A tough test this one, Argyle set off at a deadly pace but just recently have stuttered so we thought we better check in with a Green Army fan to give us the lowdown and give us his take on the situation. So many thanks to Steve Garrett from Western Australia who has taken the time to answer our questions…many thanks to him and good luck for the rest of the season.
1 – We are about half of the way through the season, so how is it looking for your team so far?
The season had seen a very promising start, apart from the opening day (loss to Rotherham), as the team built up a head of steam by winning the next 17 league matches, unprecedented since the days of (he who shouldn’t be mentioned) Ian Holloway back in 2006.
Then one ‘Horrendous Week’ in November saw the Pilgrims lose three straight on the bounce. First to Charlton 2 – 0 (20/11/21), then came Wycombe 3 – 0 (24/11/21) and finally (we are hoping) Wigan 2 – 1 (27/11/21).
These defeats prompted a call from the Argyle gaffer Ryan Lowe in re-educating the Green Army and re-affirm that an honest league assessment would centre on the fact we simply are not ready for the top of the league table. He has stated ‘We are competing against big budgets and whatever else’.
‘We are where we are, we are way over-achieving what we set out to do. That’s just the way we are. We are not moaning about it. We have had a fantastic start (to the season) and we have had an horrendous week. We have got to put that week to bed. “Okay, it has gone now, we have lost three games and haven’t picked a point up out of a potential nine. That’s football, isn’t it? What we need to do now is get a bit of rest and recovery into the group because it has been more or less the same the team.
“We will re-evaluate and go again. It’s important that we just get back on that bike and get riding again.
“If you had said to me at the start of the season that after 20 games, we would be sitting on 36 points and in the second round of the FA Cup I would have bit your hand off for it”.
“It has been a disappointing week but let’s not forget we have been outstanding up until then.” We have now dropped to 4th in the league and looking for a response – the lads are hungry.
2 – We are noticing that some clubs are struggling with attendances, are you back anywhere near to your pre-Covid attendances?
We are looking to exceed our pre-covid attendances, in fact we sit 7th in the table, link provided above and have a healthy 12,400 average at present.
3- We note that many clubs are going across to digital tickets and cashless stadiums and this has caused major problems for fans, is this something that has affected you as a fan, home or away?
I reside in Western Australia and purchase all my games live to stream. I am not aware of any issues with ticketing. The club operates a buy online or pick up in from the ticket office approach. We have a fantastic following away from home and again as this is organised through the club am not aware of any issues.
4 – Every club has played nearly all the teams in League 1, who do you think is the best and the worst team you have played so far?
Best Team: Rotherham are probably the best team we have played against and every inch the ones who will be up there come May.
Worst Team: I’d probably say Wigan.
5 – In our forthcoming game what sort of style can we expect to see from your team?
Style will be attacking, possession football – attractive on the eye but we tend to leave the back door open. If MK Dons can defend well against the attacks down the flanks, then I think it will end in a draw. But if we get the goal for confidence reasons, the boys will want to put the past defeats to bed for sure. Winning the 2nd ball will be key and keeping it wide. Both sets of full backs need to be on their toes.
6 – Is there any current MK Dons player that you would like to see playing for your team?
Scott Twine up front with our Ryan Hardie, awesome strike force. Too many of our strikers are not taking their opportunities and cementing the position. Hardie is strong, consistent, and always looks dangerous on the ball. Twine would complement his style and create gaps on the Left.
7 – Every lower league club fear that the big boys are monitoring their players, is there anybody in your team that is attracting unwanted attention, and might be lured away in January?
Yes Panutche Camara – has been awesome in midfield with his energy and, apart from lacking that finishing part in the final 3rd, is extremely adept at slotting balls in behind defensive lines or picking up and stiving forward. He is being keenly watched by at least 12 clubs when we defeated Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup – including Premier League sides like Burnley.
8 – Is there anyone in your team that we should really fear as a potential game changer?
Danny Mayor, Ryan Broom or Panutche Camara (Pan) – either one of them, if any are on their game, you will see a flow from midfield to the front 2 that can unlock and provide the killing pass/shot.
9 – Can you predict where you think your club will finish at the end of the season, and where the MK Dons will finish?
Realistically and after the ‘horror’ week of late – I think it would be a good outcome if we are vying and cementing the playoff positions come season end.
10 – Many thanks for taking part, all we need now is your prediction for the game?
Trying to remain unbiased, as MK Dons are a side that will cause us trouble. That balanced against us trying to stop the rot……hmm a tough one – it will be close, if it’s not a hard-fought draw – I think we may have enough to get the winner. 2 – 1 Argyle.