Pilgrim Lowry is pleased to renew acquaintances with former club
It will be reunion time for Plymouth Argyle midfielder Jamie Lowry when Chesterfield visit Home Park today.
Lowry spent nine years with Chesterfield, from the age of 16, until leaving the Derbyshire club in the summer. He was snapped up by Argyle as a free agent in July, but has remained in contact with several of his former team-mates.
Chesterfield were relegated from npower League One last season and were expected to challenge for an immediate return this term. However, they made a poor start to the League Two campaign, which led to the departure of manager John Sheridan and the installation of Tommy Wright as caretaker boss.
Chesterfield's results continued to be erratic, though, and Accrington Stanley manager Paul Cook was poached by the Spireites late last month.
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Lowry said: "I was there a long time and I still have a lot of good friends at the club. I speak to them quite regularly.
"With what has been going on up there, they have kept me in the know. I have a lot of good laughs with them."
Chesterfield are coming off back-to-back home wins against Oxford United (2-1) last Saturday and Cheltenham Town (4-1) on Tuesday. Lowry said: "They have picked up a few decent results lately. They have had a new manager come in and the lads said he's working them hard and they are really impressed with him.
"They are on the turnaround from the poor start they had, so it's going to be a tough game for us. I expect them to be in our faces and that it will be played at a high tempo."
Lowry attended some of Argyle's development centres as a schoolboy but he never made it to the club's Centre of Excellence at Ivybridge.
Argyle's loss proved to be Chesterfield's gain, as he went on to make 111 starts and 16 substitute appearances at first-team level. Those numbers would have been higher had it not been for a cruciate knee ligament injury which kept him out from October 2009 to February 2011.
Lowry admitted it was a wrench to leave Chesterfield in the summer, but first-team opportunities had been limited for him after recovering from his knee injury, which led to a short loan spell with Crewe Alexandra last term. He said: "It was quite tough to leave, having been there all of my career, but I think the time was right anyway to move on.
"I wasn't playing regularly after my injury. I needed a few more games and it wasn't working out there."
Argyle have not won any of their last six League games, losing five of them, but Lowry believes their performances have deserved a better reward. He pointed to the 2-2 draw at home to table-topping Gillingham on November 10 as an example of that. Lowry said: "The performance was there against Gillingham and that's probably our benchmark now. We have to try to aim for that kind of performance consistently. But, at the end of the day, we want three points more than anything. We'll take that over a good performance."
Argyle manager Carl Fletcher will have to check on the fitness of several of his players before naming his team today. Midfielder Luke Young missed Tuesday's 1-0 loss at Bradford City due to a shoulder injury. Striker Rhys Griffiths has been ruled out of the past two matches by a hamstring injury but he has done some training this week, according to Fletcher.
The Pilgrims' boss also stated forwards Nick Chadwick and Alex MacDonald had sustained "impact injuries" against Bradford.
On-loan Aldershot Town striker Guy Madjo is in contention for a recall to the starting line-up after recovering from illness. He has been an unused substitute for the last three matches. Fletcher said: "He was ill for the majority of last week and missed training, but he's fine now."
Plymouth Argyle (from): Gilmartin, Cole; Berry, Blanchard, Nelson, Bhasera, Lowry, Hourihane, Molesley, Lennox, Young, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Feeney, Madjo, MacDonald, Chadwick, Griffiths, Lecointe, Richards, Harvey.
Doubtful: Griffiths (hamstring), Young (shoulder), Chadwick, MacDonald.
Unavailable: Purse (suspended), Wotton (back), Williams (stomach muscle).