Argyle start shows shoots of recovery in League Two
ON THE face of it, picking up four points from as many games at the start of this season and sitting in 15th position in the League Two table is not a lot to be excited about.
But after Plymouth Argyle's struggles over recent times, which have included two relegations, it still represents a sign of improvement.
It is the Pilgrims' best start to a season after four league games since 2007/08, when they finished 10th in the Championship.
Argyle shot up from 23rd to 15th in the table after their 3-2 victory over previously unbeaten Northampton Town at Home Park on Saturday.
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It was their first league success of the season, and ended a wait since Easter Monday for such a win.
Now they are aiming to build on that result when they take on Devon rivals Torquay United at Plainmoor on Saturday (3pm).
Argyle manager Carl Fletcher said: "You always want to get your first win of the season. It's like a monkey off your back really.
"You want to get it out of the way and done, and you move onto the next one. We are looking forward to a good game (against Torquay) this weekend."
Including pre-season friendlies, Argyle played 12 games in a 43-day period, culminating in the victory over Northampton.
But they are not in action this midweek after getting a bye in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Fletcher added: "I was pleased for the lads on Saturday because we have had some real long away games, and lots of games in a short space of time.
"Northampton are a big, organised side and they are going to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season, so it was a good win for us – and we could take a lot of positives from it."
Like this season, Argyle were 15th after the first four league games of 2007/08.
However, they had one more point then, compared to now, with a record of one win, two draws and one defeat.
The Pilgrims were in seventh position in the Championship in 2007/08 when Ian Holloway resigned as manager to take over at Leicester City that November.
He was replaced by Paul Sturrock, who led them to a final position of 10th.
Since then, Argyle have been 21st, 19th, 17th and 22nd after the first four league games of each subsequent season.
That perfectly illustrates the problems they have experienced. Remember, it took the Pilgrims until their 10th league game in 2011/12 to reach four points.
It is too soon to say whether this season is definitely the start of an upward trend for Argyle, but for now, at least, they are nearer the middle of the League Two table, than the bottom of it.