'They are both a lot better now' - City loanee focuses on Plymouth play-off chase with wife and daughter on the mend
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Remi Matthews admits it has been a difficult few weeks for him personally but the Norwich City loanee now has his sights firmly set on a League One play-off place with Plymouth.
The Canaries academy product has been an integral part in Argyle lifting themselves from the relegation mix earlier in the season, thanks to a remarkable run of form which has seen the 24-year-old taste defeat in just five of his 23 matches.
The latest loss came on Saturday, when Matthews was Plymouth’s best performer in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at relegation battlers Northampton.
That has left the Pilgrims three points adrift of the top six ahead of their game in hand tonight, away to another struggling team, Rochdale.
However, Matthews’ attentions were very much on his personal life earlier this month as he returned home to Norfolk for the birth of his first child, Gracie May.
The Gorleston-born keeper then remained home for a week and missed two Plymouth games as his daughter and wife, Lauren, needed to return to hospital for extra care.
“It has been a tough few weeks for me and my family but it’s one of those ones where you have just got to stay positive,” he explained. “They are both a lot better now.”
During that time Matthews, under contract until 2019 with the option of a further year, trained with the Canaries before returning to loan action at Northampton on Saturday.
“It was a long drive (back to Plymouth). It was a hard one to leave my family back home,” he continued, speaking to the Plymouth Herald. “But I’m here to play football and if I was back home I wouldn’t be playing football.
“It was a tough one for me but I will have five or six weeks with the family when I get back home so I look forward to that, but for the time being I’m here to play football.”
Although the keeper is yet to make his City debut he has 65 senior appearances to his name having also spent time on loan at Burton and Doncaster in League One and at Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership.
He has kept 10 clean sheets in his 23 games for Derek Adams’ team this campaign and is still confident of helping the Devon club reach the play-offs.
“I think there are still two play-off places up for grabs,” Matthews added.
“We have still got two games in hand on one team (Charlton Athletic in fifth) and one in hand on another (Scunthorpe) and there are only three or four points in it.
“If I’m honest, I think it’s still in our hands. We can only dust ourselves down after Saturday and go again.”
Plymouth had won 14 and drawn five of their last 22 league matches and Matthews feels over-confidence played a part in their weekend defeat.
He concluded: “We know we just can’t go into games and expect to win them because that’s not how it happens.
“I think that is what happened on Saturday. We went into the game expecting we were going to win and obviously we didn’t.”
Fellow City loanees Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris could also be in action tonight, with Shrewsbury at home to Peterborough knowing they must win and hope Blackburn don’t win at Doncaster to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.