Plymouth Argyle’s next game will be against Cheltenham on Boxing Day. It seems a while since the Greens last took to the field in the league, but Lowe’s side will be looking to build on a 3-0 win against Morecambe at Home Park last time out. Ahead of the game, we again spoke to Cheltenham fan and journalist Mark Halliwell. Mark answered questions for our Opposition View last time around, and can be found on Twitter.
First of all, how have things been at Cheltenham since we last spoke?
Very good. We have managed to maintain our good away form and are unbeaten on the road since the end of August.
At home we were in great form but recently have been drawing a lot of games, five in the last six at home in all competitions.
There have also been a few injuries and a bit of illness around the squad which has seen us be without a few key players so we have done well to still be in and around it.
Last time we asked this, you mentioned Ryan Broom who was instrumental in September. Are there any other Cheltenham players we should be looking out for?
Broom is sure to be interesting sides in the transfer window and it remains to be seen if bids will come in.
Elsewhere, Alex Addai has now become our top scorer with seven goals, taking his chance with Luke Varney, Reuben Reid and Tahvon Campbell all out recently.
In midfield, Jake Doyle-Hayes has been in outstanding form while at the back Jacob Greaves has also been superb this season.
Cheltenham were 3rd coming into our last meeting, and are 4th now. Is promotion beginning to feel like a realistic goal?
Expectations among the fanbase are definitely rising.
A lot of the clubs around us have much bigger budgets than us so we are punching above our weight but we have shown we can compete with the best sides in this league.
It will be interesting to see what we do in January and who we can hang on to but there is no reason why we can’t stay in and around the top seven.
Before September’s meeting, Cheltenham had one of the best attacking records in the league. Now, you have the best defensive record. Has anything changed to cause that?
Our back three have been outstanding. Michael Duff says he has the four best centre backs in the division and he has a tough choice to leave one out.
Our skipper Ben Tozer has led by example and alongside him Charlie Raglan, Will Boyle and Greaves have fitted in alongside when called on.
Behind them, goalkeeper Scott Flinders has performed well when needed and in my view is one of the best in the league.
What sort of tactical style do you expect to set up with on Boxing Day?
It’s not a secret that we will be a 3-5-2. We usually set up that way and it would be a major shock if we did anything else.
And are there any real weak links in the side you’re worried about this time around?
I’d hope some of the injuries might clear up.
We’ve had no Varney, Chris Hussey and Campbell recently among others and it would be nice to have some of them back.
The injuries have tested the depth of the squad – and with lots of games coming thick and fast we need players back to increase our options.
What have you made of Plymouth Argyle’s season so far from an outsider’s perspective?
I think they are underachieving. I expected them to be right at the forefront of the promotion race.
I know they have had a new manager and a lot of changes but I expect them to come through in the New year to challenge for the top seven at least.
How do you see the rest of the League Two season panning out in general?
Swindon look strong and I think there will be a big battle to go up with them, if they keep Eoin Doyle, and for the play offs.
Teams like Argyle, Colchester, Newport and Scunthorpe are all below the top seven but I think they still have a say in the promotion fight along with those already in the mix.
And finally, what is your prediction for the game itself?
Given our recent run, it will probably be a draw… but I’ve got to back us so I’ll go for a tight 2-1 win.