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Cole wants to keep his place after making impact as substitute

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

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Goalkeeper Jake Cole plans on staying in the Plymouth Argyle side after an unexpected return to action.

Cole was a 43rd-minute substitute for Rene Gilmartin in the Pilgrims' disappointing 0-0 draw against relegation rivals Accrington Stanley at Home Park last Saturday.

Gilmartin was forced into making an early exit because of a hamstring injury.

Cole started the first 16 games for Argyle in npower League Two this season, up until the 2-1 home defeat by Burton Albion on November 6. Gilmartin had been between the posts from then on, with Cole watching from the dug-out.

Cole made one excellent save late on from Accrington's player-coach, former England striker James Beattie, to preserve a point for the Pilgrims at the weekend. He said: "Beattie was on the free-kick and he has got quality.

"I'm confident enough to deal with whatever comes at me, so I was happy to pull off a save late on. Before that, I claimed a couple of balls in the box, but didn't have that much to do, mainly kicking and clearing up.

"I'm just buzzing to have made the save and kept the clean-sheet. Every point is important, and in the same way you can nick it at the end you can also concede at the end."

Cole admitted he had found it tough to be on the sidelines in recent weeks. "It has been hard," he said. "I have worked my socks off, to be fair. I have been doing extra goalkeeping work and getting in the gym. I have been waiting for my opportunity again and I'm obviously happy it came."

Cole and Gilmartin have shared first-team duties between them this season, but Ollie Chenoweth is also on the books at Home Park.

"Ollie is a brilliant 'keeper and he works very hard every day," said Cole. "He's my gym partner as well.

"We all train hard. Obviously, I have been the regular for the last year and a half and I'm just happy to be playing. That's what I train all week for – the game at the end of it."

Coming off the substitutes' bench to play part of game was not a new experience for the 27-year-old. Cole said: "It has happened before, a couple of times when I was at QPR, and obviously this weekend. Reg [Gilmartin] has had a problem with his hamstring, so I knew as soon as he called over I was on."

Cole admitted he and his Argyle team-mates were disappointed with only drawing against Accrington. The Pilgrims had won 2-1 at home to Morecambe in their previous match on January 12, which was the first with John Sheridan as manager.

Cole said: "I think Accrington will be happy with coming here and getting a draw. We didn't perform to the level we should have in the first half. We had a few chances in the second half and upped the tempo.

"Youngy [midfielder Luke Young] came on and did well and we passed it about a little bit better. We looked more of a threat, but it was disappointing, all in all. We did want to get another win and make it two on the bounce at home."

Several senior players could have run-outs for an Argyle XI in a friendly against Saltash United at Kimberley Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm). Robbie Williams, Paul Wotton, Jamie Lowry and Andres Gurrieri are likely to be involved.

There could also be some much-needed match practice for young professionals Jamie Richards, Jared Sims, Isaac Vassell and Matt Lecointe.

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