A Round-up of Argyle News
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Ryan Lowe gave his reaction to a thrilling Argyle victory in which he showed particular attention to the character shown by his side. The manager also looked forward to the return of fans to Home Park, saying: "The character, the energy and the desire the lads showed is the three things I asked for before the game. When you're coming up against a top team in Lincoln you have to make sure you're on your mettle. They've all been superb, and today I thought we were worthy of the early two goals. We asked for energy because Lincoln are a good team, they play with a lot of energy and they've got a lot of quality in the front part of the pitch. We had to make sure we withstood that, and their pressure, and we did.
"We want to win these games of football, and to show the character and the desire and the energy to get back in the game was a different class. Joe's winner is worthy of winning any game, so I'm really pleased that the lads got a fantastic three points. I know they're not here for now, but they will be back soon, and if we keep progressing and keep coaching the players to the best of their ability, keep putting on shows like that, there will be a lot more moments like that at Home Park to come. Kevin Nancekivell said 'if the fans were in, that would have been spectacular'. To share those moments, they're what you want. We got a little bit carried away on the touchline, when the fourth goal went in, they were all running over to us but I'm trying to focus them, and I've told them to make sure they're solid, because you have to be careful. Lincoln could've potentially had another opportunity to make it 4-4, and that's what we didn't want. We made it solid for the last six minutes and saw it out.
"I'll keep them grounded, we're not going to set any benchmarks, or any tallies, we are just going to keep going about our business. We've got fourteen games to go, we can focus on Northampton now, that's going to be another tough encounter but it's one we are looking forward to."
Argyle returned to winning ways in League One with a seven goal thriller against Lincoln City, coming out 4-3 victors. Argyle took a two goal lead in the first quarter of an hour with rare goals from Kelland Watts and Danny Mayor. The visitors got one back shortly after and the 2-1 lead was maintained until shortly after half-tome when two quickfire penalties gave the imps the lead for the first time in the game. Argyle persevered though and Conor Grant found the equaliser with a stunning long range strike. The game appeared poised and Mike Cooper kept Argyle in it with a great one v one save. The winner however was found in stoppage time with a last minute winner from captain Joe Edwards. Argyle: M Cooper, Aimson, Opoku(Woods), Watts, Fornah(Camara), Edwards, Grant, Mayor, Lewis(Reeves), Hardie (Lolos), Ennis (Jephcott). Subs: McCormick, Moore.
Argyle's League One tie against Wigan Athletic at Home Park on Tuesday 9th March will now kick-off at the earlier time of 7pm.
Ryan Lowe rued what he felt to be second half lapses in concentration that resulted in his Argyle side going down 3-0 to high-flyers Peterborough. He said of his young side: "I thought in the first half we were very good against the team who are at the top of the league and have got some good players. Second half we obviously were done by one ball over the top 40 seconds in, and that just can't happen, we've gifted them a goal. Then the second one was a bit similar; we've been done by another sloppy ball down the side. The lads have been fantastic, but you can't come back from two goals down against a good team, especially top of the league. I thought we were well in control, we were in the game, we had 51% possession in the first half, and we had a few chances, not so many clear-cut ones but I still thought we could trouble Peterborough. I'm disappointed with the goals, we could've definitely avoided them.
"We swapped and changed, we tried everything but when you come up against a quality team like Peterborough, they aren't going to gift you goals the way we gifted theirs. I can't sit here and be critical because they've been fantastic, but what I will say is that I don't like losing any games of football in that manner. We've been on a good run of late and I wanted that run to continue because it's important that you're winning games and keep building momentum and confidence. We've just got to get back to the drawing board. We're a good team and we'll keep working with the group and get as high as we possibly can.
"We will put the game plan together and hopefully they can go and take the game plan to Lincoln and we can get something from that. I feel like I want to keep a settled team. Maybe one or two have fatigued a little bit of late, the games have been thick and fast, but that's my job to look at it and pick a team that I feel can go and win."
Argyle's long unbeaten run came to an end at Home Park with a 3-0 defeat to Peterborough United at Home Park. The greens bravely went in 0-0 at half-time against the high-flyers but conceded just 18 seconds after the restart. Two more goals went on to sink the greens. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Opoku(Woods), Watts(Lewis), Fornah, Moore (Edwards), Camara(Reeves), Mayor, Grant(Hardie), Jephcott, Ennis. Subs: McCormick, Lolos.
Midfield prospect Adam Randell has signed a year's extension to his current contract, keeping the playmaker at Home Park until summer 2022. The youngster has impressed at conference league leaders Torquay and will hope to join back up with the Argyle squad next season. Ryan Lowe said: Ryan Lowe said: "We are delighted to have rewarded Adam with a new deal. He's been superb on loan at Torquay this season. We felt that the time was right to finalise the contract, as we have been very pleased with the progress he is making. We are looking forward to seeing Adam continue to perform at Torquay for the rest of the season. He will return to us a more experienced player, ready to push on."
Ryan Lowe spoke of his satisfaction at Argyle's continued strong form but admitted Argyle could have done a little more to work the Rochdale keeper, following the 0-0 draw in Lancashire. Lowe said: "I thought we were excellent, and I thought our lads applied themselves the right way. On another day you could easily lose in those types of games so I'm pleased with the result. We did say before the game to come to Rochdale, who are going through a little bit of a tough patch in terms of losing games, how difficult that can be."
"I thought that if we had scored early doors it would've opened up a little bit. They would've had to come at us and I think we would have had the quality to really hurt them then. The pitch played a big part for us with the way we play and the way we try and play. It stopped us from having that little bit of impetus and faster passing, the lads have had to take an extra touch. We still tried to keep doing the right thing, we created chances, we overloaded the possession, they were looking to counter us when the opportunity was right for them but our passing all over the park was good. We broke them down quite a bit we just didn't have that last little bit of quality towards the end. We didn't work their 'keeper enough. I thought we defended excellently, I thought our passages of play were excellent but could've been faster. We know what happened at home, where we weren't on our day, we could've easily won the game today, but we didn't. When you travel, you take a point and move on. We're coming up against two very good teams, first and second, and they're the teams you want to be playing. I'm really looking forward to it."
Argyle continued their terrific 2021 form with their first goalless draw of the season at Rochdale. The game was not, perhaps, a classic but was notable for some good saves by Michael Cooper who has continued his impressive recent form as Argyle recorded their third clean sheet in a row. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah(Lewis), Moore(Edwards), Camara(Reeves), Mayor, Grant, Jephcott(Hardie), Ennis. Subs: McCormick, Woods, Lolos.
Ryan Lowe expressed his delight at Argyle's unbeaten run extending 8 games into 2021 following the latest win against Fleetwood that took the greens into the top nine of the division. Lowe mentioned his pride in his charges: "I'm feeling good, feeling proud of the boys. I thought they executed the game plan. The way we worked our patterns and the football we put on show, I'm really pleased. When you have hiding from a team like Fleetwood Town, early on in the season, that's in the back of your mind psychologically and we had to make sure our lads weren't worried about that. We possibly could have scored a few more goals but, ultimately, I'm just pleased with the three points and a clean sheet. It was an own goal, but someone was there ready to tap it in. The wind was heavy, and we had to deal with that in the first half, we had to slow it down and play our patterns, keep the ball moving. Every one of the players, to a man, was very good with the conditions. I don't like to make excuses, but they did play a part in the way we tried to play, balls were running out and we didn't want that, but we were very comfortable in the game. We could only score one, which was an own goal, but it was still pleasing. I thought the way the lads adapted themselves to the game plan and everything else today was a different class. It's another three points. We won't get too carried away, we will just keep hopefully picking them up, and see where it takes us. Credit goes to the lads; they're believing, they're sticking to what we want, the principles, the philosophy, they're not coming away from that. They're being brave and we are asking them to take risks. In terms of the staff and the players there's a great togetherness, a great feel, a great bond."
Argyle have kept their second clean sheet and second win in a row with a 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town, the only goal of the game was an own goal, an unfortunate Fleetwood defending turning Byron Moore's early cross into his own net. Argyle had plenty more chances to win the game but the margin of victory remained at a single goal. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah, Moore(Edwards), Camara(Lewis), Mayor, Grant, Jephcott(Hardie), Ennis. Subs: McCormick, Woods, Reeves, Lolos.
As with many games this season, Argyle's League One clash with Northampton Town on Tuesday 2nd March will now kick-off at 7pm.
Ryan Lowe praised the grit and determination of his Argyle players to find a way to win at Accrington Stanley in subzero conditions. He was delighted with the way his Argyle side managed the game, saying: "Credit where credit's due, the lads were fantastic. To have that little bit of disappointment from Saturday and to come here, it was a different game. Accrington changed shape, they caused us a few problems, Mike made a few good saves, and we had a few chances as well. In terms of the overall game, it was different from them and it was different from us. We know how good Accrington are, we said that last time we played them. It was long balls into the box, but we just had to make sure we dealt with that and our lads were fantastic right from the back to the front. They dealt with Accrington's pressure as much as they possibly could. When you are playing against good players like Accrington have got, you've got to make sure you're switched on and we were switched on for large parts, but we also played some good passes and good football as well. We also had chances to score maybe one or two more but I'm just pleased for the lads with the reaction from Saturday. They were disappointed; I had to lift them up and their spirits are high again and we got a good three points away at Accrington."
"We said we wanted to play our football that we like to play, but play it in the right areas. With the pace of Niall Ennis and Ryan Hardie coming on and getting down the sides, we certainly felt that we could cause them some problems. The game plan was that we were coming here to win. We know it's a tough place to come but the lads were fantastic right the way through, so I'm pleased. We know every game is tough on the road, every game is tough at home also, so a lot of credit has to go to the boys. They're a fantastic group and I want to keep working with them and keep aiming high, but we've got another tough game on Saturday at home to Fleetwood Town."
Argyle showed a superb response to the setback at Pompey with a hard fought 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley. The breakthrough came 5 minutes after half time with Niall Ennis scoring his second goal against the same opposition in the last ten games. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah, Moore, Camara(Lewis), Mayor, Grant, Ennis, Jephcott(Hardie). Subs: McCormick, Woods, Law, Reeves, Lolos.
As part of the ongoing drive to promote transparency, Argyle have published the full financial report for the year ending 2019/20 at companies house. The report in full can be found on the club's official website.
Ryan Lowe took a very philosophical approach to Argyle's late heartbreak at Fratton Park, focusing on the positives and the extent to which the greens have improved based on their early season form. He said: "We should have had three points because the lads deserve three points for all their effort they put in, but it's not to be, you have to keep climbing and you have to keep learning. "We've come here on the front foot, dominated parts of the game and scored two terrific goals. We've got to take the positives out of it, not many teams will come to Portsmouth and do what we did to them today. The lads gave everything out there. We were hard done by a little bit, a mistake for the first Portsmouth goal and the second one, the two centre halves stayed up in our area and found themselves free in the box when the cross came in."
"I think a few months ago we probably could have conceded more. We were solid, we were resolute, and that's the pleasing thing because the lads have been working hard. I feel for the lads, they were disappointed, all of them, but I've said, 'you need to pick that up now and keep going.' They've got some fantastic quality. If we had seen it out at 2-1, it would've been a fantastic performance and a fantastic result.
"They will learn that they can be a little bit better in certain areas, in certain elements of the game, whether it's a ball down the side or whether it's clearing your lines. They will get all the clips sent to them tonight and they can watch them tomorrow, and we will have a chat on Monday at training. I know for a fact the lads will learn, and we will keep going and keep building."
Argyle's games against Portsmouth are very rarely boring and this one proved no exception with the greens coming tantalisingly close to a huge win before a late wobble saw a 2-2 draw at Fratton Park. The game was goalless with twenty minutes to go but a quickfire double from Luke Jephcott saw the greens secure what looked like an unassailable lead. Alas, it was not to be. Two goals in two minutes broke Argyle hearts. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah, Moore, Camara(Lewis), Mayor, Grant, Hardie (Ennis), Jephcott (Woods). Subs: McCormick, Law, Reeves, Lolos.
In big news for Argyle, Ryan Lowe and assistant Steven Schumacher have signed new extended contracts, taking them up to the end of the 2023/24 season at Argyle. After a successful first season ending in promotion and a good start to the 20/21 season in League One, the board have thrashed out a deal to keep the Liverpudlian duo at the club for a further two years. Andrew Parkinson expressed his delight: "We are delighted to be able to agree contract extensions for Ryan and Steven. Their personal qualities align with those we wish to be associated with the club, and they both hold ambition that matches our own. To achieve promotion in their first season was a tremendous achievement, while their emphasis on playing an attractive brand of football and developing our Academy graduates is very exciting for everyone associated with the club. We are on a journey with more work ahead of us, but this is a positive development for the football club and underlines our commitment to planning for the future."
Lowe himself added: "I am delighted to have signed a long-term contract with Plymouth Argyle, and I'm excited to continue the project we've started together. We fit well together - this is an ambitious club, and I am an ambitious manager. I would like to thank Andrew Parkinson, the Board of Directors and Simon Hallett for making it happen. It was a no brainer for us, and we've loved every minute of it. I'd like to thank the fans for their support, it will be a lot more special when we are back together."
Argyle's game against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday 9th February has been put forward to start at 5.30 pm The fixture had initially been scheduled to kick-off at 7pm, but with the weather forecast predicting freezing temperatures on Tuesday night, the decision has been taken to move the game forward.
Argyle's League One clash with Peterborough United on Tuesday, 23rd February will now kick-off at 7.30pm, due to the continued enforcement of behind closed doors games.
Transfer deadline day saw no arrivals for Argyle but two departures, with Frank Nouble and Scott Wootton both leaving the club on loan until the end of the season. Nouble has returned to his former club Colchester after a stop-start Argyle career. Lowe emphasised Nouble's desire for regular first team football to be the cause of his departure, explaining: "Frank had been a regular starter earlier in the season, but has found game time limited of late. He spoke to me, and said that he felt he needed to be guaranteed more football. We could not offer that at the moment. When the approach came from Colchester, we spoke to Frank, and he was happy to do it. He wanted to go and perform and earn a contract for next season. As I have been clear, I would not want to stand in anyone's way who wants to move on. I want players fighting for places in the squad that we are building here, and I feel we have made great progress in the January window. We thank Frank for his contribution to the team, and wish him well for the rest of the season."
Of Wootton, Lowe added: "Scott found his game time a little bit limited at this stage of the season and expressed a desire to move on to get more first-team football. We feel that it is best for both parties that he is able to go and try and earn himself a contract for next season, which we were not in a position to offer. We thank Scott for his contribution at Argyle, he played an important part in our promotion last season, and we wish him nothing but the best for the future."
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