Azaz's Charlton Preview
Behind the somewhat inscrutable visage of Finn Azaz lies a man with a steely mentality.
The 22-year-old midfielder came on as a first-half substitute as Argyle lost 5-2 at Peterborough United last Saturday, and says that although in some ways it would have been nice to put that right sooner rather than later, the players are in a good place ahead of Saturday’s home game against Charlton Athletic.
“We’ve had some time to get over the loss,” he told Argyle TV. “It was a tough, tough game, but now all eyes are on Saturday.
“I think when the games come on a Tuesday it's easier, because there's another game quickly. When there's a week it can be tough.
“There’s a saying, that you don't lose two on the bounce. No-one's panicking. We'll stay calm and we'll be fine.
“We'll just do what we have done; move on and prep for the next game. It's not like a big narrative; it's more so just how we are as a group.”
The Charlton game precedes two fixtures against sides in the play-off places – Derby County at home and Barnsley away – as Argyle look to solidify their spot in the Sky Bet League One promotion spots, with 13 games of the season remaining.
With Saturday’s game against the Addicks on the brink of being a sell-out, and Derby likely to follow suit, it promises to be an epic Home Park double-header. Azaz agrees.
“We know it's a big three games in the next week,” he said, “but we'll thrive off that. I love it.
“Two games at home, on the bounce, is great. You have to keep reminding yourself not to take it for granted. Literally selling out every game, selling out Tuesday nights, selling out on the weekends.”
As the season’s conclusion draws nearer, scrutiny and anticipation on each game will rise.
Argyle come into it still in second place, five points from the nearer contender and in the final of the Papa Johns Trophy.
With all this on the line, is Finn able to put circumstances aside and just treat the next match as ‘just another game’?
“I think you have to try your best, but I think it's impossible to do that,” he said. “You know that there's only a certain amount of time left in the season. You know there's only a certain amount of games. You try and keep your mentality to that as best you can, but it's tough.
“We're not really reflecting on the position now. We don't really think about the outside narrative too much, that can sweep you up and affect your performances. We just know that we believe we are one of the best teams in the league. We want to live up to our potential and be where we should be.”