Darren Purse is confident Plymouth Argyle can rise to the challenge
CAPTAIN Darren Purse remains convinced Argyle can mount a challenge at the top end of the League Two table this season.
The Pilgrims are in 16th position as they prepare to take on in-form Southend United at Home Park tomorrow.
But Purse has taken encouragement from Argyle's results during September.
They have won two and drawn another couple of their five league games this month, with the one blot on their copybook a 3-1 home defeat by Port Vale a fortnight ago.
Purse also believes the Pilgrims' switch to a more passing style of football this season is starting to reap its rewards.
He told Herald Sport: "The only game we have lost in the last five is Port Vale, and for the first 65-70 minutes of that one we played really well.
"If you are an Argyle fan and you are watching us play at the minute you must be really happy because we are passing the ball about.
"We probably haven't got the results we have deserved from the way we have played, and that's mainly down to individual errors and not being as solid as we have been.
"But, when you are playing as good a football as we are, you have got to believe if we can carry on doing that we will go close this season."
Purse continued: "It's going to be a tough game tomorrow, the same as last Saturday at Morecambe.
"We have got to stand up to the battle and win it and then, hopefully, we can continue playing the way we have been when we have got the ball."
Argyle have won only one of their four home league games this season and there was impatience from some supporters even in the early stages of the 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers on September 18.
Purse has called on the Green Army to get behind the team from the kick-off tomorrow.
He said: "There are only two groups of people we need to keep happy. That's the management and ourselves.
"We can't affect what a fan says or what he wants to do. If he wants to boo because we are keeping the ball then we have to deal with that.
"If you are going to make a career out of playing football, you need to rise above whatever the fans are saying.
"They pay their money and they have got the right to vent their opinions, but when we have got the ball we have been playing some great stuff.
"It's probably the best football the fans have seen over the last few years. It's about keeping patient and keeping believing, the same as the lads are doing, and pulling together in the right direction.
"If we do that, I still believe we will be up there or thereabouts at the end of the season."
Purse added: "I don't think there will be a side that we have played so far this season who have had more possession than us.
"It's new to a lot of the lads here and I think that's what we have come against us. When we are passing the ball we have left ourselves a little bit open.
"I think we are slowly getting around to rectifying that and the more we keep possession the more chances we will create.
"Hopefully, we have got people back fit this week as well, so there is going to be great competition for places."
A MATCH report on Argyle's game against Southend will be on www.thisisplymouth.co.uk shortly after the final whistle.
For reaction, analysis and pictures from Home Park, see the new 16-page sports pull-out in The Herald on Monday.