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All Purse wants is pain-free football as wait for injection must continue

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

Darren Purse

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Plymouth Argyle captain and centre-back Darren Purse has admitted that an operation he had on a toe injury at the start of the summer has not been a success.

The 35-year-old needs an injection so he can play pain-free, but because of the Pilgrims' busy recent schedule he has not had it done yet.

Purse is suspended for Argyle's Johnstone's Paint Trophy second-round tie against Aldershot Town at Home Park tonight. That is because he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 2-1 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon in npower League Two last Saturday.

However, Purse does not intend having an injection in his toe for the time being, because the Pilgrims have a lot of more games coming up. He said: "I have got a few things at the moment. I had an operation in the summer on my toe, which is not right.

"I need an injection in that, but because we've had so many games I can't get it done. I need to rest it for a few days afterwards.

"I'm hoping over the next couple of weeks I can have that done and have a few days off with that.

"I think it comes with the age I am. I'm 35 and I try to be in the thick of the action, so you're always going to get knocks and that sort of thing, but I hate missing matches.

"Whether or not it's a good thing or a bad thing, I try to be fit for every single game and available for selection.

"Sometimes you're not up to the high standards you set yourself. Is that because you are carrying injuries, or because of other things? That's part of playing football. Hopefully, I can get the injection in my toe done over the next couple of weeks and try to be back without missing any games."

Purse's suspension has come at an inopportune time for Plymouth, with defenders Maxime Blanchard (concussion) and Robbie Williams (stomach) also set to be ruled out tonight.

Purse admitted: "I'm a little bit disappointed to have five bookings at this stage of the season, but that comes with the territory.

"My goal at the start of each season is to play every single League game and I have never done it, not through injuries but suspensions.

"It has followed me throughout my career and you just have to get on with it."

The Pilgrims had a bye in the first round of the JPT, the knock-out competition for League One and Two clubs, while Aldershot drew 0-0 away to Exeter City and beat them 4-3 on penalties.

The winners at Home Park tonight will qualify for the last eight of the southern section – three stages away from an appearance in the final at Wembley. Argyle have been hit by injuries, suspension and unavailability for their clash with the Shots, but manager Carl Fletcher insisted he was fully focused on the tie.

"We want to win every time we play," he said. "We are only a few games away from a Wembley appearance.

"You see it every season that, when teams do well in cup competitions, it can translate to their League form and start things rolling."

Aldershot played at Home Park less than two months ago, winning 2-0 on the opening day of the Football League campaign. So Fletcher has a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of their squad.

The Hampshire side have struggled of late and are coming off a 1-0 defeat at home to Chesterfield on Saturday, which leaves them in 23rd position in League Two.

Fletcher said: "We are not sure whether they [Aldershot] will change it or keep it similar to the weekend. We'll have to wait and see.

"They've got some good experienced players and are a big side, which we are going to have to compete against. From our point of view, it's important we go out there and give a good account of ourselves."

Plymouth Argyle (from): Cole, Gilmartin, Chenoweth; D Berry, Nelson, Richards, Lennox, Hourihane, Young, Gurrieri, Chadwick, Griffiths, Lecointe, Cowan-Hall, Sims, Copp, Harvey, Bradley, J Berry, Watson.

Unavailable: Bhasera (international duty), Purse (suspended), Wotton (groin), Feeney (groin), Jenkins (groin), Lowry (ankle), Williams (stomach muscle), Blanchard (head).

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