MICK Wadsworth is well aware of the galvanising effect administration can have on a dispirited group of players.
Tomorrow’s visitors Plymouth Argyle are a club beset with financial problems, administrators having set a deadline of Monday lunchtime for potential buyers to submit bids for the debt-ridden Pilgrims.
But their off-the-field woes appear to have eased on-the-field pressures and Peter Reid’s men have won their last three games, moving to within three points of safety.
And Wadsworth has every sympathy with his opposite number, having himself been in charge of both Huddersfield Town and Scottish Premier League Gretna during similar periods.
Gretna, ultimately, went out of business, whereas Huddersfield were rescued by Yorkshire businessman Ken Davy.
But it was during his time with border club Gretna that Wadsworth witnessed the perverse positive effect such fincancil struggles can have on a team.
“Clubs like that go one of two ways – either a period of despondency or the other way and really pick up,” he said about Argyle’s form since being hit with a 10-point deduction.
“I was in a similar situation at Huddersfield where that went on for months when the players weren’t paid a penny – the vice-chairman couldn’t understand why they weren’t running about as much!
“It was really difficult and that was probably the toughest period in my career. But we were fighting a losing battle and that club was in real decline at the time.
“And at Gretna it was similar. We knew the club was probably going to end at the end of the season.
“We knew getting our wages was going to be a problem regularly, but we got some great results in the SPL with a bunch of kids. It was fantastic because there was a real camaraderie. So I’ve seen it from both sides and I think what Plymouth have done is gone down the second route and they’re playing with no fear.
“They’re relaxed, they know the situation, they know they’ve got a helluva fight and no one expects them to get out of trouble. But they’ll be starting to believe now that they can get out of trouble and that’s a great motivation.”
Argyle boss Peter Reid is auctioning off his 1986 FA Cup Final losers’ medal in a bid to help keep the stricken club afloat.
And Wadsworth admits he has a lot of time for the former Sunderland manager.
He added: “I know Peter very well. More recently he was at Sunderland when I was at Newcastle and we crossed swords there.
“I actually took Peter on his coaching badges many years ago when I was working for The FA and he was coming towards the end of his career. He’s a good guy, a canny guy and a real football man who I respect greatly.”
Meanwhile, Wadsworth has problems of his own, albeit of a lesser nature.
Neil Austin (calf) and Antony Sweeney (ankle) are out of tomorrow’s game, while Evan Horwood (ankle) and Paul Murray (knee) are struggling.