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Plymouth Argyle wary of Alan Gow threat

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

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Carl Fletcher has highlighted former Plymouth Argyle striker Alan Gow as a potential match-winner for Exeter City

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Manager Carl Fletcher has highlighted former Plymouth Argyle striker Alan Gow as a potential match-winner for Exeter City in the Devon derby at St James' Park tomorrow (noon).

Fletcher has labelled Exeter as the favourites to win the crunch clash but has promised the Pilgrims will be "fully focused" on the task facing them.

It will be the first time Gow has come up against Argyle since he was released by them in the summer of 2010.

Fletcher was a team-mate of Gow's during his short spell at Home Park, which started with his transfer from Glasgow Rangers in August 2009 for a six-figure sum.

He has high regard for Gow's ability and believes he should have had more chances to play for Argyle.

Gow fell out of favour after Paul Mariner replaced Paul Sturrock as the Pilgrims' boss in December 2009. He ended up making only eight starts and six substitute appearances, scoring two goals, before he was loaned to Hibernian for the last three months of the season.

Gow spent time playing in India before signing a short-term deal with Exeter in March and then agreed a two-year contract in the summer.

He has earned rave reviews for his performances for City this season, either as a striker or in a deeper position off the front.

Fletcher said: "Paul [Sturrock] brought him [Gow] here and at the time I thought he was a good addition for us.

"We had a team with a lot of players who would work hard and dig in and he had the flair to turn a game.

"He had some performances and probably didn't get the amount of games he should have had here really. With all players of good quality like that, you have to take the good bits and the bad bits. Gowser is a real good professional, he works hard and has got a lot of talent. We will have to make sure we keep a close eye on him."

Exeter are in seventh spot in League Two, 13 positions and 12 points better off than Argyle. They have won four and drawn one of their last six games, with the exception being a 1-0 defeat by Rotherham United at St James' Park on November 24.

That run of results has led to Exeter's Paul Tisdale being nominated for the League Two manger-of-the-month award.

Fletcher twice played for Argyle at St James' Park, firstly in April 2011 when a 1-0 defeat effectively sealed their relegation from League One.

He also lined up for the Pilgrims when they lost to Exeter in a penalty shoot-out in a Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round tie four months later.

So Fletcher knows about the intensity of the rivalry that exists between the two clubs.

"It's a big game and I think everyone is looking forward to it," he said. "From our point of view, it's important we are fully focused and don't get carried away with everything that is going on. You still want that passion and desire and hunger to go out and do well, but you have got to keep a lid on it and use it in the right way."

The early kick-off means the players' pre-match routines will be different to normal, such as what and when they eat. Fletcher said: "With Exeter being so close it's not too bad.

"Exeter have been doing well and have got some good players. They will go into the game as favourites, definitely. We will just try to put in a good performance and get a good result."

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