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Mark Bonner Previews Argyle Clash

21 February 2022

U's Head Coach Mark Bonner sat down with local media on Monday morning to preview his side's clash With Plymouth on Tuesday (22nd February)...

On training in difficult conditions:  

“I think this is out third storm in the space of a week! People have had it worse than us; I'm sure you if look around the country, it's terrible.

“There have been a few trees down at the training ground. Sunday’s storm has not helped the pitches at all. So if we can find a space to train this morning [Monday], then that'll be helpful. It's probably windier this morning than it was on Friday morning.

“It’s a bit of a challenging one to get anything done out on the grass this morning, that being said, the players don't really need too much work today, they just need to get themselves moving again.

“We’ll probably have to do our tactical work inside on the video and on the tactics board. We've always dealt with whatever situation is thrown at us, so we’ll be okay. We're going to start today and make sure we're ready for tomorrow and hope that the conditions settle down a little bit.”

On Plymouth:

“It’s interesting how the fixtures fall sometimes, we seem to play a batch of games against teams that have similar styles and now we’re playing two games against possession-based sides that look like they've got 13 players on the pitch at times.

“Plymouth are in incredible form. Steven’s [Schumacher] done a brilliant job since he's taken over from Ryan Lowe after he moved on to Preston. He's continued the good progress that they have been making this season.

“We saw first-hand how difficult games can be against them when we went there earlier in the season. We know what to expect, but whether we can control and contain that and then cause them our own problems will be key for us.

“We were excellent in the first half, and we went there with the ball and carried a real threat. In the second half however, we got pinned back and were made to defend for long periods.

“I think the game will probably have everything in some respects. It will be a very different game and we know that they will have periods of control where they dominate the ball, like they do against most teams, but what that allows us to do is have our own spells of control as well.

“There has been a lot of games recently that have been quite hectic. Hopefully this one's a little bit more controlled and we are able to contain them as well as also being able to dominate spells ourselves.”

Team news:

“Our team will be very different from the team that played them earlier in the season. Looking back at that game, we had Jack Iredale, Greg Taylor, Lloyd Jones, Liam O’Neil, Shilow Tracy and Joe Ironside all in the team that day so it just shows how well we're doing at the moment with such fundamental players missing from the team.

“There will definitely be changes to the team tomorrow following Saturday’s game against Accrington.

“If we are going to have a few players out, then the ones coming in need to grab the opportunity and show the hunger to go and play in the game. I'm sure that whoever comes into the team will do that because we've always done that.

“We've got four tough games back-to-back now, so we’ll see how we come through that. I think when you look at the last nine games we’ve had, we’ve won four and drawn three, which is pretty exceptional for us given the challenges that we’ve faced with injuries.

“I'm really proud of our players and how they’re approaching these challenges so far and no doubt they'll do the same for the next couple of weeks.”

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