'We have a point to prove' - Ex-Town star Wilson on Blues' trip to Plymouth

James Wilson has joined Plymouth Argyle

James Wilson, last season's Ipswich Town player of the year, faces his old club with Plymouth this weekend - Credit: Pagepix/PAFC

Ipswich Town travel to league-leaders Plymouth Argyle tomorrow (3pm ko).

Mark Heath takes a look at the Pilgrims...

A Plymouth Argyle fan shows his support outside the ground before the Sky Bet League Two, Play Off S

Plymouth are the League One leaders after 15 games - Credit: PA

Story so far

It's been a remarkable turnaround for Ryan Lowe's side. Having finished down in 18th spot last season, the Pilgrims are top of the third tier after 15 games, having lost just one of those matches.

And that was all the way back on opening day, a 2-0 away defeat to Rotherham United, who currently sit fifth in the table.

Thus, they're unbeaten in 14 league games heading into this clash against a Town side who are also in form, with just one defeat in their last ten.

Plymouth score goals - their 26 to date is second only to Town - and have shored up what was a young, leaky defence last season with experience, resulting in a much-stingier goals against record.

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Only two sides have conceded fewer goals than Plymouth's 13 this campaign - and those two sides, Wycombe and Rotherham, have played a game less.

One of the key men in that defence is, of course, James Wilson - Town's player of the season last campaign. More on him shortly...

Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe has been linked to the vacant Bristol City job. Photo: PA

Plymouth's Ryan Lowe is one of the top young managers in the English game - Credit: PA

The boss

Ryan Lowe is one of the most promising young managers in the English game.

Following a lengthy playing career in the lower tiers, Lowe retired to concentrate on managing Bury back in 2018. He duly led them to promotion from League Two, and the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy, before their troubles hit.

Lowe was named Plymouth boss in June 2019, and repeated the trick, leading them to promotion from League Two.

And he's in no doubt as to his goal with the Pilgrims - a place back in the Championship for the first time since 2010.

"We're up there for a reason because we deserve to be there, we're winning games of football," Lowe told the BBC.

"It means a lot to the club, you heard them singing 'we're on our way back', we are on our way back to being a sustainable Championship club.

"That's the ambition and that's why I've come here to do that with the chairman and the directors and everyone associated, and the players and the fans."

He added: "We're not going to get too carried away, we know where it lies, we know there are teams that have got games to catch up on and all we can do is worry about ourselves.

"If we're there for a week, two weeks, a month, three months, it doesn't really matter - it's where you want to be at the end of the season, so we'll enjoy the moment and we'll just keep working hard and keep moving on."

Familiar faces

With Ipswich deciding against offering the aforementioned Wilson a new deal despite his player of the season showing in 2020/21, Lowe moved quickly to sign the man he called his 'number one target' in the summer.

It's a move which has worked out well for both parties. Wilson is an ever-present on the right-side of Plymouth's back three, and is enjoying his time in Devon.

Speaking ahead of Town's visit, he said: "We’ve got to keep it up, we have a point to prove after last week. We are going to need that determination throughout the season.

“We have the bit between our teeth this weekend definitely.

“It’s a great atmosphere, it always is when you’re winning and doing well. We just have to keep our feet on the ground.

“The changing room is full of really good boys, and everyone is really grounded.”

Of Town, he added: "I did really enjoy playing there. The first year was great with the fans even though we didn’t achieve what we wanted to.

“There has been a massive change there, I don’t know a lot of the boys now even from last season.

“Its’ like any other game, there are plenty of other teams that I have played for before.”

Conor Grant, who made seven appearances for Town while on loan from Everton in 2016, will also face his former club tomorrow. He's been impressing on the left side of Plymouth's five-man midfield.

Ones to watch

Plymouth have a pair of in-form strikers who will be planning to give Town a torrid time this weekend.

Ryan Hardie has bagged ten in all competitions - eight in the league - while his partner in crime Luke Jephcott has five.

They work very well together to stretch teams, Hardie's pace and Jephcott's ability to link play proving a potent mix for the Pilgrims so far this season.

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