Randell's Burton Preview
For Adam Randell, whose first games watching Argyle were as a fan during the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet Championship days of the mid-noughties, this Saturday has potential to be an extra special day.
Should Argyle beat Burton Albion at Home Park – or should Sheffield Wednesday slip up away to Shrewsbury Town at the same time – then the Pilgrims would be promoted back to tier two of the EFL for the first time in 13 years.
Plymothian Adam, who has recently returned to the side following a seven-week lay-off because of an ankle injury, sounded a note of caution, noting that the Greens are not over the line yet, but admitted that it would be special to achieve their goal at a sold-out Home Park.
“There’s nowhere better to do it,” he said. “We've timed it quite well! Hopefully we can share it with everyone, because that'll make it extra special.
“I’m looking forward to it, obviously. What an opportunity. We’re all really excited of what could happen, but we’re just looking forward to another game of football out there. It should be hopefully a good occasion.
“We know that we need to win the game and that's the sole focus at the moment. Hopefully once that job's finished, then we can celebrate the overall job being done.
“We’ve managed to come out on the right side of things and put ourselves in an unbelievable position to go and do it on Saturday.
“That was the longest injury I've had for quite a while. In this successful season, it's not what you want. It was going alright for me before I got injured, so I was desperate to get back.
“Now that I'm back, I just want to contribute as much as I can and help get us over the line. Hopefully I'll play on Saturday - and maybe score.”
It says much for Argyle’s squad depth and quality that a player like Randell was out for some time, and yet results continued to keep the Pilgrims on top of League One.
Argyle have 95 points from 44 games, and yet are still not confirmed as being promoted, an unprecedented position for a team with such a tally to be in.
Speaking to Argyle TV, Randell was asked what he thinks has got the squad to such an impressive points number at this stage.
“I don’t know if it's down to just one thing,” he said. “I think the squad as a whole have been very strong and the depth that we've had has been massive, because people have dropped out, people have come in. We've had all sorts of teams named throughout the year, and every single one has performed. We've been digging out results and special moments where someone’s brought out a piece of brilliance from somewhere to drag us through.
“There have been occasions, when you're talking about the big games here at home, where we've come back from 1-0 down and managed to find a way, had that resilience to keep going.
“It's just something new to me, where the fight and the spirit of the team to just win at any cost and just keep digging in at important moments and finding a way somehow.
“I've not experienced it before. It's a very, very good thing to have. It's managed to drag us through some times where we didn't think we were going to get the result we got.”
Home Park is sold out for 18th time this season, from 23 league games. In a season that has yielded some memorable encounters and incredible atmospheres, there is a possibility that this one could top the lot.
Adam says the players, should they obtain the result they need, are looking forward to having the opportunity to celebrate with the Green Army. However, this is something that could be denied should pitch incursions take place.
Asked if he has a message for the Green Army this Saturday, Adam said: “Enjoy it as much as you can. Everyone wants to enjoy it, but we need to make sure that we're enjoying it in a safe way and it's safe for everyone else.
“We want to have that moment. Everyone else wants to share that moment as well. If it does happen, hopefully everyone is sensible about things. We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy it in their own way without feeling as though they're in any danger of any sort.
“I think they'll be bouncing, they'll already know what it's going to be like. Just make it as enjoyable as possible. Be really loud, get us going, because it really does help.”