Play-offs are the aim - Williams
LEFT-BACK Robbie Williams has set his sights on a play-off place for Plymouth Argyle next season.
The 27-year-old sees no reason why the Pilgrims cannot challenge for a top seven spot, provided they get their campaign off to a good start.
They open up with a game against Aldershot Town at Home Park on Saturday, August 18, followed by trips to Dagenham and Redbridge (August 21) and Oxford United (August 25).
The Argyle squad returned to Home Park today for the start of pre-season training after a two-month summer break.
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Williams, who recently signed a new one-year contract, is upbeat about the forthcoming campaign, especially because of the experience within the ranks at Home Park.
He told Herald Sport: "You have got to be positive and set your sights high. I'm confident we can be a top seven side if we can get a good start.
"The fans have been great and supported us all the way last season.
"It's a massive club for League Two. I think it's a top of League One/Championship club.
"Hopefully, we can do the business this season and get the club back to where it should be."
Williams signed for Argyle last summer, when the club were in administration and mired in a desperate financial crisis.
He and the rest of the Pilgrims' squad were not paid properly until after James Brent completed his successful takeover of the club at the end of last October.
Williams described that as the worst period of his 10-year career as a professional footballer.
But, that is all in the past now, and Williams believes the Argyle squad can achieve success after escaping the clutches of relegation in 2011/12.
Williams said: "We have kept pretty much everybody from the back end of last season.
"With a couple more additions, I would have thought, touch wood, we should be challenging at the top of the end of the table.
"That's what we have to set our sights on. We can't afford to have another season like the last one.
"We have got a strong squad with a lot of players who have been there and done it before."
Centre-back Darren Purse, midfielder Paul Wotton and striker Nick Chadwick were all recruited by manager Carl Fletcher during the course of the last campaign and put their vast experience to good use.
"You are talking about the spine of the team there," said Williams. "It's a massive help.
"But there are a lot of other players with experience – me and Bas (Onismor Bhasera), Walts (captain Simon Walton), Feeno (striker Warren Feeney) and Jake (Cole) in goal."
Bhasera and Williams are likely to compete for the left-back role in the forthcoming season.
But Bhasera – who can also play in midfield – will not return to training with the Pilgrims for a while yet after being on extended international duty with Zimbabwe during June.
Williams made 30 appearances for Argyle last season – all of them starts – and scored two goals.
After a spell out of the side, he was recalled for a 1-1 draw at Macclesfield Town at the end of February, when Bhasera was away with Zimbabwe, and kept his place for the rest of the campaign.
He put in consistent performances as Argyle's much-improved defensive record led to them avoiding the drop.
Williams is now looking forward to the new campaign after a summer spent in his home county of Yorkshire.
He said: "It has been a great break. I really enjoyed being home seeing family and friends who I have missed.
"It's difficult being away from home and only getting back once a month or every six weeks, but it's a sacrifice you need to make.
"I don't mind because I like playing for Plymouth."