Mark Hughes

Hughes's Swindon Preview

Sync Fixtures

Argyle take on Swindon Town on Tuesday in the second fixture of this season’s Papa Johns Trophy campaign, and assistant manager Mark Hughes is pleased that the fixture will give a welcome opportunity for several players to shine.

Traditionally, younger members of the squad as well as Academy prospects get a chance to sample first-team affairs, and that looks set to be the case at The County Ground.

In addition, the game gives the chance to several players who have been on the fringes thus far to get some minutes on the field, too.

However, being on the periphery of starting games by no means indicates a lack of importance. Argyle’s use of substitutes, especially in light of the rule for this season whereby five changes are allowed, has come into focus given the success of those arriving into the game from the bench.

In all of Argyle’s last four Sky Bet League One games, which have yielded 10 points for The Pilgrims, a player has come from the bench and scored, and there have been plenty of others besides who have made a positive impact after coming on.

“I love the fact that you get play some youngsters, and see them play at our level,” Hughes told Argyle TV. “Then you get lads who need the minutes; they have been superb. Subs have come on in the last four league games and scored. That shows that people are not coming on gutted, they are coming on to make an impact.

“Some lads will get minutes under their belt, at a really good time, because there are eight games in October, which is going to be massive for us.”

Swindon, who are 11th in League Two, lost the first game of their Papa Johns Trophy campaign, getting beaten 2-0 to home to Crystal Palace Under-21s. Argyle, meanwhile, got two points after drawing with Bristol Rovers and then winning a penalty shoot-out.

Changes that both sides are likely to employ make these games a little hard to predict, and while Hughes shares that view, it remains a game he is looking forward to.

“It is quite difficult to plan,” said Mark. “A lot of managers change personnel but tend to stick to philosophy. To be fair to Swindon, we’ve watched them and they like to keep the ball. They are possession-based; that’s the way Swindon’s DNA is. It won’t be easy; it will be a tough game, but we back any 11 plus the lads who come on to do the club proud, which everyone has been doing.

“It should be a good game. It’s better than training. In the last round against Bristol Rovers, it was a really good competitive game. I’m looking forward to it.”

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