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Purse still a part of Fletcher's game plan

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

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Manager Carl Fletcher has no doubts about the continuing commitment of transfer-listed Plymouth Argyle captain Darren Purse.

The Pilgrims have told 35-year-old Purse he can leave Home Park as they attempt to free up money for new recruits in the January transfer window.

Purse has been suspended for the last three matches, after he was sent-off in the 3-0 defeat away to Fleetwood Town on November 17.

But the vastly experienced centre-back will be available for selection for the Pilgrims' game against York City at Home Park tomorrow (3pm).

Fletcher was asked at his pre-match media conference whether Purse was still part of his first team plans and he replied: "Definitely."

The Pilgrims' boss added: "He's a professional and he has got a drive to do things the right way. I think that's probably why he has played for so long and at such a high level."

Purse is under contract to them until the end of this season and Fletcher admitted that had been done with some reluctance on his part.

However, he and club officials are determined to avoid any repeat of the financial troubles which eventually led to Argyle ending up in administration in 2011.

Fletcher said: "The club has got to be run right and we have got to make sure the books add up because we don't want to end up in a situation like we were before.

"It's just one of those things you have to deal with football. It's something new from my point of view that you maybe have to lose players you don't want to just because of finances but I think that's football in general.

A request to interview Purse was not granted by Fletcher, but the defender underlined his commitment to Argyle on social network site Twitter this week.

He made his comments after the Johnstone's Paint Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat by Oxford United on Tuesday.

Purse tweeted: "Shame about the result tonight but penalties are a lottery. Saturday is the most important game now. Need to get back to winning ways."

He later added: "Just because I've been put on the transfer list it doesn't stop my commitment to Argyle. Looking forward to being up for selection Saturday."

Meanwhile, Fletcher is already preparing for a busy January transfer window.

Fletcher wants to strengthen a squad which has slipped from a safe mid-table position in League Two in mid-October to 20th and only one point outside the relegation zone.

The Pilgrims' boss has several targets in mind, including a permanent deal for Burnley's Alex MacDonald, who ended a three-month loan spell at Home Park this week.

However, Fletcher will have to balance the books when it comes to players moving in and out of the club.

First-year professionals Jordan Copp and Jed Harper-Penman have already been told their six-month contracts will not be renewed at the end of December.

Fletcher said: "We are looking to strengthen a few areas of the squad, to be honest.

"People have got to leave so we can get others in, to make sure there is money is available. It already starts now, with agents on the phone to us about players.

"We have been doing our homework over the last couple of months. There are a few people we are looking at and trying to make contact with. We will just see how it goes."

After the recent departures of Peterborough United left-back Scott Griffiths and MacDonald, Argyle have two remaining on-loan players.

They are Aldershot Town striker Guy Madjo, who is with the Pilgrims until after the Devon derby against Exeter City at St James' Park next Saturday, and Mark Molesley, the Bournemouth midfielder.

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