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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 13:30 UK

Sturrock puts faith in Fletcher

Paul Sturrock
Sturrock bought Fletcher to the Pilgrims on loan in February

Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock has praised the "leadership qualities" of new signing Carl Fletcher.

Welsh international Fletcher signed a two year deal after an impressive loan spell at the end of last season.

Sturrock, who has signed Fletcher from Crystal Palace, said: "Everybody saw the leadership qualities that Carl had at the end of the season.

"I was trying to get him from the start of last season as well, but things have worked out the right way now."

Fletcher is Argyle's first new signing of the summer, with Sturrock looking to bring in one or two more players.

Sturrock told BBC Radio Devon: "Last season was very difficult because of the loss of certain players and new players coming in. But those players are now a year wiser and will benefit us in the new season."

Both Fletcher and Sturrock have spoken of their belief that the Pilgrims can challenge at the top end of the Championship next season.

Sturrock said: "Everybody at the club is trying to gear themselves towards promotion.

"We were probably two to three points away from it two years ago when there was a couple of games that if they'd gone our way we could have been there or thereabouts.

"I can see no reason why as we push forward that we can't be challenging for those play-offs again," he added.

The Pilgrims boss also said the future of midfielder Simon Walton could be decided during the pre-season period.

"Simon is very appreciative of the situation now, he understands he's got to fight for his place. We've had a conversation and it'll be up to Simon to see how it goes."

Walton, 21, only played 12 times for Plymouth last season, despite potentially being the club's record transfer.

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