Plymouth Argyle keeper Jake Cole happy to be back between the posts
GOALKEEPER Jake Cole plans on staying in the Plymouth Argyle side after an unexpected return to action.
Cole was a 43rd minute substitute for Rene Gilmartin in the Pilgrims' disappointing 0-0 draw against relegation rivals Accrington Stanley at Home Park on Saturday.
Gilmartin was forced into making an early exit because of a hamstring injury.
Cole started the first 16 games for Argyle in League Two this season, up until the 2-1 home defeat by Burton Albion on November 6.
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Gilmartin had been between the posts from then on, with Cole watching from the dug-out.
Cole made one excellent save late on from Accrington player-coach and former England striker James Beattie to preserve a point for the Pilgrims.
He told Herald Sport: "Beattie was on the free-kick and he has got quality.
"I'm confident enough to deal with whatever comes at me so I was happy to pull off a save late on.
"Before that, I claimed a couple of balls in the box, but didn't have that much to do, mainly kicking and clearing up.
"I'm just buzzing to have made the save and kept the clean sheet.
"Every point is important, and in the same way you can nick it at the end you can also concede at the end."
Cole admitted he had found it hard to be on the sidelines over recent times.
"It has been hard," he said. "I have worked my socks off, to be fair. I have been doing extra goalkeeping work and getting in the gym.
"I have been waiting for my opportunity again and I'm obviously happy it came today."
Cole and Gilmartin have shared first team duties between them this season, but Ollie Chenoweth is also on the books at Home Park.
"Ollie is a brilliant keeper and he works very hard every day," said Cole. "He's my gym partner as well.
"We all train hard. Obviously, I have been the regular for the last year and a half and I'm just happy to be playing.
"That's what I train all week for – the game at the end of it."
Coming off the substitutes' bench to play part of game was not a new experience for the 27-year-old.
Cole said: "It's difficult, but you have just got to be ready at all times. That's professionalism at the end of the day.
"There is no point sitting on the bench not thinking you are coming on. You have got to be ready and raring to go.
"It has happened before, a couple of times when I was at QPR, and obviously on Saturday.
"Reg (Gilmartin) has had a problem with his hamstring so I knew as soon as he called over I was on.
"For me, I'm happy to get in there and take my chance."
Cole admitted he and his Argyle team-mates were disappointed with only drawing against Accrington.
The Pilgrims had won 2-1 at home to Morecambe in their previous match on January 12, which was first with John Sheridan as manager.
Cole said: "I think they (Accrington) will be happy with coming here and getting a draw.
"We didn't perform to the level we should have in the first half. We had a few chances in the second half and upped the tempo.
"Youngy (midfielder Luke Young) came on and did well and we passed it about a little bit better.
"We looked more of a threat, but it's disappointing all in all. We did want to get another win and make it two on the bounce at home."
Argyle will play their third successive game at Home Park this coming Saturday, when mid-table Dagenham and Redbridge are the visitors.
Cole said: "It doesn't matter who we are playing, whether they are up the top or down near us at the bottom, they are all hard games. We are focused now on the next one. Dagenham are coming here and we all look forward to it."