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Fletcher is stamping his authority on Home Park as well as impressing James Brent

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 18, 2012

Carl Fletcher

Carl Fletcher

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Carl Fletcher's pre-season and leadership style has been given the thumbs-up by Plymouth Argyle's owner, James Brent.

Brent said that Fletcher's no-nonsense managerial methods and insistence on high standards of fitness from his players has already been noted and has won praise.

Fletcher, according to Brent, was "firm but fair" in his dealings with players and officials alike.

The former West Ham United and Wales midfield player does not "curry favour or court popularity for its own sake", but is earning respect nonetheless.

The North Devon-based businessman also said that the feedback he had been getting has suggested that Fletcher had brought a freshness to pre-season training, adding boxing and swimming to the boot-camp regime of running and weights.

Fletcher's 24-strong squad will gain their first taste of match action ahead of the upcoming npower League Two season this Saturday, when they will tackle League One outfit Yeovil Town.

The friendly against Gary Johnson's side has been switched to Dorchester Town's Avenue Stadium, to allow the Glovers' Huish Park pitch to recover from the wet weather.

Argyle then travel to west Cornwall, where former Home Park favourite Lee Hodges' Truro City side await on Tuesday (7.45pm), followed by a Friday night friendly away to Weston-super-Mare on July 27 (7.45pm).

The Pilgrims will travel to Tiverton Town for their final away friendly on Tuesday, July 31 (7.45pm) before hosting two warm-up matches at Home Park.

Birmingham City visit Plymouth on Saturday, August 4 (3pm), before Preston North End (complete with chairman Peter Ridsdale, who had a high-profile spell at Home Park), come to town on Wednesday, August 8 (7.45pm).

Brent is relishing them all and the Capital One Cup clash at home to Portsmouth on August 14 before the League Two season gets under way at home to Aldershot Town on Saturday, August 18 (3pm).

Brent said: "Like fans everywhere and our own wonderful 'Green Army', I can't wait for the season to start now.

"It has been a long close season, and Carl and his coaching staff have been impressing a lot of knowledgeable people with the way he has gone about it.

"As we saw last year, when survival was our first, second and third priority, Carl knows what he wants and goes all out to achieve it.

"This year, he wants to put performance up there with results and will be demanding a lot from his players in terms of skill and fitness."

Brent added: "He works them hard and, given his own background of Premier League experience with West Ham and international nous picked up captaining Wales, he has fresh ideas.

"It is paying dividends. One senior player told me last week that this was the hardest pre-season he could remember – and that player had plenty of experience to draw on.

"He said Fletcher calls the shots and will make the unpleasant decisions when necessary, but does it straight and to players' faces.

"There's no dodging his responsibilities, and that has earned him respect.

"That kind of leadership can drive a team forward and that's what everyone at the club is looking to see, just as the fans are too this season."

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