Plymouth Argyle ready for trip to Torquay on Saturday
CONOR HOURIHANE cannot wait for Saturday's Devon derby with Torquay United, where the Plymouth Argyle midfielder is greedily targeting a double-whammy return.
The skilful young Irishman wants Argyle to come back from Plainmoor with at least a share of the spoils, thus ending any chance of the Gulls claiming another double over the Pilgrims in League Two in 2012/13.
Hourihane also wants to get off the mark and find the back of the net against unbeaten Torquay.
But he insists the team's needs come first and he would willingly forego netting so long as the Pilgrims prevail and continue to build momentum and confidence.
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Last season, a relegation-haunted Argyle were well beaten by Torquay – 3-1 at Plainmoor in November and again 2-1 in the New Year game at Home Park.
But the 21-year-old says there is a renewed sense of optimism among manager Carl Fletcher's Argyle squad, particularly following last Saturday's opening league win over Northampton and a spirited Capital One Cup performance at Burnley last midweek.
The 3-2 victory over an in-form Northampton, Hourihane insists, has 'gotten that monkey off our back' and instilled the players with a 'quiet confidence' as they prepare for the first of four Devon derbies this season.
With respect to Torquay, says Hourihane, this year's team is a different and more confident Argyle, also keen to repay the Green Army with a positive performance in what is expected to be a packed Plainmoor.
"All the lads are really looking forward to playing Torquay and quietly confident of doing well against them," said Republic of Ireland under-21 international Hourihane (far right).
"If selected, of course, I want to play a part in continuing the upward trend and giving our fans something to cheer about.
"I've played in all four league games this season and I think the Northampton win was deserved, if a little overdue.
"Our displays hadn't gotten the results our performances had warranted.
"We're playing with more freedom and more flair, which the gaffer (Fletcher) has encouraged, which hopefully will provide entertainment as well bring in the results we all want for Argyle.
"Last year was all about staying up, whereas this season it's about moving upwards by playing good football.
"On a personal note, I want to improve my strike record and get among the goals more often.
"Scoring at Torquay would be perfect, just so long as the result is in our favour of course."