Argyle’s game against Sunderland at home, on Saturday, heralded the beginning of the busiest section of the Sky Bet Championship season.
In the 38 days between that match, and New Year’s Day, there are ten games in the Pilgrims’ calendar. To win the first one, 2-0 against the Black Cats, was the perfect start to the period, but there is little time to bask in the victory.
Tuesday night sees a trip to Coventry City, where Argyle will try, at the ninth attempt, to claim their first away victory of the season.
Managed by Mark Robins, who guided the Sky Blues to the play-offs last season, Coventry’s season so far has been a little staccato. They have lost only six of their 17 games, but have also won just four, drawing the other seven. From their second game onwards, they had a period of losing just one in ten, then lost four in a row, before a goalless draw at home to Stoke preceded Saturday’s impressive 3-0 win at Millwall.
All this leaves them on the same points as Argyle, one place below the Pilgrims, with a goal difference just one goal inferior to Steven Schumacher’s side. The Argyle boss feels like Coventry are in somewhat of a false position.
“It's going to be a really tough game,” he said. “They had a really good win away from home on Saturday, and I don't think they're in the right position in the table either.
“I've seen some of their data and some of their stats about how they've been playing well and not got the results that they needed for the chances that they've got. We're under no illusions. It's going to be a hard game, but we're looking forward to it.
“I've watched them a couple of times this season already, and they work really hard. They've got the longest serving manager in the Championship in Mark. They're a good, good side. They're probably in a false position at the moment. We need to make sure that we're ready for it.
“In this next period, the games are coming thick and fast, we need to make sure that we're ready for it. The plan out of Sunderland was always a quick recovery, planning and preparing on Monday, then travel to Coventry.
“It's going to be a big challenge for us, but that's what we said to the lads: ‘Come on, we haven't won away from home yet. Can we go and do that? And we haven't put back-to-back wins together. Can we do that?
“There's two things there that we can aim for.”