Midfielder Jose Baxter is loving life at Plymouth Argyle and hopes his short-term contract will be extended.
The 27-year-old says the best is still to come from him after only arriving at the League Two club late in July.
But in the games that he has played in, Liverpool-born Baxter has already shown the ability that prompted Pilgrims’ boss Ryan Lowe to bring him to Home Park.
Baxter has had a somewhat chequered career – including two bans while at Sheffield United after failing drugs tests – but Plymouth, and Argyle in particular, is suiting him down to the ground.
He told Plymouth Live: “I love it. I love the place, love the people, love the fans, love the club.
“I really have took to it like a duck to the water. I’m loving it and hopefully it’s for longer.”
Baxter is one of 11 players – with four loan signings among them – who have been recruited by Lowe since he became Argyle manager in the summer.
He was given a short-term contract by Lowe to allow time for them to see how it worked out.
For his part, Baxter has enjoyed being part of the Pilgrims’ squad and the successful start to the season that they have had.
With Lowe bringing a feelgood factor to Home Park and the attacking football he has got his side playing, the crowds have flocked to games so far.
Off the pitch, the redeveloped Mayflower Grandstand is taking shape and will see the stadium capacity increased to more than 18,000.
Baxter said: “You go for a coffee around the town, and stuff like that, and it feels like the place has got a buzz about it.
“That’s what the Gaffer (Lowe) and his staff have brought. Hopefully we can continue getting the three points on a Saturday, and bring the buzz even more for that extra stand when it gets going.
“If we are in amongst the top three when it’s there it really will be rocking.”
Baxter has made substitute appearances in each of Argyle’s first five League Two games this season.
However, his first start for the Pilgrims came in the 4-2 Carabao Cup second round defeat by Reading at Home Park on Tuesday night.
Baxter also scored his first Argyle goal, in front of the Devonport End, with a fine low strike from around the edge of the penalty area.
He said: “It felt great. The minute you sign for Argyle, the first thing you think of is scoring at Home Park in front of the Green Army.
“Lucky enough for me it has come quite early on so it was very pleasing.”
For a while it looked like Baxter’s strike would be the winning goal, but Reading equalised in the 72 minute and then netted twice in the closing stages.
Baxter said: “I honestly thought we looked very comfortable and played really well.
“The 2-2 goal was a bit of a kick in the teeth, and then at 3-2 obviously we are pushing on and they went and got the fourth.
“So the scoreline didn’t really reflect how we played, but there were a lot of positives to take.”
Baxter was substituted shortly after the hour mark as the process towards him getting him up to full match fitness continued.
He said: “I came in quite a little bit behind, so I was about four or five games behind the lads who had been playing, so to get 65 minutes was another box ticked.
“From where I would like to be, I think there is another 20 to 30 per cent in me to come.
People might look at it and think ‘Well, you played 65 minutes, surely you are ready?’ but it’s not really like that.
“I know I have got a lot more to give and I know where I should be at, and maybe it’s another week or 10 days yet.”
Baxter, despite his limited time on the pitch, has already won over the Green Army with his ability.
The mutual admiration is reciprocated by Baxter, who has been thrilled with the way the fans have taken to him.
Baxter said: “After the first time I came on, I phoned my Dad and said that the reception was brilliant and I couldn’t believe it.
“It was really warming for me. I loved it and that’s why when I score goals I like to celebrate and give something a bit back to thank them for it.”
Baxter is in an area of the Argyle squad where the competition for places is particularly strong.
The likes of Danny Mayor, Antoni Sarcevic, Conor Grant, Baxter and new loan signing George Cooper are all capable of playing to a high level in central midfield.
Baxter said: “I saw (Jose) Mourinho’s comment the other day where he said that he thinks Man City’s ‘B’ team could win the Premier League.
“That’s what it has got to take to be at the top. You could literally put Man City’s ‘B’ team out there and they would do well.
“That’s what we want to get to. I’m not saying we are Man City by the way, but we want to get to that competitive edge where you could actually anyone in any area, and they know their jobs and they know what’s needed.”
Baxter added: “Through the season you pick up injuries and stuff like that.
“When you have got players at a top class level who can step in and do the same job, like the Gaffer said it’s a headache for him but it’s great for us to be in a dressing room full of really talented lads.”