Plymouth Argyle fans urged to stay loyal
DIRECTOR Colin Sexstone has called on the 'Green Army' to stick by Plymouth Argyle as they bid to remove any relegation worries.
The Pilgrims are 20th in the League Two table going into their final game of 2012, against Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park today (3pm).
Sexstone was appointed to Argyle's board of directors in November, having previously been at Bristol City for 16 years, first as chief executive and later as chairman.
He has already had an impact at the club, recommending a director of football should be appointed, for example.
Sexstone has also brought a lot of insight into the game, and the way it operates off the pitch, to what was an inexperienced board of directors.
Reflecting on his first couple of months with Argyle, Sexstone told Herald Sport: "It's a club that is not dissimilar to Bristol City. I recognise a lot of similarities.
"It's in the West Country, of course, though much further south. It has got a good bedrock of support. That is shown by the crowds.
"I know there has been some disappointment with the crowds this season, but my guess is that in the league we are in and the position we are in we are not doing badly.
"I think it's very important for that fan-base to stick with the club during this period, and it's very important for the club to try to grow that fan-base so we can be serious contenders going forward for next season."
Sexstone added: "I have been impressed by the directors but we realised we were a bit short on football experience.
"That's one of the reasons we are looking at a director of football."
Argyle went seven league games without a win until they beat York City 2-0 at Home Park on December 8.
They have drawn 1-1 in each of their last three fixtures, most recently against Torquay United at Home Park on Boxing Day.
Sexstone said: "It's a tough season, obviously. I have been through that myself a number of times. I know it's easy for directors to say 'we have got to stick together' but it's not so easy for fans to think that.
"They come along, pay their money and want to see the team win. Football fans are the same over the whole country.
"It is important we do as well as we can at home. Whatever we do, we have got to protect our league position. That's crucial.
"Coming out of a period of administration is never easy and there are still quite a lot of costs left with the club.
"People sometimes say 'how does a small club in League Two with less income (than Argyle) do well and balance their books'?
"But they haven't had the recent history of a club like this, which has got a big stadium that is expensive to run and to maintain, and will have an expectation that other clubs sometimes don't have. Quite rightly so. It needs to have an expectation.
"Yeovil are a good example really. I know them well down there. They get much smaller crowds than Plymouth do and they are in the top half of League One, but there is no great expectation there.
"They are punching above their weight and the fans realise that.
"Their ambition is to do as well as they can and stay where they are, but for Plymouth staying where we are is not an option. Or it shouldn't be an option.
"That obviously puts pressures on you."
He added: "For us now, where we are, our primary aim must be to maintain our position in the League and then build from there."