A Demanding Role

THE exertions of Joe Riley at both ends of the field have been a highlight over the first two months of the season and he notched his second of the campaign in the Leasing.com Trophy at Swindon Town last week.

Joe, similar to his fellow wing-back on the other flank, Callum McFadzean, has to combine attacking input with the need to defend and it is a role that demands fitness.

After following up the Trophy win at Swindon with a league draw at the same opponent, Argyle are now preparing to welcome Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday and Joe will continue to seek out chances to score.

“It’s the best feeling in football to be scoring goals,” said Joe. “Hopefully, when I’m up there, I can have a few more shots and keep getting on the scoresheet.

“We’ve got to have that string to your bow, especially when playing at wing-back and playing the way we like to play. He [manager Ryan Lowe] wants us to be playing higher up the pitch and, if you can chip in with a few goals, that’s great.

“It’s demanding [the role of wing-back] but one that is enjoyable. You’re not just a full-back, who sits back and defends. You have to be fit and can’t really carry any niggles.

“It’s a very enjoyable position, I like playing it and want to continue playing it.”

The combinations between wing-back and midfield are a key feature in the Ryan Lowe strategy, with Joe benefiting from an exquisite pass by Antoni Sarcevic to get his Trophy goal at Swindon in a fine team performance.

That kind of attacking performance reaping the reward of goals must now be translated into the league, starting with the visit of Carlisle.

“He [Sarce] played fantastically well that night and we all did as a team,” said Joe. “It was probably one of the best performances of the season and we’re feeling confident, which we can hopefully show this weekend.

“We all know there are goalscorers in the team and good technical players, who, when in front of goal, can show a calm head. Hopefully, we can all chip in with more goals through the season to help us win games.”