Derek Adams has endured a tough time this season at the helm of Plymouth Argyle.
After pushing for a top six spot last time out, his side have struggled with the tough second season in League One. They’re not yet out of the woods, with just three points between them and the bottom four.
It promises to be a thrilling climax to the season, but not if you’re on the inside looking out. Relegation would be a disaster for the Pilgrims, as it would any of the sides hoping to stay in League One.
There’s also an element of uncertainty running through the club that safety would have stifled. Had they assured their survival they could have opened negotiations with two of their key players, Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey.
That pairing has been the reason Plymouth are not rock bottom right now. Carey hasn’t been as effective as he was last season, but his goals and assists have still proven to be vital in their bid for safety.
As for Lameiras, he’s got 12 in 41 outings and has been a tricky customer for defences across the division.
As they slump towards the bottom once more with just one win in their last eight, there’s surely signs of worry at Home Park. If they do go down, neither player is likely to stick around. Both are out of contract as things stand and free to leave the club.
If they stay up, then both would be key players next season, but a failure to tie them down now would surely have the vultures circling. Teams coming up from League Two will be wanting established players from this level to add to their experience.
Also, sides who have been hurt by both this season might see a chance to steal them away from Adams. Both have several years of League One football in them yet and if Plymouth don’t match their ambitions, then the likelihood is they’ll find somewhere that does.
A lot hinges on the next couple of matches for the Pilgrims, but if they’re not bold in contract talks quickly, then they could be at a huge disadvantage next season whether they stay up or not.