Andres Gurrieri starting to make big impact with Plymouth Argyle
ARGENTINE playmaker Andres Gurrieri is enjoying his football – and Plymouth Argyle are getting the benefits.
Gurrieri has been in eye-catching form in the last three games and the Pilgrims have won them all.
The 23-year-old has played off a lone striker in each match and has revelled in the freedom that has allowed him.
He started, and scored the decisive goal, in a 2-1 win against Aldershot Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round at Home Park on October 9.
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Four days later, Gurrieri played a key part as a half-time substitute in the 4-1 triumph at bottom-of-the-table Barnet in League Two.
That led to him being included in the starting line-up for the visit of Rochdale to Home Park on Saturday.
Gurrieri responded with a superb performance, particularly in the first half, and scored one of the goals in a 3-1 success.
He told Herald Sport: "The gaffer (Carl Fletcher) wants me to try to find little pockets of space and get on the ball.
"It's very good for me. I can move with a lot of freedom and I'm enjoying my football.
"I'm trying to do my best for the team by creating chances for the other players, like I did for the first goal (against Rochdale)."
Argyle opened the scoring with a penalty from striker Guy Madjo in only the fourth minute after a handball offence.
Gurrieri said: "I took the ball and passed it to Scotty (left-back Scott Griffiths), and he put in a great cross, which led to the penalty."
It was 2-0 to the Pilgrims in the seventh minute when Gurrieri headed home from close range. He was picked out by a precise cross from Alex MacDonald and the Argentine did the rest, guiding the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
It was the culmination of an excellent build-up involving several Argyle players.
Gurrieri said: "Madjo passed to me and I found Paris (Cowan-Hall). He then played it to Macca and it was a great cross.
"Fifty per cent of the goal is for him because of that. I don't score with many headers so I was very happy about that."
Gurrieri could have netted in three consecutive games for Argyle had it not been for a brilliant save by Barnet's former Pilgrims keeper Graham Stack the previous Saturday.
"I was so close to scoring against Barnet," he said. "I will try to keep this going, but the most important thing is winning games."
Gurrieri was given a loud ovation when he was substituted in the 89th minute against Rochdale, with Argyle holding onto a 2-1 lead.
He was replaced by defender Curtis Nelson as Fletcher tried to see out the match. Argyle did even better than that, though, as Madjo scored with a second penalty in stoppage time to wrap up an impressive win.
Gurrieri admitted the support of the Green Army was much appreciated by him.
He said: "Every time I got on the ball I could hear the fans so that encouraged me. It's very good."
Rochdale cut Argyle's lead to 2-1 in the 76th minute with a header from experienced striker Dele Adebola.
He headed home from a free-kick but they could not come up with an equaliser before Madjo settled the outcome of the match with his second penalty.
Gurrieri said: "It was difficult because they were playing many long balls and their striker (Adebola) is quite big.
"But when we had the ball we tried to pass it and the defence did very well in the second half."
Argyle have only moved up as far as 15th in the League Two table after their back-to-back wins against Barnet and Rochdale.
But they are just two points away from a play-off position, going into away games at Cheltenham Town and Rotherham United this week.
Gurrieri said: "We are very glad with the win (against Rochdale) but we have to keep going.
"This is our third consecutive victory so it's good for our confidence. We are working very hard and I think this is like a gift for us."