Butcher's Portsmouth Preview
Saturday’s game against Portsmouth is a homecoming of sorts for Matt Butcher, who grew up in the area – but he is totally focused on Argyle continuing their current form.
The next two games could not present a tougher task. A trip to Portsmouth, who sit second in the Sky Bet League One table, is followed by a home game against Ipswich Town, the team who are above Pompey on goal difference.
Argyle, though are third, just two points behind the aforementioned sides, and coming into the fixtures on a run of four straight wins.
“Momentum is massive in this league,” said Butcher. “You’ve seen it over the years, teams go on a run at different points in the season. When you get that momentum, it is so important to keep it up. That kind of feeling goes through the camp from Monday to Friday, and it’s no secret when it comes out on Saturday.
“I grew up around there, and it is always nice to go back and give family a chance to watch it, rather than travelling up and down the country!
“They’ve obviously started great, them and Ipswich – who we’ve got in our next two games. They are a couple of points above us. They will feel exactly the same as us: on top of the world. We are both really excited for this game. They are a good couple of games coming up.
“It’s a massive game, as every game is. So far, we’ve beaten the teams that have come down from the Championship but lost against teams that were towards the bottom end of the table. Every game is so different, it is so important we approach it right and carry on this form.”
Butcher, along with Adam Randell and Jordan Houghton, has shared duties in the centre of Argyle’s midfield this season. In each game, two of those three have taken to the field in a 3-4-3 system newly installed for 2022/23.
Matt arrived during the summer from Accrington Stanley, and cited regular football in a successful team as a reason for heading to the South West.
Thus far, he is certainly not regretting his decision.
“I’m loving it,” he said. “I think I’m getting better every game, getting more used to the system, as everyone is. It’s improving game-by-game, the way we are playing. There are always bits we can improve on, and I think it has been improving steadily over the last four or five games. We’re really in that routine, we know each other’s positions and it’s working really well at the minute.
“The hardest thing about changing system is getting used to players, getting used to new relationships because you are playing next to someone different or in a slightly different position.
“I think we have got to grips with that a bit better, and we are doing things like landing on second balls which maybe we struggled with to start with.
“I want to be part of a settled team, and one of the decisions coming here was for that reason. Our start is really good and we’ve had quite a tough run, which we are still in the middle of. It’s important to keep it going, not relax now, and continue our form into the Christmas period.”