Plymouth v Pompey: The Opposition View
The game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park was a turning point in the season for Plymouth.
They were bottom of the table after that game – their 20th of the season – with 17 points. In the 20 games since then they’ve picked up 46 points, including 14 wins.
By anyone’s standards that is an amazing turnaround.
They were bottom on December 9 when they played Gillingham and scored a stoppage-time winner through Toumani Diagouraga.
Since then they’ve been on the up and, looking back at it, the Portsmouth game was clearly the low point.
The home form’s been superb. The only team they’ve lost to at home since November is Wigan and they are a very good side!
There’s been a lot of stoppage-time winners for the team and I guess that comes from winning games and the mentality which develops from that. They believe they can win no matter what.
The Peterborough game last weekend was a good example of that. They conceded an early goal, were level at half-time and much the better side after the break.
It looked as if it was going to be a draw but they kept going and going and won a penalty late on.
They are a very fit side, too. The team do a lot of double sessions on Monday and Tuesday, even at this late stage of the season.
So maybe in the last 10 minutes and the increasing amount of stoppage time you see these days, they are perhaps the fitter side.
Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras have both been central figures.
They are two ‘number 10s’ in the same team who pop up all over the place.
Lameiras was completely out of favour before Christmas but has made a huge difference over the second half of the season.
They are both clever on the ball and have managed to create and make things happen.
They float off Ryan Taylor, who has been a focal point up front.
Taylor broke his ankle in the first game of the season and was out until the start of the December.
He’s got six goals since which is not a bad return, because he’s never been prolific. But Taylor holds the ball and links the play up for Carey and Lameiras.
You can look at different reasons for the turnaround in the season, but I believe Argyle wouldn’t be in the play-offs without Taylor.
It’s going to be comfortably the biggest attendance of the season at Home Park and everyone is really looking forward to the occasion.