A KEY element in Argyle’s soar up the Sky Bet League One standings has almost certainly been the fact manager Derek Adams has made just one - tactical - change to a settled starting line-up since Ash Smith-Brown came into the side on New Year’s Day for the 3-0 win over Oxford.
Saturday’s long trip to Sunderland will buck that trend and Derek will be forced to make at least one switch after Antoni Sarcevic picked up his tenth booking of the season in the 5-1 home win against Rochdale. He will now sit out the Sunderland game, as well as when Luton pay a visit to Home Park on March 9.
While Derek is disappointed to lose Sarce, it is a chance for someone else to catch the eye and either one of Paul Anderson, Lloyd Jones or Oscar Threlkeld could be in line to play a part at the Stadium of Light.
Derek said: “He [Anderson] has fitted in well and was able to make his debut [against Rochdale]. He came down and worked hard in training, he has got a good pedigree, played in the Championship a good number of times and fits into our system of play, and is the type of player that we were looking for going into the window.”
Ozzy, meanwhile, marked his fourth Argyle debut at Home Park with a composed finish, the fourth goal in the Rochdale rout, and has presented Derek with a selection headache.
“No, it didn’t do him [Threlkeld] any harm, he got a goal and he was on for about 15 minutes,” said Derek.
“He has always enjoyed coming back here and has done well for me over the last three spells he has been here. It’s the same for Lloyd Jones and Oscar Threlkeld. They have got good players in front of them and are pushing to get into the starting 11. It is an opportunity for them, they have got two games where Antoni is out, and they can stake a claim.”