Melton’s Paul Anderson seeks redemption as Argyle move ends Stags nightmare

Paul Anderson came on as a sub for his Plymouth debut in their big win over Rochdale on Saturday. Picture: Dave Rowntree Photography EMN-190227-132143002
Paul Anderson came on as a sub for his Plymouth debut in their big win over Rochdale on Saturday. Picture: Dave Rowntree Photography EMN-190227-132143002
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Paul Anderson is keen to prove a few people wrong after he was given a route back into football by League One club Plymouth Argyle.

The former Liverpool and Nottingham Forest winger was a free agent after negotiating an exit from his contract at Mansfield Town where he had been frozen out of senior football.

The 30-year-old completed the move on Friday, after a short trial, and made his debut for the Pilgrims the following day, coming on as a late substitute in their 5-1 demolition of Rochdale.

Anderson has signed for the Devon club until the end of the season and is keen to prove there is still plenty left in the tank.

“It’s been the whole of this season really without getting to be a part of a first-team game,” said the former Melton Foxes player.

“For me, that’s been difficult, because for most of my career I’ve been in and around the first team.

“That atmosphere, walking out in front of the fans, I’ve really missed it.

“Hopefully, I can just get back playing, get the minutes I want and whatever I can help Plymouth with, I’ll do my best.”

He added: “I’ll bring the odd bit of creativity here and there, but for me, at this moment in time, I’m just desperate to get in with the lads, get as fit as possible, and whatever time and minutes I’m given, I’ll give everything I’ve got.”

While the short appearance may, on paper, fall short of the highlights of a career which has seen Anfield appearances and three Championship play-off campaigns, it could well prove a huge watershed moment for Anderson.

Running out at Home Park ended a nine-month spell without a match, a barren period which ‘killed’ him.

Signed by Steve Evans in the summer of 2017, Anderson fell out of favour when Gary Flitcroft took charge of the Stags following Evans’ departure for Peterborough.

There was not even reserve team football to fall back on as the Melton pro was forced to train with the youth team.

“It is what it is. Football is football and business is business,” Anderson told BBC Radio Nottingham on The Terrace show earlier this month.

“The manager has his own agenda, the club are doing well and I have to sit there.

“Unfortunately I was one of the few that was collateral for it to be successful really.

“There is probably a little bit of bitterness because at the end of the day I have worked so hard all my life.

“I have had 12 years of professional football where I have never been questioned.

“My last professional game was away to Notts County last season. It’s literally been nine months and counting since I last played a professional game which has killed me.”