McCall sympathises with Plymouth

AS someone who was closely involved at Plymouth, Steve McCall knows all too well the problems they have in attracting and keeping players.A former Argyle player and coach, McCall managed Argyle in 1995 in between Peter Shilton and Neil Warnock and was assistant with Kevin Hodges three year's later.

Derek Davis

AS someone who was closely involved at Plymouth, Steve McCall knows all too well the problems they have in attracting and keeping players.

A former Argyle player and coach, McCall managed Argyle in 1995 in between Peter Shilton and Neil Warnock and was assistant with Kevin Hodges three year's later.

He now clocks up the miles for Ipswich Town as their chief scout, which saw him take in Argyle's defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday, and recognises the similar problems the clubs have in signing new recruits.

McCall said: “It seems a lifetime ago now but I still know a few people involved with Plymouth.

“The problem that Plymouth have in attracting players is the distance it is from anywhere. There is a certain lifespan of players that go there because of the travelling as they are so isolated.

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“It tends to be players seeing out their time. But they are a great club, great people with great support.

“Paul Stapleton has taken it on and done a great job and with Paul Sturrock they are trying to take that final step into the Premiership.”

McCall has been instrumental in bringing players to manager Jim Magilton's attention and is confident the club will and at least one more signing in this window.

He said: “We have had targets for a while and tried to bring those in. It has been frustrating trying to get those in but

“We are thorough in checking out players.

“We've done our homework on them and feel like they will be coming in for the long-term benefits of Ipswich Town. Not just for the three or four months until the end of the season.

“We've got to bring in players that are going to take us forward to the Premier League. That's where we need to be and when we get there we want people who can hold their own.

“It is the whole package because it is a big investment for us and the long term future.”

McCall revealed that Gareth McAuley and David Norris may not be the only arrivals this week. He added teasingly: “You never know there could well be a surprise signing this week.”