Crawley Town vs Plymouth Argyle: All you need to know about the Pilgrims
Crawley Town continued their good start to the SkyBet League Two season and look to carry on that form as they host Plymouth Argyle tonight.
With yet another goal from Birmingham loanee Bez Lubala against Mansfield on Saturday, taking his tally to seven for the season, the Reds have 14 points from their opening eight games and sit just one spot out of the play-off's due to goal difference.The 8th-placed side host the 11th-placed Plymouth Argyle and we caught up with Chris Errington, the football editor with Plymouth Live, to get the low down on the recently relegated Pilgrims.
Q: Who were the main signings and departures?
A:The most high-profile signing of the close season - and the start of Ryan Lowe's tenure as manager - was that of midfielder Danny Mayor, who is widely regarded as one of the most talented attacking players in the lower divisions. Mayor was one of five players who followed Lowe from Bury over the summer, with defender Will Aimson, wing-back Callum McFadzean and strikers Byron Moore (formerly of Port Vale) and Dom Telford the others.Four of Lowe's 11 signings during the summer transfer window were on loan, including West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer and Peterborough United's versatile attacker George Cooper, who started his career at Crewe Alexandra.The main departures during the close season were Argyle's three main attacking players from last season. Freddie Ladapo was sold to Rotherham United for £500,000 after netting 19 times last term, while gifted playmakers Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras both moved overseas, to CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria and Famalicao in Portugal respectively.
Q: How would you assess Argyle's Start to the Season?
A: With Ryan Lowe appointed in June, and so many new signings following his appointment, it is perhaps no surprise that Argyle are taking time to gel as a team and get used to what is expected of them from the manager. They began the season with back-to-back wins away to Crewe Alexandra (3-0) and at home to Colchester United (1-0), but since then they have had one win, two draws and three defeats - with all of those losses coming away from Home Park, the latest being at Port Vale (1-0) on Saturday, leaving them 11th in the table. Q: Can you tell us about Ryan Low and his style of play?
A: He led Bury to promotion from League Two last season as runners-up to Lincoln City and their attacking style of play led to them finishing as the top goalscorers in the division. Aged 40 with a reputation as a modern, forward-thinking manager he was exactly what Argyle were looking for in their new manager. With Bury's well-documented off-the-pitch problems, the Pilgrims were able to bring in Lowe on a three-year contract. Since taking over, he has done a great job of lifting the gloom around the club after their relegation from league One last term and has been very positive around Home Park, and the city of Plymouth in general. He is committed to playing a 3-5-2 formation with a heavy emphasis on playing the ball out from the back and getting lots of width into their attacking play.
Q: Who are the key players for Argyle?
A: Danny Mayor. When he plays well, Argyle are going to win more often than not. No-one at Crawley will need warning that they must stop him from cutting inside onto his right foot and trying to curl shots into the far corner of the net. That is where a lot of his goals come from. He and wing-back Callum McFadzean also link up very well on the left.
Q: What are the hopes and expectations for Argyle this season?
A: With the terrific fanbase that Argyle have - they had a crowd of 11,500 for a Tuesday night game against Salford City last month - and some players with undoubted ability at League Two level there are still high expectations among the Green Army that Lowe can repeat the League Two promotion success he had at Bury last season with Argyle this term, but there is no getting away from the fact it has been a bit of a struggle so far.
Crawley Town's encounter with Plymouth Argyle will take place tonight (17th September) at the People's Pension Stadium. Kick-off at 7.45pm.