By Jon Harries
Jon talks to Plymouth fan James Jamieson ahead of the New Year Day’s game at Home Park.
Are you content with Plymouth start to the season?
An emphatic yes! It couldn’t have gone any better to be honest. I never expected us to be sitting top of the league by Christmas but we’ve exceeded expectations so far and it’s been great to see.
Are you happy with what you have seen so far under Steven Schumacher and how pleased are you to extend his contract recently ?
Absolutely. Since Ryan Lowe left this time last year he has made the transition from Assistant Manager to Manager seamlessly. The whole structure around the club is really positive on and off the pitch right now and Schumacher been a key part of our success.
Which players do you expect to cause problems for the Dons on Monday ?
We have several threats going forward but Bali Mumba on loan from Norwich has been different class. He’s been playing predominantly left wingback. He is very tricky and skilful and causes defences lots of problems. He’s not so good defensively but excellent going forward. Niall Ennis and Ryan Hardie are both having very good seasons for us too and will pose a goal threat.
Which of your loans have impressed you the most so far?
He’s currently injured but Finn Azaz on loan from Villa has probably impressed me the most and is too good for league 1. You might remember he scored twice at stadium MK earlier in the season and was a constant threat in attacking midfield.
Who or What made you support the Pilgrims And what’s your highlight so far following Plymouth Argyle ?
I grew up living in Plymouth from the age of 3. I went along to a match in the early 90s with a school friend and have been hooked ever since. My highlight is probably winning at Wembley in the league 2 play off final v Darlington in 1996. Also, drawing 0-0 v Liverpool at Anfield in 2017 in the FA cup was another highlight even though we did lose the replay at Home Park.
What style of play can we expect to see from Plymouth on Monday ?
We will likely play 3-4-2-1 which has worked well this season. 2 holding midfielders from Randell/Houghton/Butcher behind 2 number 10’s, predominately Mayor/Whittaker/Azaz. We tend to rotate who plays the loan striker role between Hardie/Ennis/Cosgrove depending on the opposition.
If you could have any Dons player, who would it be?
I like Mo Eisa. He has looked a real handful every time I have seen him play against us. I have always rated Josh McEachran too. I don’t know how he’s been playing recently but if it wasn’t for his injuries I think would be playing in the championship.
Danny Mayor for me is a very underrated player in L1 be it outside of Plymouth and some of the fanbase. What is the reason for that do you think ?
I’m a big fan of Danny Mayor. There was actually a discussion on our fans forum recently about him. We look a much better team with Mayor playing that’s for sure. The issue has been people often compare him to former playmaker Graham Carey who is a bit of a club legend for us under Derek Adams. When Ryan Lowe took over and signed Mayor he stated that he was a better player than Carey.
The truth is they are very different players. Mayor doesn’t produce many goals and assists like Carey did but his dribbling skills and his ability to get us up the pitch is crucial and he often ‘assists the assister.’ If he produced more of an end product consistently he’d be playing in the championship easily.
Which Plymouth game are you most looking forward to this season?
Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday away will be huge games in the new year. I really enjoy going to both stadiums.
What were your thoughts on MK Dons in the first game this season ?
It was comfortable for us that day, 4-1 I think it was. I could sense the anxiety in the home crowd that day and this filtered down to the pitch as Mk made some individual errors. I see Liam Manning was sacked recently which was a shame after what he achieved last season but something clearly wasn’t working. Mk Dons should not be anywhere near the relegation zone
Are there any weaknesses in the squad you would like addressed in January?
We can be prone to the counter attack due to the way we play. Also, we are sometimes vulnerable to crosses into the box too, especially when Dan Scarr is out of the team which hopefully won’t be the case when we play each other!
Thank you for participating, it really helps us get a stronger understanding of the opposition! Finally, what do you think the score will be?
I’ll go 2-1 to us. It’ll be a tougher game to the reverse fixture a few months ago but our home form has been excellent so I’m hopeful this will continue.