IN nearly two decades of his footballing career, Argyle midfielder David Fox cannot remember a league as tight as the current Sky Bet League One table.
“I don’t think there’s ever been one as tight as it is, and we know that we’ve got to get a lot more points, even though we’re mid-table,” said Fox. “I don’t know how many points it’ll take to stay up because there’s that many teams in and around it. It’s important that we focus on ourselves, and don’t take too much notice of the league table. We need wins and draws, and a good end to the season for ourselves.”
Ahead of Argyle’s Westcountry derby against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, the Greens sit in what would normally be considered a comfortable mid-table position. In 12th, the Pilgrims are even in the top-half, but only three points separate them and the drop-zone.
“The way the league’s panned out is strange,” said Foxy. “It’s unique, it doesn’t happen like that every year, where there’s such a small gap between us and the bottom, but there are so many teams [between Argyle and the relegation places], and Bristol Rovers are one of those. It’s a good opportunity to try and push away, like we’ve been doing the last couple of months, and try to catch teams above us.
“We know our job, and we know we need to win games. Even though we are where we are in the league, we know we’re not safe, and we know we have to win. It’s simple really, I don’t think you need to look at the league too much to know what you need, and Saturday, at home, we need to pick up some points.”
The Greens remained in 12th position despite a late 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood last Saturday, but the Pilgrims’ well-travelled midfielder believes that the mood in the dressing room is still confident, citing Argyle’s resurgent form in 2019 as vindication.
“You’ve got to look at it as a positive that we’ve put ourselves in this situation,” explained Fox, who has now played more games in his career for Plymouth Argyle than any other club. “We were a long way off it for a large part of the season, so to put ourselves in the position where we are, that’s a real positive. We had to put a run together because we were in a bit of trouble, but the last few months have been a lot more positive, and we’ve got to finish it off now.”
Historically, the total points haul that tends to lead to League One survival is a little over 50. With so many teams in the mix at this stage of the season, though, the Argyle squad know that it’s possible that might not be enough.
Foxy said: “I don’t think you can go into it thinking ‘50 points, we’re sorted’. You’ve got to keep going, and we’ve got eight games to amass as many points as we can. We’ve got some good fixtures in there, some tough ones we’re looking forward to, and games against teams in and around us.”