JOE Edwards is confident the Argyle squad are fully focussed in their preparation for their upcoming match at St James’ Park against Exeter City.
An earlier kick-off time of 1pm on Saturday will add to the mood around the ground come the start of a massive game in Sky Bet League Two.
Edwards believes the earlier start adds to the occasion as it produces a different feel to the game, which can only help the squad prepare better and stay focussed for the battle on the weekend.
“It’s better, you haven’t got much time left to think about it because you’re right at it,” said Joe. “I always get the feel of a bigger game when it’s earlier.
“It gives that different added intensity and feeling about it. You wake up Saturday morning really looking forward to it and then you just can’t wait to get started.”
There is often plenty of hype surrounding any local derby, but especially this one as it has been two years since they last met in Sky Bet League Two. Building up to a local derby can often detract from the bigger picture; that three points is the most important thing to take from the game.
Mental and physical preparation is vital for any game and, with Argyle recently recording two important home victories against Carlisle and Leyton Orient, it certainly helps towards that prep. Due to these results, Edwards is confident they are ready to take on the Grecians.
“I think with derbies, a lot of the time your physical state doesn’t really come into question because of the adrenaline that goes through,” he said. “You always find that added little bit.
“I don’t think any of the boys will worry with how they feel physically. We’ve had two tough games in the week but with two wins that helps your mental side as well.
“We’re going into the game looking forward to it and, like I said, I don’t think you will be worried about how you feel with your legs.
“I think with derbies your form sort of goes out the window, but you would always want to be on a good run coming into it, which helps your mentality be right. Physically, both teams will have that same sort of adrenaline and they will be putting in the same effort.”
After two away league defeats in a row, a 4-0 thumping at Cambridge and a 3-1 loss against Scunthorpe, Exeter will be trying to prove a point to their own supporters but that has no bearing on the Pilgrim outlook.
“We focus on ourselves, what we want to do and how we’re going to win the game,” said Joe.
“It is nice going into the game on the back of two wins, six goals and no goals conceded. As for them, they will have their own thoughts on the game and obviously they will be up for it as well, so it’s going to be a great game, good occasion and hopefully we come out on top.”