Paul Wotton is relishing the challenge of Plymouth Argyle’s vital trip to npower League Two relegation rivals AFC Wimbledon tonight.
The Pilgrims are bottom of the table, a couple of points adrift of safety with 13 games to go, after losing 1-0 away to Northampton Town last Saturday. But they know a win against 21st-placed Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow would move them above their opponents on goal difference.
Even with two months of the campaign still to be completed, it promises to be a pivotal fixture for both clubs as they fight for Football League survival.
Argyle’s narrow defeat
to promotion hopefuls Northampton came after they had won their previous away game – 2-1 at Aldershot Town on February 9. Wimbledon, meanwhile, have lost only two of their ten fixtures in 2013 and have picked up seven points from their last three matches.
The south London side will not be short on confidence when they take on Argyle. Wotton admitted: “It’s a big game. There is no getting away from it. It’s not just another game.”
The experienced midfielder added: “It won’t make or break the season but we know how important it is.
“We have done well in the last two away games so we have nothing to fear at all. We are looking forward to it. We don’t want to put the performance right from Saturday, but we want to put the result right.”
Argyle were also embroiled in a relegation battle when they played Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow last March. The Pilgrims were 23rd in the table at the time and their 2-1 win there was a crucial step towards the Home Park side eventually staying up. Wotton said: “We take heart not only from last season’s result at Wimbledon but from the last two away games.
“I’m not saying we are going there full of confidence but we are certainly not doom and gloom, that’s for sure.
“There were ups and downs in the relegation battle all the way. We were in the bottom two for a long, long time. It will change.”
Argyle were the better team in the first half against Northampton but could not turn that into any goals. The hosts put them under more pressure after the break and made the breakthrough in the 70th minute.
Argyle goalkeeper Jake Cole could not hold on to the ball as team-mate Paris Cowan-Hall collided with him as he tried to catch a corner and it ended up in the net. Wotton said: “We came in at half-time and were happy with how we had played, without scoring. We got in some really good areas and I thought we more than coped with their physical threat.
“They do what they do well. I thought we coped with it all game. To concede the goal in the manner we did was disappointing. The great thing is we have got another game and we haven’t got time to dwell on it. I think it would have been a long week in training else. If we can get three points tonight, Saturday kind of gets forgotten about.”