DEVON DERBY COUNTDOWN: Bhasera will be a big miss for Plymouth Argyle
Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher has admitted it is a blow to be without Onismor Bhasera for the Devon derby against Torquay United at Plainmoor tomorrow.
Bhasera is on international duty with Zimbabwe, who have a home Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola on Sunday. The versatile 25-year-old put in an outstanding performance in the Pilgrims’ 3-2 victory over Northampton Town last Saturday.
Playing on the left of midfield, Bhasera was a constant attacking threat to the visitors as Argyle picked up their first npower League Two win of the season at the fourth attempt.
He had also impressed in the second half of the 2-1 defeat at Oxford United the previous Saturday, after he was moved forward from left-back.
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Fletcher has several options when it comes to replacing Bhasera in the team against Torquay, with wingers Johnny Gorman, Andres Gurrieri and Joe Lennox all possibilities.
“Bas did really well last week,” Fletcher said. “He was finding a bit of form. He started that in the second half against Oxford so it’s disappointing to have him out of the team, but it gives an opportunity to someone else to come in and do well.”
Fletcher has given away no clues about whether strikers Paris Cowan-Hall and Rhys Griffiths will be fit to face the Gulls. Both of the summer signings had to be substituted against Northampton because of injuries.
Asked about the availability of Griffiths for the Devon derby, Fletcher replied: “We are monitoring him. Hopefully, he will be all right. It’s the same with Paris.”
Cowan-Hall had to be taken off in the first half against Northampton because of a hamstring injury.
Griffiths was a half-time substitute in a tactical switch, and scored on his debut as a professional footballer. But, after putting Argyle 2-1 up, he suffered a recurrence of the calf injury which had forced him to sit out the first five matches of the season.
The Pilgrims have already had some long road trips this term, most notably to Burnley in the Capital One Cup. So it will be a welcome experience for them not to have to travel overnight to an away game.
The round-trip to Plainmoor is 68 miles compared, for example, with 640 for Burnley and 560 for Dagenham & Redbridge. Fletcher said: “We’re looking forward to not having to travel over four hours. It should be a great atmosphere with a full house there.”
The Pilgrims have sold their allocation of 1,542 tickets for the derby. Argyle supporters will occupy part of the new Bristow’s Bench stand plus the Babbacombe End terrace.