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Armband may stay with Hourihane despite the return of skipper Purse

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

Plymouth Argyle's Conor Hourihane has taken responsibility of captaincy 'in his stride' Picture: Dan Mullan/Pinnacle

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Midfielder Conor Hourihane has responded well to the responsibility of becoming Plymouth Argyle's captain, according to manager Carl Fletcher.

Hourihane, 21, has led out the Pilgrims for their last three matches while centre-back Darren Purse has been suspended.

Purse is available for selection for Argyle's game against York City at Home Park today but his future at the struggling League Two club is unclear after he was transfer-listed for financial reasons.

So it remains to be seen whether Purse will play against York and, if so, who will be the skipper.

Fletcher said: "Conor has taken it in his stride and has deservedly been wearing the captain's armband in the last few games.

"He hasn't felt any kind of added pressure, which a pleasing thing. He's a good pro. He works hard every day in training and puts his all in for every game."

York will be in confident mood when they make their first visit to Home Park since 2002.

They have impressed on their travels this season, winning four and drawing five of their ten away league games.

The Minstermen's only away defeat came when they lost 3-1 at Burton Albion on September 19. Fletcher said: "The reports we have had on York are that they are a good attacking side. We are going to have to make sure we are right defensively to give us a chance [today].

"They play football the right way and have got a lot of good energy and are very bright.

"We are going to have to make sure we are switched on, not just when the ball is in play but when it goes dead as well."

Argyle have gone 18 games in all competitions without a clean sheet, since a 0-0 draw at Torquay United in League Two on September 8.

The Pilgrims will have another Devon derby next Saturday, when they play arch rivals Exeter City at St James' Park.

So a win against York would be a timely boost for them before making the short trip to Exeter.

Fletcher said: "I wouldn't say it's essential but it would definitely help. We are crying out for a win really, just to give everyone a boost.

"It's hard when you are playing okay and you are just not getting the results to show for your efforts."

Midfielder Luke Young could be added to Argyle's squad today after a shoulder problem but left-back Robbie Williams is still sidelined by a stomach muscle injury.

Fletcher said: "Willo is progressing but he's nowhere near match fit yet."

Williams has not played since the 2-1 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon on October 6.

Plymouth Argyle (from): Gilmartin, Cole; Berry, Blanchard, Nelson, Bhasera, Purse, Lowry, Hourihane, Molesley, Lennox, Young, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Feeney, Madjo, MacDonald, Chadwick, Griffiths, Lecointe, Richards, Harvey.

Doubtful: Young (shoulder).

Unavailable: Wotton (back), Williams (stomach muscle).

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