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8 October 2021

JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink says his side are expecting a tough test this weekend ahead of their longest trip of the season to Plymouth Argyle in Sky Bet League One.

Hasselbaink’s side were denied victory late on in last Saturday’s draw away at AFC Wimbledon in the league, followed by a defeat on Tuesday in the Papa John’s Trophy Aston Villa’s U21s, despite taking a two-goal lead at the Pirelli Stadium.

“There’s more to it than just holding on to a lead. We haven’t spoken too much about it as a group or as staff, it’s more been about speaking to individuals,” said the Brewers manager at this morning’s press conference.

“It’s difficult and it puts more pressure on the players (who haven’t been in the starting XI) to perform when they are out of the side.

“It’s also a mental game. We know they’ve got talent and they must deliver in difficult moments.”

Hasselbaink was very complimentary of both Plymouth Argyle as a club, as well as their style of play.

“Plymouth have lots of supporters and the atmosphere is even better with more fans now that they have their new stand.

“They are more solid than they were last season and are better at the back.

“They are a real force and it’s a tough place to go. We’re trying everything in our power to do everything we can to be as fresh as possible.

“We know what the likes of Ryan Broom offers as we had him on-loan last season. He looks to be fitter and to have improved his game this season for them, as well as having Ryan Hardie who seems to be very good at this level.

“We have a five-hour journey down there and we must prepare in the correct way to make sure that we are ready for them.

“If we can be committed and together in every aspect of what we do and get everyone on the same page, then I know we can cause them problems.”

Hasselbaink also gave an update on his squad ahead of the game and hinted that there may be some changes.

“We’ve obviously lost our skipper John Brayford, which means that we need to add one home-grown player to our squad for the game.

“Danny Rowe trained last week but needs a little bit longer, especially from a personal point of view as his partner is heavily pregnant at the moment.

“Deji (Oshilaja) and Tom O’Connor have done well since their return to the squad and have added that extra bit of steel, but we’re versatile and will see what tomorrow brings.”

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