Friday, November 19, 2010

Clifford looking for first Pilgrims goal

Ireland U21 international Conor Clifford wants to start getting in among the goals during the second month of his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle.

And there would be no better time for the 19-year-old Dublin born Chelsea midfielder to open his account than against Brentford at Home Park tomorrow.

Argyle have lost their last three matches in all competitions, and are 19th in League One, one position below Brentford on goal difference.

So, even at this relatively stage of the season, it is an important match for the Pilgrims.

The loan deal which will see Clifford stay for another month was being finalised today.

Clifford has already made five appearances for Argyle, and been a hit with manager Peter Reid.

The Ireland international admitted he had been pleased with the way he had settled at Home Park.

He told Herald Sport: "I think I have done quite well, but there is still a lot more I can give to the team.I'm happy enough with how I'm playing. Hopefully, I can just keep it up and get a few goals.I haven't got off the mark yet, but hopefully, I will get my first one tomorrow."

Clifford had a scoring chance near the end of Argyle's 1-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers last Saturday, but he shot wide.

He said: "When I came here, the gaffer (Peter Reid) had me sitting in the midfield, to get used to it really.

"But now he has taken my reins off a bit and I can play my proper game.

"I will be trying to get forward a lot more, to get some shots in, and to get closer to Brad (striker Bradley Wright-Phillips)."

Clifford had not played any first team football before signing on loan for Argyle and has enjoyed the experience tremendously.

"I have loved it" he said. "It's brilliant I have got games under my belt.

"The whole idea was for me to come down here and play some games and get good experience.

"The gaffer has been brilliant. He has thrown me in and I have been in the team ever since I have been here, so it has gone really well.

"The results haven't been as good as I would have wanted, but I'm staying for another month so, hopefully, we can get a few more wins."

Playing in League One has certainly been an eye-opener for the Dublin-born midfielder.

Clifford said: "It's more up in the air, and more of a battle, than I'm used to, but it has been good to learn a different style of football.

"I think I have dealt with it quite well.

"It was a shock at first, though, because back at Chelsea the reserves is more tippy-tappy, nice football."

Chelsea have closely monitored the progress of Clifford while he has been with Argyle.

Clifford said: "Steve Holland (Chelsea's reserve team boss) and Neil Bath (the academy manager) have been in contact with me a few times.

"They were really happy for me to stay here because I'm playing games and it's good experience for me.

"I have signed for another month and, hopefully, I will do well and we will see what happens then."