Sturrock sees danger in County

Jon Culley
Saturday 20 December 2003 01:00

Plymouth Argyle may be second in the Second Division and Notts County third from bottom but the Pilgrims' manager, Paul Sturrock, believes today's visitors to Home Park may be the most dangerous so far.

Argyle suffered their only home defeat this season against Bristol City in September but that result followed a run of eight matches without losing and Sturrock says he is concerned that his players have a tendency to take their foot off the accelerator at moments such as this. Although Argyle were soundly beaten away to the leaders, Queen's Park Rangers, last month, they have lost only that game in a 10-match sequence of which the last three have been won.

"It's probably the most difficult game of the season," Sturrock said yesterday. "Our work-rate and attitude hasn't always been the best when we have been in this sort of scenario. We have come unstuck before when we have got ourselves in the right position in the League. Notts County have put an edge to their game since they came out of administration recently, so it's going to be difficult for us."

QPR have won five of their last six but lead by only a point and will probably need all three at Oldham if they are to reach Christmas in front.

The presence of Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town in the top four of the Third Division underlines the strength of the Conference, from which both were promoted last season. But the leaders, Oxford United, who are unbeaten since mid-September, travel to Huddersfield, who have lost only once at home, expecting to keep the newcomers at bay a little longer.

The early-season title favourites Hull City can expect a crowd in excess of their 15,000 average for Mansfield's visit. The Mansfield manager, Keith Curle, has a full squad to call on for a match that could see his side leapfrog third-placed Hull if successful.

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