Ryan's Big Pitch

ARGYLE manager Ryan Lowe is hopeful that the size of the pitch at Vale Park will work to the Greens’ advantage ahead of their Sky Bet League Two clash with Port Vale this weekend.

According to Lowe, the dimensions of the Port Vale pitch are slightly bigger than the average, which could allow for the Pilgrims’ passing game to be more effective.

“We play football so, for me, it’ll benefit us massively,” said Lowe. “The way we want to play, we’ll make the pitch even bigger. You try to make the pitch big anyway, every game we play in, to make angles for each other.

Of course, playing expansive football on a bigger surface has its own risks; not least, conceding possession with numbers committed forward.

“We’ll use any advantage we can get; the pitch is nice and big,” said Ryan. “The problem is, you don’t want to give the ball away, because you have to work even harder to get it back if it is a little bit bigger.”

The Pilgrims head to the Potteries looking to arrest a miniature slump that has seen them fall outside of the play-off places for the first time this campaign. Expectations, both inside Home Park and in the homes of the Green Army, are high this season, and Lowe is more than aware of the supporters’ desire for promotion back to the third tier.

“We know where we’re at. All supporters are the same – I wish Liverpool had won the league last season, but they didn’t,” said Lowe. “The Argyle fans will be the same, they want us to be up there at the moment.

“We are where we are for a reason, we should have picked up more points, and be in a better position, but we are scoring goals – I think we’re top three our four – and we now need to start keeping the back door shut a bit more.

“The expectations at this football club are always going to be big. I don’t read any comments saying, ‘we should be this,’ or ‘we should be that.’ It’s a case of taking the league in stages, and come the end of the season, hopefully the expectations of everyone have been met.”