Plymouth Preview - Away, 22nd March
Watford have never won at Argyle during Aidy Boothroyd`s tenure, so with this clash being as crucial as it is, it`s time for that to change.
The Pilgrims are enjoying a fantastic season, despite the mid-season upheaval of players and manager leaving. The man in question, the lovable Iain Holloway, who isn`t doing so well at Leicester at the moment, perhaps the Plymouth faithful saw their charismatic former manager leave at the right time, strange game football! Sat in 6th, Argyle have a narrow one point advantage over 6th place Crystal Palace but are four points below 5th placed Hull. Watford are in desperate need of their first three points in five attempts which could take them second.
A large amount of Plymouth`s success in recent weeks has been down to the January signings of the returning Paul Sturrock. The Scot was busy in January and has even moved to secure a couple more loan deals in the last few days. The most recent of which was Rab Douglas who joined for a week from Leicester where he is unwanted. A former Scotland international, now 35, Douglas has spent time on-loan at Millwall and Wycombe this season, but is unlikely to start on Saturday as Larrieu and McCormick should both return.
Fellow Scot Russell Anderson has also joined on loan, rather renewed his deal which expired earlier, the centre half has now agreed terms until the end of the season. A season which he can`t have enjoyed hugely having made just the one sub appearance for new club Sunderland. Signed for a million pounds in the Summer, the former Aberdeen skipper hasn`t exactly hit the ground running, but seven starts in the West Country suggest he`s a decent player.
Another Scot whose moved from the Premier League down to the Championship in search of regular football is Gary Teale. Another fully-fledged international north of the border, Teale joins from Derby where he pitched up last January after several years at Wigan Athletic. A pacey wideman, Teale made his Argyle debut in a 2-0 win at rivals Southampton, a good start without question.
On the left-flank is Hungarian Peter Halmosi who joined last January on-loan from Debrecen, but was signed in the Summer permanently after impressing, also able to play up front the 12-cap Hungarian has 11 goals in his Argyle career, a reasonable return from 51 games. Fellow Magyar Krisztian Timar joined from Ferencvaros in a similar deal last season making the switch permanent for just 75k, and excellent piece of business as the six footer has made the centre back berth his own. It`s now just a question of who partners him; Paul Wotton has thrown his hat into the ring after his long-awaited return from the sidelines.
The club captain is also able to play in midfield, and as well as being an excellent set-piece taker, Wotton can`t half connect with a football too. Fifty three goals in 355 league starts for the Cornish side is decent return for a centre-half come holding midfield who is now in his 13th season with the club. The epitomy of loyalty, Wotton is likely to start alongside either Timar or Anderson on Saturday.
Up top are where the real options lie, Rory Fallon looks set to start having been the goalscoring hero at Bristol where he managed a brace, adding to his previous tally of just 4 goals for the Pilgrims. Jermaine Easter has bean playing more recently but even he has an unenviable poor record of just three in fourteen starts.
New boy Jamie Mackie, signed from local non-leaguers Exeter has two in one start, but another six sub appearances have yielded nothing. Steven MacLean, another January buy has notched on in nine starts, whilst Chris Clark`s record of 8 in 176 starts somehow warranted a 200k move South.
With strikers like that, are we in for an easy afternoon? You`d better not believe it…
McCormick; Connolly, Seip, Anderson, Sawyer; Teale, Wotton, Clark, Halmosi ; Easter and Fallon.
Lee; DeMerit (c), Shittu, Bromby, Sadler; Smith, Williamson, Bangura, McAnuff; Henderson and John.