Plymouth Argyle: League One Promotion Hopefuls

plymouth argyle promotion

It was regularly perceived that high-flying Plymouth Argyle would eventually fall behind the rest. The likes of Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic all dwarf Argyle when it comes to the finances of the club, yet remain a force to be reckoned with. Plymouth Argyle really are here to stay in the League One promotion picture.

Plymouth Argyle and the Heady Heights They Can Reach

Ryan Lowe Leaving Argyle in the Lurch

Losing your beloved manager in the middle of the season with no prior warning is enough to derail the entire campaign. That wasn’t the case when Ryan Lowe swapped the south coast for Preston North End though. His assistant at the time, Steven Schumacher, has stepped up to the mantle and on the whole, it has been a mind-blowingly smooth transition.

Argyle are on a run of three consecutive wins with a major Dockyard Derby clash to come next. Portsmouth themselves with have sights set on the playoffs but they currently occupy tenth and so a lot of work needs to be done by the Cowley brothers.

The three victories on the bounce have seen them beat both Morecambe and AFC Wimbledon at Home Park before overcoming Bolton Wanderers away from home. Perhaps the most impressive facet of this short streak has been the lack of goals conceded. Five goals have been scored whilst Michael Cooper hasn’t been beaten once. Scottish striker Ryan Hardie has netted twice in this period which takes his tally for the season to 14 goals in League One. Argyle have been sharing around the goals though which is equally as astounding.

Who Have Been the Key Players for Plymouth Argyle?

The best place to start when it comes to this is in between the sticks, is with the aforementioned Michael Cooper. He recently hit the milestone of 100 appearances for Plymouth Argyle and given his age, this is quite the feat. Argyle’s academy production hasn’t been talked about enough really: both Cooper (22) and Luke Jephcott (22) are guaranteed starters with Adam Randell (21) and Ryan Law (22) also being used regularly by ‘Schuey’ this term.

Alongside Cooper, the other name to be dazzling the Green Army is Danny Mayor. Matching the creative impetus brought to the table by the likes of Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras in years gone by was always going to be a tough task. Mayor was one of a few players to follow Lowe over from Bury, yet his best form in a Plymouth Argyle shirt has come under Schumacher’s stewardship. Two goals and three assists in over 1,400 minutes may not make for great reading but Mayor’s game is so much more than numbers and he has been so influential in this fine run of form.

The Run In – Will They be Able to Get Over the Line?

The run-in makes for grim reading if we’re going to be frank about it. Several of the remaining fixtures for Plymouth Argyle will see them clash with direct rivals for the playoff spots and none of the bottom ten lie in wait in the final ten matches.

It would be easy enough to view the final stretch through rose-tinted glasses and tout Argyle to make the playoffs. This isn’t to say that Schumacher and co won’t be able to get over the line, but the fixtures to come are so difficult. As previously mentioned, Argyle have Pompey next up and after that, they will face some of the best that this division has to offer. Fellow promotion hopefuls Sunderland, Oxford United, Ipswich, Wycombe Wanderers, Wigan and MK Dons all lie in wait for the Devonians.

It goes without saying that if Plymouth Argyle finish in the top six, all involved have pulled off something of a miracle. At the start of the season, many were tipping the Green Army to be embroiled in a relegation battle. That has been far from the case though and if these hugely difficult fixtures can be survived, and Argyle can prevail, what an incredulous achievement that would be.

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