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Two For Number One

Competition Between the Sticks

11 March 2019

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AFTER losing the number one jersey to Kyle Letheren following injury, Derek Adams is delighted to see Matt Macey stake a firm claim to take it back, on his return to the starting eleven.

The Arsenal loanee put in one of his best performances of the season, particularly in the second-half, in keeping a clean-sheet against free-scoring Sky Bet League One leaders Luton Town on Saturday.

“Matt Macey is a very good goalkeeper, and we’ve got two good goalkeepers vying for the number one jersey,” said Derek. “Matt’s now played 29 games, starting appearances, this year, and Kyle’s been in goals for a good period of time and done well, so I’m delighted that they’re fighting for that jersey.”

Macey made a string of vital saves in the second-period, the most notable of which came through Town’s top-scorer James Collins, whose header across the face of goal required every inch of the stopper’s six-foot, seven-inch frame to tip on to the bar.

Derek may be faced with a selection quandary if Kyle is able to return to fitness ahead of Tuesday’s home tie against Shrewsbury, but he insists that making a difficult choice between in-form players is the exact sort of headache he likes to have.

“We’re still assessing him [Kyle Letheren], he did try and train [on Friday] but he still felt it, so we’ll wait and see if he’s fit, but we’ve obviously got Matt, who has done well [on Saturday],” said Derek.

“I think that the thing is, we want to have competition for places, we’ve got Matt and Kyle Letheren fighting for that number one spot, which is great for us.”

Argyle’s manager is rarely one to spill too many selection secrets ahead of games, but he did reveal that midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who is available again after a two-match suspension for collecting 10 yellow cards this season, will return to the starting eleven against the Shrews in midweek, while Lloyd Jones is also likely to return to the squad.

“Sarce will come straight back into the team on Tuesday night,” said Derek. “He’s obviously been a miss when he’s been out. We’ve missed his power, but he’ll come straight back in. Lloyd Jones will be back, because he wasn’t able to play [against parent-club Luton].”

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