Plymouth Argyle team news for crucial season-ending Hull City clash

Midfielders Adam Forshaw and Jordan Houghton should both be available for selection for Plymouth Argyle's crunch Championship match against Hull City at Home Park on Saturday.

Forshaw was an unused substitute when the relegation-threatened Pilgrims lost 1-0 away to Millwall in their penultimate match of the season last Saturday while Houghton was ruled out by an illness.

It was decided not to take any chances with the fitness of Forshaw at Millwall after he had been taken off in the early stages of the previous game, the 3-0 defeat at Stoke City, due to a hamstring issue. With Houghton then not able to play against the Lions, captain Joe Edwards was moved into central midfield alongside Adam Randell.

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First team coach Kevin Nancekivell said at a Press conference this lunchtime: "There is one or two little niggles but everyone trained well today. The long-term injuries are still Mickel (Miller) and Saxon (Earley), but everybody else was on the training pitch and available for selection."

Director of football Neil Dewsnip added about Houghton: "He's back training today and seems to have got over his illness. The same with Adam Forshaw, he has trained today. They both got through the session very well. So unless there is some reaction, and we won't know that I guess until later, we are hopeful they would be available for selection."

Ryan Hardie dropped out of the starting line-up against Millwall after a very physically demanding season as Argyle's main striker and was replaced by Ben Waine, but it is likely he will return to the side for the visit of play-off hopefuls Hull.

The Pilgrims know a victory over the Tigers will see them to Championship survival, but a draw or a defeat would open the door for Birmingham City, who are at home to Norwich City on Saturday, to save themselves and relegate the Pilgrims.

Hull, who are unbeaten in their last six games and have scored 14 goals during that time, need to beat the Pilgrims and hope West Bromwich Albion lose at home to Preston North End to clinch a play-off place.

Nancekivell said: "They are a good team but we have said that every week in the Championship so that's no different to any game we have played this season. We have just got to focus on what we do, our strengths and making sure we put in a performance that gives us a chance to get three points."

While Hull are set to be tough opposition, it is only three weeks ago that Argyle beat table-topping Leicester City 1-0 at Home Park, and the sheer unpredictability of the Championship has been evident by a series of results over the closing weeks of the season.

Nancekivell said: "That is the league, it's unique in that. I don't think there is another league like it in the world that I'm aware of, but we can take confidence from ourselves as well because the champions of this league came here a while ago and got beat.

"We know what we are capable of if we are on our money and produce what we want to produce. We can take confidence from ourselves, we can take confidence from results from other teams in the league. We are just looking forward to it and we want to start now."

The tense finale to this season brings back memories from May 2019 when Argyle, with Nancekivell as caretaker manager after the sacking of Derek Adams, beat Scunthorpe United 3-2 at Home Park in their final match but were still relegated to League Two because of results elsewhere.

Nancekivell said: "I think the week leading up to the game was really good. The club came together, the city came together, and we all pulled together to get the result, which we did.

"Unfortunately, we weren't relying on just ourselves, we had to rely on other people and it didn't work out for us. It was really disappointing in the end, a sad day, we went down.

"I think it just shows what can happen if everyone sticks together because the atmosphere in the stadium that day was unbelievable and it certainly lifted the players and charged them on to get the result. Unfortunately it wasn't to be at the end of the day."

This time Argyle are in control of their own destiny. A win against Hull and they will be safe, no matter what happens elsewhere.

"That makes a massive difference, it really does," said Nancekivell. "All we can do is concentrate on what we are going to do, and we will put on a performance that hopefully reflects that, we get three points and then we haven't got to be looking over our shoulders worrying about anybody else."

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