SCOTT Wootton is only three games into the new Sky Bet League Two season and already feels like he is making more progress than the campaign of frustration he endured last time around.
An early injury led to a spell on the sidelines and the powerful defender never really got another chance to have a run in the team, as Argyle fought unsuccessfully against relegation from the third tier.
It has been a different story under new manager Ryan Lowe and Scott is one of those players benefiting from a fresh chance to make a big impression.
“I wouldn’t say I learned anything last season on the pitch, I’ve learned a lot more already this season,” he said. The one thing I can take from last season is being mentally strong.
“Picking up the injury was the start of it, really. I was in the team until I picked up the injury at Charlton away and then I didn’t get a chance after that, which was frustrating. That’s the biggest thing, keep believing in yourself. Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the right thing.
“He [Lowe] has been fantastic from the second he came into the building. It was probably difficult taking over a relegated side, but I think, just the way he is, he’s so positive. Things were black and white straight away, there was no grey areas with him, and that’s what you want as a player.
“You know what he wants, on the pitch and off the pitch. It’s down to the lads then. You get a platform and a structure to show what you’re about and what you can do, and then it’s up to the players. If you buy into, you’ll be a part of it, if not, you won’t. That’s all you can ask for as players.”
The change of formation to three at the back and marauding wing-backs has been another factor in the Lowe era that has benefited Scott and he has gelled nicely with Niall Canavan and Gary Sawyer in the first three league games.
The next challenge for the defensive trio and the attacking players in front of them will come from the visit of Salford City on Tuesday, as the Pilgrims look to recover from the late disappointment of a 1-0 defeat at Newport County on the weekend.
“I’m enjoying it [the formation],” said Scott. “I’ve played it a couple of times in my career, at two different clubs. I personally think that if you get it right, it’s the best formation. There’s men everywhere, triangles all over the pitch. It’s a really good formation and one that I like to play in.
“It’s great, I’m obviously thankful to the manager for that, but obviously I’ve got to play well to earn that. Last season was horrible, my worst season by a mile in my career. I came back, worked hard in the off-season, got fit and so far so good, personally. I’ve got to keep going, though, we’ve got 43 league games to go and my mentality is that I want to play every game.”