Boss previews Saturday's trip to Home Park
Manager Mark Yates was delighted to break Reds' losing run at Newport County on Tuesday but insists the players must continue to challenge each other to push up the League Two table.
Mark Yates on…
Tuesday’s win over Newport County
We’re all delighted to get the win on Tuesday and to break the losing run.
Of course we were disappointed with the run we had, but we played pretty well on Tuesday.
Lewis (Young), Gwion (Edwards) and Josh (Yorwerth) all came in and Josh did well at the age of 20, he gave us some aggression at the back. He won a lot of headers, made good recovery runs and showed decent control on the ball.
Gwion and Lewis occupied their wingbacks and took them out of the game. You don’t want to miss players, but it did prove we missed Gwion and he was a real threat on Tuesday night.
The real focus beforehand was on producing a great team performance. We worked hard as a unit and never looked like conceding a goal.
Joe (McNerney) has been a big miss and Jon (Ashton) has done well for us in games but we’re without both on Saturday.
Joe wasn’t ready for Tuesday but has now been penciled in for next Tuesday.
He had a scan and then had an injection to hopefully clear up what’s wrong with his knee but Jon will be out for 2-3 weeks because of a badly swollen ankle.
Gavin Tomlin is available for selection next Tuesday against Southend in the JPT.
He’s been doing a lot of fitness work and training, so it’s a step in the right direction to have Gavin available.
Lanre is a few weeks away, but hopefully not too long and again he’ll give us so much more in terms of experience and physicality when he's available again.
Matt Harrold’s first goal of the season
I’m thrilled Matt (Harrold) got his first goal as he’s a big part of what we’ve been about.
We wanted a starting point and Matt has been that in occupying defenders and back fours as a whole, he deserved that goal on Tuesday night and it’s been a long time coming. He’s great with link up play and we’ve set him targets for his work in and around the box.
We showed him some of his goals from previous years and, as is the case with all the players, sometimes little reminders help them.
They are all a fantastic bunch, as shown by them all celebrating with Jimmy and I on the bench on Tuesday.
Gwion’s performance against Newport
I knew he was a good player before I came here. He picks the ball up and takes it into their box with ease, occupies defenders and gets them on the back foot.
His first goal was a stunning strike, the second one went through bodies but he produced some magic to find the space in order to shoot for goal.
He then showed what he could do with his left foot with the cross for Matt Harrold’s goal. He’s been training really well and he had a bit of cramp after Tuesday in both legs, but it was purely precaution to take him off and he can't wait for Saturday.
Trip to Home Park on Saturday
It’s impressive how Plymouth and Wycombe can continue on from last season’s performances when they reached the play-off semi-finals.
A few have come down from Scotland with the manager (Derek Adams) and they all look a real threat, as they’re showing consistency.
But we’ve got more hope now than what we did a week ago especially with some new faces in the team as well.
There will be belief around the squad and on the pitch and we are going there in a good frame of mind.
Luke (Rooney) is available and could come back in, but competition for places is what we need and if the players continue to push each other for starting spots then the performances on the pitch will improve and so will results.
We need to keep them fit and strong, especially those that don’t play. All the players need to have a voice, whether on the pitch or in the stand. We’re all determined to make sure that we use Newport as a springboard to start our climb up the table.