Great Expectations

NEW Pilgrims manager Ryan Lowe is relishing the pressure that comes with managing Argyle, as well as wearing the bookmakers’ tag of early-season promotion favourites.

“It’s going to be like that, isn’t it? When you’re managing Argyle, the standards and expectations are massive,” said Lowe, ahead of the Greens’ Sky Bet League Two opener against Crewe. “We’ll relish it. We know what’s expected; we’ve got 46 games and we’ll break the season down in quarters, and we’ll see where we are.”

The Pilgrims are fourth favourites to win promotion from Sky Bet League Two, according to the EFL’s titular sponsor. While this comes with a great deal of expectation, Lowe believes his players can deliver another promotion for the Argyle manager – though it won’t be easy.

“Why wouldn’t it be [a realistic aim]? We’re not here to make the numbers up, we want to finish as high as we possibly can,” said Lowe. “We’re under no illusions, it’s going to be a tough season, some fantastic football clubs and players dropping down to League Two because the standard’s getting better.”

Lowe, of course, secured promotion from this division last season, while in charge of Bury. There are similarities in playing style, and even personnel, this time around – but he is hoping that one different factor, club stability, will make life a little easier.

“We haven’t got any headaches behind the scenes, that’s probably one of the biggest differences,” he said.

“Everybody knows my style of play, and the football I want to play. We are going to come up against opposition that want to stop us, they will succeed on some occasions and not on others. We had quality players last season, and I’d like to think we have quality players this season.

“We’ve got a competitive squad, a competitive team and some fantastic talent. Everyone’s in the same position, there’s going to be so many teams wanting to try and get promoted, and we’re no different.”