Plymouth Argyle prepare for long-throw barrage from old boy Tozer
Plymouth Argyle can expect to face a barrage of long throw-ins from one of their former Centre of Excellence players when they visit Northampton Town today.
The Cobblers have assembled a strong and experienced squad and it is no surprise that they are challenging for promotion from npower League Two.
They boast one of the most formidable strikers in the division in 16-goal Adebayo Akinfenwa, formerly of Torquay United, but they also rely heavily on the long throw-ins of Plymouth-born midfielder Ben Tozer, who can hurl the ball huge distances.
Tozer, 22, has been an ever-present for Northampton in League Two this season. Argyle manager John Sheridan said: "If you have got something that's effective, there is nothing wrong with using it. I think both of their goals last week [in a 2-1 win at Southend United] came from his throws.
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"It can cause you big problems and it's important we don't give cheap throw-ins away in silly areas. But he does throw it from the half-way line, so there really isn't too much you can do. We will just have to defend the first ball and then people will have to get their bodies in the way."
Argyle had to deal with a long throw-in threat in their last away game, the 2-1 win at relegation rivals Aldershot Town on February 9. On that occasion it was midfielder Peter Vincenti who regularly hurled the ball into the penalty area, but the Pilgrims stood up to the test.
The presence of Paul Wotton, playing in a midfield holding role, was one of the main reasons for that resilience.
Wotton was not included in the starting line-up for the 1-0 defeat by Oxford United at Home Park last Saturday as Sheridan opted for a more attacking formation. However, it would be no surprise to see the 35-year-old restored to the side against Northampton.
Sheridan said: "He will be in the squad. He did well for me in the last away game, so he's in my thoughts, as are a few players. I always put a team out that's going to try to win us the game."
Meanwhile, Sheridan has congratulated 17-year-old Argyle striker Tyler Harvey on being nominated for the League Two apprentice of the year award.
Plymouth-born Harvey has made two starts and five substitute appearances this season. He scored a late equaliser on his full debut for the Pilgrims in the 1-1 draw against Torquay United at Home Park on Boxing Day.
Harvey is up against Barnet's George Sykes and Jamie Allen, of Rochdale, in the apprentice of the year category. He will find out whether he has won when the Football League Awards take place in London on March 23. Sheridan said: "It's a great achievement. It's good for Plymouth Argyle and it's good for Tyler. He has got a lot going for him."