Niall Ennis

Ennis's Ipswich Preview

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They say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

Argyle – and their opponents on Sunday, Ipswich Town – have started this season well. After nine games, Argyle have 21 points, and sit third in Sky Bet League One. Only two teams are above them, one of which is league leaders Ipswich, who head to Home Park unbeaten so far.

What will matter is where these teams are after 46 games, but both sides will surely be happy with their work so far.

As, indeed, is Argyle forward Niall Ennis. The 24-year-old has played in all nine league games this season, starting two, and coming from the bench in seven. He has scored in both of his starting appearances, and got his third goal of the season when coming from the bench last Saturday in Argyle’s 2-2 draw at Portsmouth.

His goal meant that substitutes have scored in all of Argyle’s last four games, and in a season where the new five-subs rule is looking increasingly important, Niall’s ability, along with that of several of his team-mates, to impact a game has been a firm part of Argyle’s strong opening.

Clearly, Ennis would like to start every game if possible. However, speaking to Argyle TV, he opened up on his philosophy when it comes to approaching the game from the bench.

“As soon as the gaffer names the team and you are not starting, you still have to be ready,” he said. “There’s no point sulking, you still have to get the job done. Anything could happen in the warm-up. I feel like you need to be mentally prepared to get the win for your team. You’ll get your chance. I feel like we have been repaying the gaffer, whether we are starting or not.

“Games open up. It might be tight for 80 minutes, then you come on and it opens up, and you are the one who gets the chance. You need to be mentally ready for that chance.

“You can do ten runs. For nine you don’t get a chance, but for that one, you need to be ready. I feel like I used to not get the ball, then wouldn’t make the run before you felt you wouldn’t get it. The players we now have, they are going to find you, so you need to always be on the ball, making your runs.

“Like the gaffer says, it’s not just the starters, it’s the finishers in the game. In the last few matches, all the subs who have come on have scored or assisted. It shows it’s not just an 11, it’s a squad. It’s a long season, and we will need everyone.”

Ennis has shown he is ready, being a handful for opposing defenders on a regular basis, whether he is scoring or not.

His good form has mirrored that of the team, but Niall feels that The Pilgrims still have plenty more to give.

“I feel like I have been playing well and getting goals,” he said. “I feel like I can do more as well, which is what the team demands from every individual. We all know we do more.

“We’ve been playing well, with a strong character to come back from behind. We need to start getting a goal first, you can’t always come back from behind. I feel like we have not yet scratched the surface with the level that we can be, which is scary when you look at where we are in the league. We’ve got more to give, and I can’t wait for that.”

Plymouth Argyle is made up not only of the starting 11 and however many substitutes, but the whole club includes the Green Army too.

Niall is counting on them to come to Home Park in good numbers for Sunday’s 12.30pm kick-off, and to get behind the team as they look to take the league leaders’ scalp.

“We’ve seen already how the fans can help us get through a win,” said Niall. “It’s a good team we are playing, but we’re a good team as well. We need to keep this place rocking and play our own game. We know what we can do.”

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