DARREN Purse wished former club Oxford United all the best in their play-off challenge after helping Plymouth Argyle preserve their npower League Two status, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.

The 1-1 draw at Home Park, combined with results elsewhere, was enough for the Pilgrims to avoid relegation with two games to spare.

It was some achievement for Carl Fletcher’s side, who had looked certainties for the drop after taking just nine points from their opening 18 games.

Purse felt it was richly deserved for the squad’s drastic improvement since the winter.

“If you put our form since November over the whole season I think we’d be pushing for the play-offs,” he said.

“I know it’s a cliché that no club’s too big to go down, but this club didn’t deserve to be in the Conference.”

The defender, who made 72 appearances for the U’s before being sold to Birmingham City in 1998, was not too pleased to see a former teammate score the equaliser, but backed Chris Wilder’s men to bounce back and claim a play-off place.

He said: “I was with Asa Hall at Birmingham when he was a young lad and he had good potential there, obviously he’s come and scored a worldy goal.

“We were a bit disappointed about it, but sometimes you have to hold your hand up when someone does something like that.

“I wish them all the best, Oxford was a fantastic club to play for and I loved every minute of my time at the Manor – hopefully they will go finish the job and get into the play-offs.”