looking formation, if not in familiarly potent mood.
Derek said: “We need to get them back to form, but they will get there, sooner or later.”
“They are three big players for us and they have all done well for this football club, but we’ve other players, like Freddie [Ladapo] who has come in and done well for us, as well; Joel Grant has done well for us, as well.
“So, from that point of view, we have got good competition for places.
“[Freddie]’s scored two goals already this season and taken them well. He puts himself in an area where he can score goals. He’s got to be more clinical when they come along, but so do other players in and around that area.”
Saturday’s encounter offers the chance to see Londoner Freddie up against a long-time Argyle nemesis – and target – Lyle Taylor.
“He’s a very good striker,” said Derek. “We have tried to sign him in the past but it’s not been possible. He has done very well in League Two and League One.”