Coach Gary Owers up for the fight as Plymouth Argyle battle to escape relegation
'BRING IT ON'. That is the message from coach Gary Owers as Argyle fight to stay in the Football League.
The Pilgrims slumped to the bottom of the table after their 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Northampton Town on Saturday.
However, a win away to AFC Wimbledon tonight would see them move above their opponents on goal difference.
Owers stepped up from Argyle's youth academy coaching set-up to assist John Sheridan after he became first team manager last month.
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The 44-year-old former Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County defender is not daunted by the size of the task facing the Pilgrims between now and the end of the season on April 27.
First up is the trip to Wimbledon, who have picked up seven points from their last three games and only lost two of their 10 fixtures since the start of 2013.
Owers travelled to south London last Tuesday to see Wimbledon draw 1-1 with Northampton at Kingsmeadow.
He said: "It will be a very competitive game tonight. It's a small pitch, tight surroundings and a good atmosphere.
"It's a game we are going to look forward to and, hopefully, bring something back to Plymouth at the end of it.
"Why would you not look forward to it? We aren't going into games with fear. We are going into games trying to get out of the situation we are in.
"It has been a horrible weekend, the result was disappointing and you come off the pitch and you find yourself at the foot of the table.
"But we haven't got to wait a week to try to resolve the issue. This game has come around very quickly.
"We have got 13 games to go and, the way I look at it, we have got to improve our position by two places to avoid relegation.
"That's the name of the game and that's a fight we are all in, so bring it on."
Owers added: "We are bottom of the Football League and my motivation, as a player, would be to get out of that situation as quick as possible."
Wimbledon were propping up the rest of the division until they won 1-0 away to London rivals Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, courtesy of a late goal from substitute Kevin Saint-Luce.
They had seemed destined for relegation at the end of 2012 but their form has picked up considerably since then and now have a fighting chance of escaping the drop.
Manager Neal Ardley was nominated for the January manager-of-the-month award in League Two, although it eventually went to Gillingham's Martin Allen.
A near-capacity crowd of around 5,000 is expected at Kingsmeadow tonight, with Argyle set to have more than 700 supporters.
That comes after 615 fans made the trip to Northampton on Saturday, while 907 members of the Green Army saw the 2-1 win at Aldershot Town on February 9.
Owers said: "Our away support is brilliant. It's unbelievable. What can you say?
"It's something we don't take for granted. We are really grateful we have got that support and we hope we can give them something to crow about."
"It made a difference at Aldershot and the fans were terrific on Saturday. That certainly made a difference.
"We need them on board because every game we play now is going to be important."