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Fletcher delighted to bring in Molesley

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

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Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher admitted he "pulled in a couple of favours" to complete the loan signing of 31-year-old Bournemouth midfielder Mark Molesley.

Finances are tight at Home Park because of lower than expected attendances this season.

However, a deal for Molesley was completed shortly before the Football League deadline for "emergency loan" signings at 5pm yesterday.

The versatile midfielder will be with Argyle up to and including the League Two trip to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, December 22.

Molesley will be eligible for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy last 16 tie against Oxford United at Home Park on Tuesday, December 4. He has not played for Bournemouth this season after an Achilles injury, but has been training with the League One outfit over recent weeks.

Fletcher was given a glowing reference about Molesley by Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, who is a former team-mate and long-time friend of the Pilgrims' boss.

"I'm really pleased to bring Mark in," said Fletcher. "We had to do a bit of negotiating to make sure the move was viable and we pulled in a couple of favours.

"Mark is a solid player who has been successful at this level before.

"I spoke to Eddie Howe about Mark and he couldn't recommend him highly enough.

"Ed's opinion is one I trust and I'm sure Mark will be a great asset to the squad."

Molesley had a loan spell with Aldershot Town at the end of last season and played as a late second-half substitute in a 1-0 defeat by Argyle at Home Park on Easter Monday.

The 6ft 1in midfielder did not move into professional football until the age of 27, when he signed on loan for Bournemouth from Grays Athletic.

Molesley made eight starts and four substitute appearances for the Cherries, and netted twice, before completing a permanent transfer at the start of January 2009.

He played regularly for the rest of that season as Bournemouth miraculously escaped relegation from League Two despite a 17-point deduction.

However, injury problems have plagued Molesley since then and he did not feature for the Cherries between October 2009 and March 2011.

His last appearance for Bournemouth came in a 1-1 draw at Brentford in League One on Boxing Day 2011.

Molesley will wear the number 30 shirt for Argyle, who saw left-back Scott Griffiths complete a loan spell from Championship club Peterborough United earlier this week.

Griffiths made six starts for the Pilgrims during his stint with them.

Howe, who began his second spell as Bournemouth manager last month after quitting Burnley, recently spoke of his admiration for Molesley.

He said: "I am open to a loan spell with Mark. I think he needs to go and get football and I have had that conversation with him, so we will wait and see what happens.

"But while he's here he's also a useful member of our squad. He can play many different positions."

Howe continued: "There has been interest. I think there have been concerns over his injury record but he hasn't missed a day of training since I have been here.

"He has looked really good, so I think he's getting on top of those problems now and, hopefully, he will remain fit."

Meanwhile, Fletcher has praised the professionalism of Argyle's stand-in skipper Conor Hourihane.

The 21-year-old midfielder captained the Pilgrims for the first time when they lost 1-0 at Bradford City on Tuesday.

Hourihane took over the armband from centre-back Darren Purse, who started a three-match suspension after he was sent-off in the 3-0 defeat at Fleetwood Town last Saturday.

Fletcher, explaining the decision to make Hourihane the stand-in skipper, said: "Conor understands the game. He knows what we want and he always gives 100 per cent.

"It was a no-brainer really. His professionalism and attitude, day in and day out, is something a lot of people can learn from."

Purse continues his suspension when Argyle play Chesterfield at Home Park in League Two tomorrow.

His ban will end after the JPT tie with Oxford.

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