As 14 players have joined – including Saido Berahino, who could start at Plymouth Argyle “if needs be” – and 18 who played Championship football last season have left, the back four has had a fairly familiar look.
Jack Hunt has returned to the club but Dominic Iorfa and Liam Palmer have been ever-presents, and Sam Hutchinson and Chey Dunkley have featured.
The result has been just one goal – an own goal – conceded in seven matches.
“We didn’t feel we needed to change much there because we thought there was a better understanding there and a better balance,” explains manager Darren Moore, a former centre-back.
“As a group we felt our work off the ball had to be better (this season) and it has been but there’s still a lot of work to be done. We have to make sure we come up with the answers because Plymouth are a free-flowing attacking team.
“Chey’s fit now and he’s very different to the defenders we’ve got so we’re really pleased with the lads at the back half of the pitch. They get the plaudits for the defensive record but we feel (the work has) been shared by the whole team and everybody’s had their part to play even though it’s usually the goalkeeper and back four who get the plaudits just like the attacking players do for scoring goals.
“But certainly here we feel we defend our goal as a team and we attack as a team.”
Now the challenge is to add to the six goals scored in five League One games. A 3-0 win over Newcastle United Under-21s in the Football League Trophy bodes well, as does the thought of anything like the Berahino who was such an exciting centre-forward in his early days.
Wednesday’s last league outing, a 1-0 defeat at Morecambe, highlighted what is needed.
“We felt we were in total control of the game and it was just one of them things,” reflects Moore. “We felt we created enough chances to win the game but we didn’t.
“Was the performance there? Yes it was, without a doubt. It was a good, solid performance and probably the only thing we could be critical of was that ruthless approach.
“We had a cup match which helped to get some of that out (of their systems) and allowed us to go into the break with a positive mindset.”