Mariner is already having an influence

PAUL Mariner has already had an influence at Plymouth with striker Ashley Barnes revealing that the ex-Ipswich Town and England star has had a positive effect on him.

Elvin King

PAUL Mariner has already had an influence at Plymouth with striker Ashley Barnes revealing that the ex-Ipswich Town and England star has had a positive effect on him.

Barnes, 19, is expected to hold his place this afternoon when Argyle meet Ipswich Town at Home Park (kick-off 3pm) in a match between the two basement Championship clubs.

Mariner officially started work as head coach to manager Paul Sturrock on Thursday, but Barnes says that the ex-striker passed on a few tips before the 3-1 defeat at Bristol City on Tuesday night.

Mariner scored 56 goals in 135 games for Plymouth before becoming a huge hit on the Portman Road playing staff and gaining 35 England caps (13 goals).

“I don't know much about Paul, but I heard he's been a legend with England. I just hope I can learn things off him,” said Barnes, who played a big part in Argyle's goal at Ashton Gate, putting Jamie Mackie through with a superb pass.

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“I've learned a lot already and he told me a few things to take out into the game with me.”

Barnes had been frustrated at not starting this season, despite doing so in Argyle's final 15 games last term.

“Just to be picked again was phenomenal,” he added. “It was a bit like being picked against Wolves last year - it was a great surprise.”

Plymouth are level on points with third from bottom Peterborough, although a place below them on goal difference.

They are looking for a badly needed win today with Barnes adding: “This is a massive match.

“It was a great performance on Tuesday, but it was sloppy mistakes from set-pieces that cost us three points.

“It kills us when we've lost games. It's through set-pieces and we can't understand why.

“We work hard in training and we need to keep doing that. You can't do any more than keep working at it, to put it right.”

Sounds similar to what has been coming out of Portman Road this term with defeat not an option for either club today.

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