A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
On the day James Brent relinquishes his chairmanship of the club to Simon Hallett, his daughter Natasha has been appointed to the Argyle board as a director. The 22-year-old economics graduate brings the total of board members to nine and is the club's third woman director.
Paul Wotton said that Argyle will not play a team as good as Chelsea's youngsters all season and that Argyle will have plenty of lessons to learn from the match. He said: "We won't play a better team all season, that's for sure, some of the best youngsters in Europe, technically fantastic players, speed all over the pitch. Having said that we can do better on all five goals and we gave the ball away too cheaply. When you give the ball away to players like that, you get punished. Of course there is a sense of disappointment, we have lost a game of football so we are disappointed. Like I said, I can't speak highly enough of Chelsea. We watched them at Swindon and they did exactly the same to Swindon earlier in the competition. They got into the semi-final last year, they always progress into the latter stages of their 23 Champions League. Technically as good a team as we will play this season, that's for sure. I would hope every player would learn from every performance, win, lose or draw. You have to learn all the time, we are disappointed with the manner of the goals, we can do better. A lot of those players won't make Chelsea's first team, that tells you the gulf in class."
Argyle are out of the Checkatrade Trophy in ignominious fashion after a 5-0 defeat at home to Chelsea's under-23 side. Two goals came before the interval and two after, ensuring that once again Argyle will go out at the group stage. Argyle: Cooper, Moore, Songo'o, Canavan, Smith-Brown, Fox (P Grant), Ness(C Grant), Sarcevic(Carey), Jephcott, Fletcher, Lameiras. Subs: Macey, J Grant, Dyson, Ladapo.
Paul Wotton repeated the old adage that a week is a long time in football following wins against Gillingham and Scunthorpe and hoped the positive vibes would continue, saying: "A week is a long time. We've had back-to-back wins one at home, one away seven goals scored, and the camp is in a good place. Everybody is positive and looking forward to the game It's lovely, lovely to see people scoring all over the pitch, too. The games, back to back, have definitely been our most consistent of the season. Training is great when you win. Everyone's happy and everything is rosy so we want to keep winning football games that's what we're here for. We also want to keep momentum going; after back-to-back wins, we want to keep playing and keep winning and just keep moving forward."
He also looked ahead to Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy clash with Chelsea under-23's for which he will again take charge of the team. He said: "They can move the ball really quick; they definitely have talented individuals. I think they have one of the best Under-23 teams in Europe, so it's great to play against them. We'll have to be in good shape and be bang at it. If not Europe, then they are certainly one of the best sides in Great Britain; they are top, top players. Whether or not they get a chance at Chelsea, I don't know, but it just shows the standard they are playing at. There will be some talented players playing."
Derek Adams hailed Argyle's resurgence in scoring seven goals in 2 games with the goals with the goals coming from all over the park. He praised: "To score seven goals in two games is very good and we've had the goals spread around the team. It was great for Niall Canavan to come back here and score, and for Joel Grant and Sarcevic; and Freddie has scored for the fifth time in a week. In the end, we could have scored more goals but I'm delighted with the win away from home. Macey pulled off some good saves and it's important to have a good goalkeeper behind you. We haven't had the results our performances have deserved and, today, we've come here, and played on the front-foot. We've caused Scunthorpe a lot of problems, passed the ball very well and a little unfortunate not to have added to that score-line. We went in 2-0 up at half-time and then lost a goal early in the second half. We had to regain the confidence and we did that, got the third goal and were back in confident mood. We needed the third goal because Scunthorpe were pushing forward and putting balls in the box, but we knew, while they were doing that, we would be able to pick them off. We had the speed down the sides and the guile to find the right pass. Joel has got the goal today and the same for Antoni Sarcevic. I'm delighted with that because we do need all players to get goals. We had to start the game well and put them on the back-foot because we knew they'd lost the last few games. We put the pressure on and that early goal set them back. It was a typical team performance from us. We won the ball back and passed it well."
Antoni Sarcevic spoke of his own personal performance as well as that of the team: "I am made up. The boys were all buzzing for me, as well, which made it even better. I am just delighted to get that first goal. I have missed a few chances in the last few games but, as I always say, goals are irrelevant as long as I can help contribute to the team, get the three points and send the fans home happy, I'm a happy man.
"You have just got to come together, get a grip on the game, and do what we were doing in the first half. Scunthorpe were going for it a bit and I thought that, if we did break them down, we would counter. That third goal was the game done, there. That was a sucker punch to Scunthorpe. They were on top of the game; Joel took the goal very well. I think that's just killed the game and we've seen it out perfectly. The defence gives us a platform to build on at the top end of the pitch. We have got to make sure that we make it worthwhile for the defenders by scoring goals. Any defender will tell you that helps massively. If we can do that as best as we can and, like I say, contribute at the other end of the pitch, we will do well this season. The gaffer put us back together on Tuesday night, in different roles than he did last year, but we know each other's game and we want to keep this going now. Any other team, you have got to play on their flaws, and they have lost a couple of games on the bounce. Any team that is struggling at home, the fans want to see a performance and we know that, if we can get on top of that, like we did, it can't have helped them at all. It complemented Tuesday night massively," he said. "We were very good on Tuesday and we just wanted to come here and show that we can keep that up. It is probably up there as one of the best games of the season, along with Tuesday night. I'm feeling probably the best I've felt and I need to maintain that and stay as fit as I can for the rest of the season."
Argyle have recorded their biggest win of the season with a 4-1 victory at Scunthorpe, a ground they had won at only once before in their history. Argyle raced into a two goal lead through in form Freddie Ladapo and Niaill Canavan returning to his former club. Lee Novak pulled one back for Scunthorpe after the break but Joel Grant and Antoni Sarcevic secured the comfortable win. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Songo'o, Canavan, C Grant, Fox(O'Keefe), Ness, Sarcevic, Carey, Ladapo, J Grant. Subs: Letheren, P Grant, Smith-Brown, Lameiras, Wylde, Jephcott.
Argyle defender Niall Canavan felt like 'the world was against him' following multiple injuries that restricted his first team capabilities up to and including his move to Argyle this summer. He said: "It is a real kick in the teeth, I will be perfectly honest. It is well known that I did have a surgery last year and missed quite a lot of football through that but I felt like I was in a place where I was ready to find my feet and settle into the side. It is part and parcel of football and you just get your head around what's happened and get your plan in place to return better and stronger. I feel like through my rehab and through the work building up to coming back to the team, I feel like it has all ran according to plan. I feel good now and ready to continue from where I felt I was at before. It is not nice, anyone will tell you that being injured and watching the boys playing, particularly if we are struggling for results and not getting what we feel we either deserve or we should have taken from a game for whatever reason. It only makes you want to be out there more and thankfully the gaffer put me back in and we got a positive result so we have got a lot to build on what we did Tuesday night and that starts on Saturday."
Luke Jephcott has proved a breakthrough to Argyle this season, the first pilgrim to be born after the new millennium, Derek Adams spoke positively about the young prospect, saying: "Luke can play on the left-hand side of a three, the right-hand side and through the middle, so it gives us that versatility. He is strong, he is quick, he has got an eye for goal and I quite like him running in behind. He did well the other night when he came on, he was only on for a couple of minutes but he showed good experience of taking the ball to the byline and slowing down play right at the vital end of the game. There are a few others that might get that opportunity as well. We have obviously got Fletcher, we have got Sangster, Michael Cooper who has been on the bench. There are a few that are in the reserve team that are doing well trying to push to get a slot on the bench. They are benefiting from the fact that they are playing as a group together and they have moved from the under-18s to the reserves. They are playing with the first team sometimes, they are training with the first team sometimes as well and it is all beneficial to how they are going to progress with their careers."
David Fox and Graham Carey were both taken off on Tuesday with injuries and Derek Adams was tight lipped on the subject of their availability for Saturday. He said: "We have got David Fox and Graham Carey just to look at today and tomorrow, just to see how they are. Fox took a knock to the foot and Graham Carey had a stomach problem so they are the two we have to check on. I am hopeful that they will be fit, I think that it is obviously important to us because they are two big players to us. They played very well individually and as a team on Tuesday night."
"We just have to pick up from where we left off the other night. We started the game very well. We took the game to Gillingham and pressed them really high up the pitch. We go to a team on Saturday who have lost their last four games in a row, so we know that we have to do exactly the same as we did the other night. It has got to be our best performance of the season. It was a very good performance on Tuesday. There was very good vocal backing for the team; as I said before, the majority of the supporters have been excellent this season, and have been for a number of years and will continue to be. They were very vocal in their backing of the team and that's what they need at this moment in time. We had a lot of kids in; it was good for them to come to see the players and see a victory. We have got a number of players that can do that. We have the likes of Lameiras; Graham Carey; the midfield three can pick up the game and get us moving forward. We have got a lot of players in the team that are game changers and that's really important."
Argyle responded to a difficult week with a 3-1 win against Gillingham and Derek Adams said he was delighted with the quality of performance on show from his side: "It was a fantastic performance from us right from the start. The coaching staff and myself all believe in them. They can pass the ball and what they did tonight was win it back, play on the front-foot and it was as good as a performance as I've seen for a very long time at this football club. You can tell when the team are at it and they were at it tonight. The week we've had hasn't been easy for us but we've been able to pick up a very good result. We need players scoring from all over the pitch and we showed tonight that we have got a very good squad. We've still got players injured with a lot of first-team experience but tonight's team set down a marker. We would have liked to keep a clean sheet because that would have helped our goal difference but it was a well-struck shot through bodies. I said to the players they are a very good team. If they keep on playing like that, we'll be climbing up this league very quickly. They probably don't have as much belief in their ability as I do. I see them training every week and they've got the makings of a very good squad. When we win the ball back, slit open teams with two or three passes, teams will not live with us. We've got pace in the side, a bit of guile and good technical players. We have set the standards, set the bar and the players have to continue that. The first few minutes in the changing room after the game, I didn't want to speak because the players were so loud, so happy, which is always nice for a manager and coaching staff to see. There was a terrific atmosphere in the stadium and it felt like it was fuller than it was on Saturday. I don't know what the attendance was but, for a Tuesday night, it was very good. We had a lot of children in the stadium tonight and it gave them an insight into what it is like. I met a lot of kids in the car park this morning, buying their tickets and good for them to see some technical players. The players passed the ball with a lot of confidence, played with a lot of confidence and the goals we scored were of high quality. The Green Army were here in their numbers, an even bigger crowd than Saturday, and that tells you the support we have. The players and I really appreciate that."
Conor Grant expressed his delight with Argyle's 3-1 win against Gillingham and commented on his first ever professional appearance at left-back. He said: "As you can imagine, we were happy with our performance - it was probably one of the most enjoyable first halves I have ever played because it felt like we could score at will. It felt like we were creating chances; we were on the front foot, pressing them."
"I got a yard of space and we've played a nice bit of intricate football. I've got a yard and just tried to put it in a dangerous position, in between the centre-halves. Freddie was there and he's on fire at the minute. I've played a half for Everton Reserves but not professionally, so it was a bit new to me. I sort of had a little inkling in training, with the bit of work we did, there was a suggestion that it might have been; the manager picked the team and that's where I was. I sort of prepared myself for it. If I'm on the pitch, I'll try and do as well as I can, in whatever position. It's not my natural position but I thought I played it well tonight; Joel Grant in front of me worked his socks off; it was just a good performance all round. We definitely believe in ourselves. Results have determined the belief. There have been times where we have been up in games and come away with nothing. That can affect confidence and belief in terms of going and killing games. If they score to make it 2-1 it's a different game isn't it? Getting the third probably did help our nerves, although, at 2-0, we still felt pretty comfortable."
Finally, Derek Adams paid particular praise to striker Freddie Ladapo after his excellent display in the victory. Adams said of his striker: "He Ladapo could have scored more but, as a team, we could have scored more. I'm delighted for him; to score two goals on Saturday and two against Gillingham, he's really finishing well. His first goal was outstanding and it was a top performance over the 90 minutes. We had to defend well and we dealt with that through Songo'o and Canavan. The way that Freddie is playing, as I said earlier in the season, he is going to be a very good player for us. He is here for a couple of seasons and that allows us to get the best out of him. I tried to get him in the winter period and he went to Southend, but we got him in the summer. He's very strong and sometimes doesn't get the fouls he deserves but, because he's so strong, he probably doesn't go down like some strikers would. He is a very good finisher. Yes, he does miss chances at times but, other times, you think 'wow, what a finish that is', and he is high in confidence at this moment in time. The likes of Sarcevic, Fox and Ness were outstanding in the midfield and then we were able to take off Carey for Lameiras, Fox for O'Keefe, and nothing really changed."
Argyle have returned to winning ways with a 3-1 home victory to AFC Wimbledon. Five changes saw Argyle race into an early lead with a brace from in-form Freddie Ladapo. Substitute Ruben Lameiras made sure of things in the second half before a late Gills consolation. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Songo'o, Canavan, C Grant, Fox(O'Keefe), Ness, Sarcevic, Carey(Lameiras), Ladapo(Jephcott), J Grant. Subs: Letheren, P Grant, Smith-Brown, Wylde.
Antoni Sarcevic has urged Argyle supporters to stick with the team throughout the current sticky spell amidst the frustration at the end of Saturday's loss to Burton. Sarcevic said: "It's disappointing. I feel like it's always the same thing. It's a game we should have taken points from, simple as that. It felt comfortable second half, there was one team in it, going for the win, at least it felt like that, but you can't need to score four goals to win a game. The midfielder believes the commitment of his team-mates could not have been faulted but he did admit the manner in which all three goals were conceded, especially McFadzean's second headed goal six minutes from time, was difficult to stomach. I can't comment on that, that's out of my area but you can't concede three goals from the same thing; the same play; the same balls. There was not one player on the pitch that you could say didn't try. It is us on the pitch, we have to make sure that doesn't happen. We have to make sure the fans go home happy. We want that win and we want to make it happy for all of us, it's frustrating, and that's it."
"Games come thick and fast and we need them the fans there again, and we'll do everything we can to make sure we get the win. Effort and commitment is the start of the process. The little things that aren't going for us, it might go for us in one game. Confidence in football is massive. I said this last year; confidence in any team is key and, when that win comes, hopefully it's something we can build on. Our fans are a different kettle of fish to any fan-base in this league, the way they travel and go in their numbers to follow us everywhere. We need them to be with us and we'll do everything we can to win."
Derek Adams has urged his side to harden their defensive exterior following the 3-2 loss as Argyle look to gain only their second win of the season against Gillingham. He said: "In the circumstances that we're in, a home win would be very nice, we've all got to try and do that. On Saturday, we played well for large spells in the game. Unfortunately, we didn't deal well enough with three set-plays and that's not like us, we're usually very good in that department. We've shown over time that we defend very well from them. We have a good number of players in the box that can go and head the ball, we
"They are obviously down at the bottom of the league, where we are at this moment in time, and we are both trying to get away from the area that we are in. It's another home game for us, we obviously feel that we need to pick up wins and we will try and do that on Tuesday night. Three points is big at this stage but there are a good number of teams that we are trying to catch."
Derek Adams has vowed not to quite as Argyle manager in spite of the ugly scenes after Saturday's game where some fans berated him and the players as they walked off the field. He said: "At this moment in time, as a football club, we should be sticking together and being stronger as a unit. That's not happening. There is a number of people that are not sticking together and that hasn't helped us in the game today. There is an atmosphere that's not good at times, which is disappointing, from a minority of fans. But they are the ones that are getting heard at this moment in time. We are five points off 18th position. We are not where we want to be, but we can't take away from the fact that we have not defended our box well enough today. The manager of the football club is always under question. That's what happens. I'm quite happy with how I go about my business as a football manager, and happy in the position I'm in. I enjoy coming into work, I enjoy the area and will continue to work hard for this football club."
"There are always yobs at every club. That's what is happening to us at this moment in time. There are a number of individuals that are showing a yobbish feeling towards myself and the team. We are trying our best. We are in a position we don't want to be in, but they are not helping the football club. It's only the minority but, as I have said before, why would you turn against your own? Why would you turn against people that are working hard for your football club to move forth and trying their best? That's the nature of the world at this moment in time and we don't have to accept it but I will continue to work hard and get us moving forward."
"They are showing a lack of class, in my view, some of the supporters. A real lack of class. I think they should be showing a lot more respect to the players and to the staff. We are trying our best. At this moment in time, we are not getting the rub of the green. They will be very critical towards myself but just show a wee bit of respect. We want to be supported. I wouldn't want them to stay away, no. You have got to support your own and when you turn your back on a child, turn your back on your family it's not a good thing is it? It's a coward's way out."
Adams did berate set piece defending that allowed Burton to score not one but three goals in the game to seal Argyle's fate. He said:"We started the game very well and got the goal from Freddie, which he has taken very well. After that, we concede a number of corners and free-kicks, which leads to the goals for them. We didn't defend well from set-pieces, which is not like us. We obviously missed Yann Songo'o from them set-pieces, who does a very good job but, at 2-2, we had a great opportunity to go on and make it 3-2. It goes just past the post and gives them a bit of belief. It was really disappointing to concede the goals we did today because we're not like that. We gave away another silly foul for Burton's third and it allows them a free ball in the box. We did talk about fouls and we gave away too many in and around the box. We've allowed Burton Albion opportunities for crosses into the box, and they have two very good headers of the ball. The players have got to do better in one-on-one situations in the box, be closer to your man and head it away. We spoke about it at half-time that they're very dangerous from set-pieces. If you give any team a free hit at the ball and they've got good height in the team, they will give you a problem, but we could have been ahead before they got ahead in the game."
Argyle's miserable run of form has continued with a 3-2 loss at home to Burton Albion. Argyle took the lead twice in the first half through Freddie Ladapo efforts but were pegged back twice with goals from set pieces. A third set piece goal with minutes to go secured the victory for the brewers. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Edwards, P Grant, Smith-Brown, Fox(Ness), O'Keefe(Jephcott), Sarcevic, Carey, Ladapo, Lameiras(Wylde). Subs: Letheren, Canavan, C Grant, J Grant.
Derek Adams has once again rejected suggestions that Argyle's wholesale summer recruitment has been to blame for the sluggish start to the season and predicted that critics would soon be eating their words: "You have that every season, questions on summer recruitment. Every manager is asked that question and there have been a number of players over previous years that supporters have said wouldn't been good enough. All of a sudden, they can become the best player in the team, so you've got to be careful with making early assumptions. I feel we've got a very good squad, we've given existing players new contracts and taken in new players in the summer. We've done well with the recruitment drive we've had to deal with. If we've got to judge, we should do that at the end of the season and how we perform toward the end of the season. In the modern era, people like to jump on to things very quickly and hang on to things, and then, all of a sudden, change their minds. It happens very quickly nowadays; people will question things and change their minds very quickly."
Adams had similar words for those critical of his tactics, saying: "I've had to discuss tactics many times since I came to the football club and, if you look at a number of teams, it is about populating the areas of pitch where you can control it. You either play with a sitting midfield player or a player off the front, or you play with two players off the striker and it's about getting support to the striker. If you play with two up front, it can actually become easier for the two centre-halves because they know their jobs. If you play with one in the hole, it's gives a problem to the opposition. Does the defender come in with the striker or does he leave him? If he does go, it can leave the striker with a one-on-one or an overload down the side. We've been very successful playing in that manner during my time at the football club."
"We have to believe in our own ability a wee bit more. We've got the makings of a good squad that can do well in this division. We've had a problem of giving away soft goals, which we need to eradicate, and when the chances come along, we've got to take them. In this division, the first goal is very important. It allows you to take the sting out of the game or to go for the next goal."
"Burton have come down from the Championship last year and they'll give us a good test. They're not too far ahead of us in the league table at this moment in time. We've got home games on Saturday and Tuesday, and we'd like to pick up points, but we'll have to play very well against Burton to do that. They play 4-3-3 and I know their players quite well. I've seen a lot of them playing in the Championship and they've had experience in League One, and the Scottish Premiership. They like to pass the ball but they can also play direct at times."
Derek Adams spoke of how he feels the loss of Yann Songo'o will be significant as Argyle prepare to face Burton Albion on Saturday. The manager said: "Yann is obviously a miss because he's played the majority of the games for us this season. He's been a big player, he's played very well in the games he's taken part in, so he will be a miss on Saturday. We have got players in that position but it will have to be different because Yann is probably the only one who can do the job in the way that he can for the team. He's very good in the air, good at shielding the ball into the strikers and we don't have anybody else, really, in the squad, who can play the same way. We've got David Fox and Yann who can play in that area, but they are two different types of players."
Cameron Sangster has been added to Argyle's long-term injury list following an incident in the reserve game against Bristol Rovers in midweek. Derek Adams described: "Cameron has got a similar injury to Harry Burgoyne. He's snapped the bone on the outside of his ankle, so he's going to be out for three or four months. It is disappointing but a situation where you can do nothing about it. He slipped on the pitch and tried to put his weight back on his right foot, and that's when he got injured I spoke to him yesterday and he was in relatively good spirits, but, until it sinks in, he's going to get another plaster on and it will be hard for him. He will get all the support he needs. We've also got Gary Sawyer in a similar situation, not the same injury, but a similar situation."
Derek Adams has rejected all accusations that Argyle's poor run of form is due to not caring enough and he stressed the emotional journey that comes from managing or playing for a football team at times like this. He explained: "It affects us more than people will realise and sometimes more than some people would wish to realise. It affects us more than it affects a lot of people; it's our job; it's our occupation; it affects how our working week works; it affects how peoples family lives are; it affects how people can walk around the town centre. It affects a whole host of things. It does affect us in a big way because we want to be further ahead in the league than we are at this moment in time we want to win games and we suffer the consequences of that. Of course, that's only natural to feel down but they have to have a belief that they have competed well in games and shown the qualities that they do have. You can't legislate for someone making a mistake in the third minute of the game; the ball going under their foot and the goal is scored. That is not something you can coach and it has happened a number of times to us this season and it has put us on the back foot."
Meanwhile, Adams reported some positive news on the injury front with one or two of his four injured first-team players nearing a return to the first-team: "They are all still out, but Scott Wootton will be the first one back. He is jogging at this moment in time; he's still feeling his thigh muscle. The next one back should be Ryan Taylor; then Joe Riley; then Gary Sawyer."
Derek Adams gave a frank assessment of a poor performance as Argyle dropped back to rock bottom following a 2-0 loss at Oxford. He was particularly critical of the second half display, saying: "We had a very good performance against Barnsley; a good performance at home to AFC Wimbledon; and now we've lost the next game against a team that's around about us. That's something we didn't want to happen. The way we played today, especially in the second half, wasn't good enough. The first half was, because we competed. I don't think we competed in the second half as well as the first half. To lose a goal after three minutes is very frustrating. We wouldn't want to start that way. We didn't block the shot on the edge of the box and they got the perfect start for them. After that, we have a couple of opportunities to try and get ourselves back in the game. We don't take them, and as the game went on, Oxford were able to get the second goal. In the second half, we didn't look like the threat that were in the first half. Oxford grew into the game, they gained in confidence from that, and deserved to win. The front three didn't create enough problems in the second half, and we didn't play well enough in the second half. We did alright in the first half. We matched each other; they went a goal ahead; they had opportunities and we had opportunities. We didn't do well enough."
Adams also attributed the defeat to Oxford being more 'streetwise' than Argyle and had strong words for ex-Pilgrim, Jamie Mackie who Adams believes should have seen red in the game. Adams said: "I thought that they were streetwise, Oxford. They had experienced players in the team, probably typified with Jamie Mackie, who's probably lucky not to be sent off in the game, but he held the ball up for them; he roughed up our centre-halves; he scored the goal. In midfield, they had Holmes, who was able to do a job and he got one of our players booked; then, possibly Ash Smith might've been sent off after that. Then Songo'o gets sent off, which was the correct decision from the booking in the second period, but the first-half challenge I don't believe was a booking. All in all, I thought that Oxford's experience throughout their team was better than the experience that we had in our team, of allowing the game to stop; allowing the petty fouls to get in the way of the game. I think they managed the game a lot better than us. You definitely need to learn from it if you're going to be a top player or a player at this level. Ash Smith-Brown had just been warned twice by the referee after being booked. As a manager, then you've got to put a winger to left-back, and that's not something that I want to do. I had to then take Ruben Lameiras off to put Niall Canavan on at centre-half, which is another change I didn't want to do. Sometimes, your hands are tied behind your back. We've had injuries throughout the season and we've had to put up with it. We went with the team that started the previous two league games, then Songo'o gets sent off. Ryan Edwards was taken off in the game as well, as was Ash Smith. So we had to change things again, which we don't like doing, but it's the nature of what is happening at this moment in time."
Frustration spilled into the reaction of the visiting green army who directed anger at some of Argyle's players and staff at the full-time whistle. Derek Adams says he understands their concerns: "That's the nature of where we are at this moment in time. We are at a difficult stage, and you're going to get that, but you have to deal with it and get on with it. You don't want to go across to the away fans and get abuse. The players went across and applauded the fans who showed their loyalty today. We took over 1,200 today and we've gone to clap them. It's not easy when you've lost a game; how do you go and clap supporters when you've lost a game? We're all disappointed. The players did show their appreciation to them, and if you're going to get anger back, it becomes difficult. We understand all that. That's the situation you don't want it to get to, but supporters are entitled to their opinion, and they're going to give it. We saw that Jamie Mackie wasn't very nice towards our fans at the end of the game, and I believe a lot of the shouting was towards him, as well. There are, obviously, circumstances to why we have found ourselves in this position: sendings-off; we've had injuries; suspensions; penalty-kicks. I'm making excuses yes, I am but those are the facts. We are where we don't want to be, but as a person, you've got to stand up for that. I come out and do every single interview Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and that's my responsibility. Many people would shy away."
Midfielder Graham Carey was stronger still, apologising to the fans for the bad performance and saying their reaction was justified. Carey said: "It wasn't acceptable, especially with the standards we set ourselves in the last couple of games, with our application, our desire and our quality. The first goal didn't help, it gave them a bit of confidence, but we know that we've got players at the top of the pitch that can cause teams problems, but we just didn't do enough to create enough chances. First half, we had a few chances that we probably should've scored, and then it would've been a different game, but the second half was really poor. There's probably a number of reasons. We obviously didn't do enough to get on the ball and, as a whole, as a team, we didn't do enough with the ball. That all adds together, and we get that kind of performance, which is not acceptable, especially when we had so many fans here today. They pay their money to come and support us, and we've always been really great for that. The numbers we get away from home, considering where we are on the map, is unbelievable. To put in a performance like that is not acceptable. We know they'll stick by us, but they're allowed to criticise us as much as anyone else even more so. We're not at loggerheads with the fans; it wasn't good enough, and they're right to voice their opinion. It does hurt us, but we have to stand up as men and accept that. If you put in a performance like that, especially in the second half, then you deserve all the criticism you get. We did it last year: we stuck together and came out the other side, and we'll do it again this season. We know we have enough quality in the dressing room to have a good season, but we just need to cut out silly mistakes and really show a bit more enthusiasm to go and win games.
"In the second half, we didn't play the way we usually played, a bit too direct at times, but also up front we need to do a lot better when we do get the ball. So collectively, we all need to do better, but we know in the long-run, the fans will always back us. It's up to us to give them performances they deserve. It's not nice at all; you don't get many other professions where people can come and shout abuse at you and stuff, but we know that wasn't acceptable. I can only apologise on behalf of the squad to the fans. Hopefully they continue supporting us, because as I said, we do have enough quality to have a good season. We played well last week at home, and the fans were right behind us there. The atmosphere was great, and hopefully that can be the same, but we need to eradicate the errors that we're doing as a unit we're giving the ball away too much and not being clinical enough in front of goal, and hopefully that can change. We're still confident. Obviously it's going to hurt for the next few days, but building up towards the game next week, we'll be confident that we can get a good result."
Argyle fell back to the bottom of the table with a bump with a 2-0 loss at Oxford, inflicted by two former Argyle players. Ex-striker Jamie Mackie opened the scoring early on and Curtis Nelson made sure of the victory with 15 minutes to go. Yann Songo'o was sent off shortly after for Argyle for a second bookable offence and will Saturday's clash with Burton. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Edwards(J Grant), Smith-Brown(Wylde), Songo'o, Fox, O'Keefe, Lameiras(Canavan), Taylor, Carey. Subs: Letheren, Ness, C Grant, Fletcher,
Derek Adams looked ahead to the game against Oxford, claiming it could make a real difference in Argyle's push to get out of League One. He said: "We're obviously delighted with the win over Wimbledon. We had a difficult week, going away to Barnsley on the Tuesday night and didn't get home until Wednesday morning. It was a very good week for us to take four points from two very difficult games. We were actually unlucky not to take three points from Barnsley and we can all see the quality they've got in their squad. We put in a very good performance and the few hundred Plymouth Argyle supporters at the game were all impressed with the way we took the game to Barnsley. We were unfortunate on a number of occasions not to get that first win; going back to the Wycombe game and Bristol Rovers, where we feel we should have won. We've been in situations where we've not taken our chances and conceded poor goals, so it was important to get the three points against Wimbledon to move up the league. It's very tight in the league and still very early. You can see Blackpool in the middle of the table and they've only won three games. It's all about winning matches, getting the three points and climbing the league."
After Freddie Ladapo's winner against Oxford, Derek Adams hoped that it could be the trigger needed for a glut of goals from a formerly confidence-shy player. He said: "We need to show the creativity we have got in the team," said Derek. "Our front three is up there with the best in this division, not many teams can compete with the quality they've got and they've all scored goals in recent matches. It's vital for Freddie to score. To be a striker, you need to score goals and the three of them have scored five goals in the last few games, and they're creating chances as well. Today is a chance for us to get closer to the teams above us. We've picked up four points in the last week of the league campaign and we would like to win against Oxford to put pressure on teams above us. We changed the team around in midweek because we knew the importance of the Oxford game. We would have obviously liked to have done well in the Checkatrade Trophy but our league campaign is very important. We've shown we can go away to Barnsley and do well, we've won at Bristol City and did well at Bristol Rovers. We've shown we can go away from home and do well, but we will need to be on it. We want to go and win the match because that can help us catch other teams. Wins are vital and confidence is a big thing in football, as is momentum."
David Fox meanwhile hopes that Argyle could use Oxford's poor home record to their advantage as they hoped to build on their league moment with a game against a side bottom of the league. He said: "When you know a team has a record like that, you have to play on the front foot and try to get the crowd on their back. We know ourselves it's not easy when things aren't going well for you at your own place. It was a tough game there last season and I'm sure this will be the same. It is important but I wouldn't say it's more important than other games. There are three points up for grabs, just like any of the others. Once you start putting games in front of others, it's disrespectful to teams but, knowing what a win for us could do and what a win for them could do, it sort of gives you a kick. You always have that belief that we can turn this around. I'm sure they'll be no different. Oxford will feel like a win against us will really kick-start their season, just as we think that a win there can do the same for us. It's a big game."
Finally, Derek Adams gave his seal of approval to Truro City as a loan location for youngsters Jordan Bentley and Dan Rooney and said that he had been looking for a similar loan move for our young players for some time. Adams said: "They've gone out for 28 days initially to give them the experience of playing senior football. It will be a good competition for them because they need to play at a higher level than they are at this moment in time. They've obviously played in the Premier League Cup and the Central League, so this is the next step up for them. They can hopefully get a good number of games at Truro over the 28 days and then come back for the Premier League Cup against Bristol City. It depends on the Truro fixtures on whether they play for us in the Central League. All of the younger players have been available [for loan] since the start of the season and these are the first two to have the type of loan we want them to go to. We don't want them to go too far down the leagues and this is probably the furthest down we would allow because the step from League 1 to National League South is quite a big one. Bentley is coming along well and has been very resilient. He's a very strong character and good to have around the reserve-team dressing room. He's very vocal, lively and he's got the opportunity because of his willingness to work hard."
Argyle young pros Dan Rooney and Jordan Bentley have signed for Truro City on a youth loan deal for 28 days. Truro are currently struggling near the bottom of the National League South and play home games at Torquay United's Plainmoor stadium as part of a ground-share agreement.
David Fox spoke of his pride at being Argyle's stand-in captain in the absence of Gary Sawyer but also stated his view that the role is less critical in football than other sports. He said: "I'm very honoured to be captain but I wish I wasn't because it would mean Gaz wouldn't be hobbling around on his crutches. You have got to do things a little bit different and make sure you are keeping your eye out on other people, on a matchday as well as during the week. It's good. I enjoy it and I feel very proud to be doing it. I think there are a lot of lads that talk and organise. I just try and do my own thing and if I can pass on any help or advice, even during a game, you have got to try and do it. I work close with the Gaffer and make sure that what he wants is getting across to all the lads. There are various different kinds. You go back through history and there is loads of types. If a team is winning, then that's the successful captain you want. He might not do anything but if the team wins everyone thinks what a great captain he is. If a team loses, then you are rubbish. It's the nature of the beast. I don't think there is such a massive emphasis on it as there is in other sports. It's a bigger deal in other sports. It's something I'm very proud to be doing and hopefully if we can keep getting results with it then that would be good."
Coach Paul Wotton has said that last night's loss to Swindon in the Checkatrade Trophy opening group stage game was simply not good enough, particularly from the players who came into the side. He admonished: "It wasn't good enough. You can go through individual analysis of what players did or didn't do in a game it wasn't good enough. Funnily enough, I thought we started the better team. We had a couple of good chances Ruben slotted a couple of great balls through which we should have done better with and we looked bright. We conceded a poor first goal; then Ruben has to score; and I think it's 30 seconds later that they are 2-0 up. We are under no illusions that, for periods of the game, it wasn't good enough."
"They are important players and they needed minutes; they have come through it injury free. You can train and train and train but games are the only way to get your real fitness. They add experience and strength to the squad, which is important; we need all the players back fit. One of the bonuses of the night is that they have come through the game. It is very important that we go into the Oxford game without a hangover from this. We need to go into the Oxford game on the back of the Barnsley and Wimbledon results and performances."
Simon Hallett will take over as Argyle chairman when James Brent stands down from the role at the end of October. Hallett the Pilgrims' majority shareholder, had intended to continue in his current role as vice-chairman when James leaves the position on October 31. However, Argyle have released a statement confirming that chairman-elect David Felwick has informed the Argyle Board of Directors that, for personal reasons, he is unable take over the chairmanship at this time. Consequently, Simon Hallett will become the Argyle chairman from November 1.
Argyle were comprehensively defeated in the opening game of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 0-3 loss at home to League Two Swindon. Two goals before half-time gave Argyle a tough task but a third in the closing stages ensured Luke McCormick went home from his Home Park return with a win. Argyle: Letheren, Moore, Edwards, P Grant, Smith-Brown(Dyson), Sarcevic, Ness, C Grant, Lameiras(Wylde), Fletcher, J Grant(Canavan). Subs: Cooper, Rooney, Ainsworth, Jephcott.
Freddie Ladapo spoke of his delight at breaking his Argyle dry spell with the header that won the game against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and spoke of the regular tussles with League One centre-backs. He said: "I don't mind any of that at all. As a centre forward, you have to be more clever and, for that goal, I was, because I didn't have to fight through anyone to get the goal, and the most important thing is scoring. It was a very physical tussle. I'm quite strong but you play defenders and you're thinking 'this is going to be a long afternoon'. You just have to keep fighting and, hopefully, something will drop. You come away with cuts and bruises every week. If I was to knock a defender, it's automatically a foul but if a defender elbows or kicks me, he says: 'oh carry on.' I don't think I've been receiving as many fouls as I probably should have. I just have to keep trying and being cute with my game. When things fall for you, when you give some back or have an opportunity, you score or make a dribble, all of that is part and parcel of the game."
"I had a couple of chances, like always. When you're struggling for goals or when you've got chances and you're really fighting for it, you just have to be in that position all the time. I work on converting them but when you think too hard or when you try and be too precise, you may scuff it or put it wide, or the 'keeper makes a save. You just have to keep trying. G and Reuben were going short a couple of times to go and receive the ball to make something of it. I kept making the runs and he just clipped it in there, and I saw myself free. I'm thinking 'this is wonderful'. I was so happy but that's the quality that Reuben and G bring, they're fantastic players; good technically, good dribbling; good everything. They can assist you from everywhere. Reuben should have got many assists on Tuesday and G got one again on Saturday."
Derek Adams has delegated control of Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy match against Swindon to Paul Wotton and the assistant had the following to say about the game: "There will be some changes I wouldn't envisage there being lots, but there will be a few. It's a chance for players who haven't played. There are places up for grabs every single week. It's definitely not an inconvenience players would rather play, than train, anyway. We would have liked to have played a few games in the Checkatrade already, but it's a chance to come in and play and impress."
"I was really fortunate, I won it. You kind of go through the early rounds and think 'hang on - a trophy is a trophy' so it would be brilliant to get to the final and try and win it. Every single game you go into to win, every competition to go as far as you can. Realistically, it's the only cup competition we have a chance of winning. Momentum is huge in football. We've had a good week - four points in two games, which is good. People say it all the time, but it's a game there to be won. Nobody goes onto a football pitch not caring about the result - come kick-off, we'll want to win it and Swindon will want to win it."
Derek Adams expressed his delight at his Argyle side obtaining their first win of the season and also the fact that they pressed on and continued to push for goals even after they went 1-0 up. Adams said: "It was a very tight match it was very scrappy because of the conditions. We could have gone in 1-0 ahead at half-time. Freddie probably should have scored in the first half, but then he got himself a goal in the second half. It was well worked. A good short corner from Ruben Lameiras into Graham Carey, who turned and clipped a ball to the back post three players who have all scored goals in the last three or four games. They are important players for us. You saw, after that, they got a lift from that and they started to play on the front foot; they started to play with a wee bit of confidence; they flicked things around the corner; they ran forward; and they knew they were on top of the game then. Confidence is a major thing in football. We all know that the players have got ability, but you need to be confident. We have been confident, but we just haven't been able to execute at times. Today, we have been able to get the three points, which is very good. We have been able to get a clean sheet, as well, which helps, and we have moved ourselves up the league. They are confident boys and they know with the way that they play, they are going to get wins. When you are in that state of mind, you know your good play is going to come at some point."
"I am delighted for Freddie Ladapo. It would have been easy for me just to take him off the pitch but, from my point of view, he was leading the line well; he was running in behind he was causing the two centre-halves problems in that way because, if the ball is put down the side, he is going to run beyond. He is always capable of getting a goal because he's always in that 18-yard box. There wasn't much in the match. If Freddie scores in the first half, we get a huge lift from that; Wimbledon had some good bits of play, as well. I thought that both teams were relatively well matched from the point of view that both teams were looking to get an edge in the game they are not as good a footballing team as we are and we are not as physical team as they are, and that showed in the two performances. Eventually, the better of the two footballing sides wins the game with a bit of craft at the end."
Ladapo himself spoke of the sense of relief at Argyle finally recording their first win of the season on game 12: "It feels wonderful, I think everyone's breathing a sigh of relief, the fans, the players, the manager, every one of us connected with Plymouth Argyle, and we're delighted to get the win together," said Freddie. It's been very frustrating, the luck hasn't been there, nothing's really worked for us and sometimes, even when we were good, the luck just hasn't fallen for us. It's tough for the manager, he has to deal with everything, but, for us personally, what we deal with is our performance. I have to show some appreciation to him because, regardless of whatever's been happening, he's shown a lot of faith in me. Maybe when people think, 'its time to drop him or leave him out', he's kept on having faith. I work very hard in training and in matches. For him to keep having faith in me, it helps me. I want to keep on repaying the faith and I want to score more goals. It was a wonderful reception, I'm sure they're all happy and can go and celebrate, go down to the bars and pubs - I'm happy for them. They pay their tickets to come to watch us every week, they travel high and wide; from close or far, it's an effort that they have to put in, so it's relieving to give them that feeling."
Finally, Adams re-iterated his previous praise for the Argyle defence as they kept a clean sheet at Home Park for the first time. He said: "They have been able to have a good partnership. Peter is probably very good for Eddy because Peter talks a lot and organises. He knows the game. Eddy is the quieter one. Yann Songo'o, in front, has enabled them to defend well. Yann screens the back four. It doesn't become easy for the ball to be played into the strikers because Yann's in front. The full-backs showed good pace and good ability which was typified by Tafari Moore running about 70 yards down the side of the pitch. The understanding they have they are only young kids but they are showing good quality."
Argyle have their first league win of the season at the 12th attempt with a 1-0 victory over Wimbledon. The game was cagey until the 75th minute when a Freddie Ladapo header from a Graham Carey cross secured the victory for Argyle. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Edwards, P Grant, Smith-Brown, Songo'o, Fox, O'Keefe, Carey, Ladapo, Lameiras. Subs: Letheren, Ness, Ainsworth, Wylde, J Grant, Dyson, Fletcher.
As Argyle prepare to face Wimbledon on Saturday, Derek Adams cast his mind back to his first ever Argyle game which was a 2-0 win at the South London side. He said: "We've had some good games and my first game in the league competition was against Wimbledon," said Derek. "It was a memorable day, we won 2-0 and scored two good goals from Wylde and Carey. We've come through the leagues together and Ardley has done a very good job. To get them where they are is probably where they are going to be, in League One, until they get further investment. It's a tough league and they've done well to get into League One, and to stabilise over the past couple of years."
"We obviously want to get the win because performances have been good. We need to turn performances into wins. We were unfortunate not to win at Barnsley and I was delighted with the way we played. We didn't get back until 4.30 in the morning and I'm sure that was the same for our supporters. It is a long way on a Tuesday night but we're back now, and we thank the supporters who travelled. It means we can't train in the normal way, the players have to rest and get ready for Wimbledon. We now need to start winning games.
As two ex-Argyle players in the shape of Ben Purrington and Jake Jervis prepare to return to Home Park, Adams hailed the positive impact the pair had in Argyle's climb up through the leagues. He praised the duo: "Ben did well for us. He probably got his move when he played against Liverpool in the FA Cup. He played particularly well in the two games. He wanted to move to the Championship and we obviously took the money that came along. It benefited both parties at that moment in time. We have got a high regard for him at this football club."
"I have signed Jake twice. He scored a lot of goals for us and he assisted as well. "He scored goals in important games and was part of the success that we have had at this football club. Jake was coming to the end of his contract and we sold him to Luton for £150,000. So we have taken in roughly about £500,000 for the two of them. That is good business with the two of them only have six months of their contracts to run."
The return of Tafari Moore to Argyle's starting eleven at Barnsley was a sign that Argyle's injuries problems are finally on the wane- Derek Adams said of his back four: "Tafari Moore is 20 years of age. He went to Bristol City and O'Dowda is a Republic of Ireland international couldn't run him; the winger at Barnsley couldn't run him. He's strong; he's determined; he's only young. Ash Smith-Brown, on the other side, had another good game. They are both youngsters who have been at Premier League clubs. Ryan Edwards and Peter Grant were very good defensively; they had to deal with Kieffer Moore a £750,000 buy. And I thought Yann Songo'o, Stuart O'Keefe and David Fox ran the game in the midfield Songo'o won the ball; O'Keefe, running about, passed the ball forward; and so did David Fox."
Derek Adams hailed Argyle's impressive showing at Barnsley as their best performance of the season so far in League One. He shared his praise across the team and said Argyle should have got a win from the game, saying: "We should have been ahead at half-time. We went 1-0 down they scored a very good goal from a great hit; it hits the bar and goes in but we have shown very good character to come back into the game and we played like a team that had a lot of confidence tonight. We opened up Barnsley so many times I'm not sure why their No.5 got man of the match because Freddie Ladapo gave him a torrid time tonight and we played like a team that should be further up the league than we are. We would have taken a point before the game but, when we watch the game back, we should have had three points, the chances we had Freddie should have had a hat-trick in the first half; we had a chance with Ruben again; and Graham Carey; Foxy near the end. It was a very good performance. We worked extremely hard; we passed the ball well; we created a lot of good openings in the game and that was important because it's a difficult place to come to. Barnsley had a lot of long-range shooting. There weren't a lot of chances in and around the box for them. Matt Macey's had a number of good saves, but they are from long range; our opportunities were all in and around their penalty spot."
"I've been asking for him to score more goals and he's scored two in two games now. Graham Carey had scored two in two games before that, as well. These players are important for us; they pick up very good areas in the middle of the pitch. Barnsley changed their shape so we knew, tactically, we had the upper hand on them throughout the night. They changed their shape to deal with Carey and Lameiras. We had an overload in the middle of the park we had four against two at times against them. We tried to stop them playing out from the back; we squeezed the side of the pitch very well. We've done it numerous times before and it's been successful. We've had a sticky start we realise that. We've been to difficult venues: Barnsley's not an easy place to come to; we've been to Charlton; we've been away to Portsmouth; we've had midweek games away from home in the EFL Cup. It's a difficult start to the season for us. When we get a bit of confidence, which we will after the performance tonight, we can now look forward to Saturday.
"You have to look at the league; it is very tight. There are a number of teams that have only won three games this season and are sitting well into the top half of the table. You need to go on a run of games with wins, we understand that, but to come away here on a Tuesday night it's an important point for us. The players are in buoyant mood and, to be fair to them, they have been in decent spirits and I know I shouldn't really say that because we are where we are - but we know we have been playing well and where we are is not where we want to be. The confidence in the group has always been there. They believe in their ability. We have been unfortunate in games this season. We now need to win games to get ourselves further up."
Ruben Lameiras gave a public vote of confidence in his teammate Freddie Ladapo whose efforts in front of goal have not yet been rewarded. Lameiras spoke of what Ladapo brings to the team: "I don't think people quite see what Freddie brings to the team. He's strong and he holds the ball exceptionally well, but he doesn't get as many goals as he should at times. When he gets one, it'll be like an avalanche, he'll start scoring left, right and centre. The most important thing is he gets into those positions where he's always an option for me. It's so easy to play with him, it's just not falling for him at the minute, but it will come. Freddie works harder than anyone on the training pitch to try and get us the goals. Aside from the chances he missed, I thought his performance was really good. He gives us a platform to go and play. I've said before the quality in this team is good. We've brought in some really good players. It does take time for them to know what the manager wants and what the other players in the team want. We work extremely hard on the training pitch. When it clicks, we will be a real force, it's just like last season. Performances breed confidence and slowly we can start getting back on the horse."
Lameiras also shared his hopes that the result could be used as a positive springboard to turn around Argyle's fortunes this season. The Portugese added: "We knew how important it was to be energised and to put that into a good performance," he said. "If we had a good performance, with the quality we have, we could try to get a result. We deserved a little bit more from the game, that just goes to show there is fight in the team. We are not happy with where we are at the moment, we will stay together and keep climbing. The boys showed great character coming from behind. Everyone, from the back four and midfielders to the front players, we stuck together as a team. It goes to show how much character we have in the team. I'm always trying to do what I can to help the team in a positive way. I'm trying to get as many goals as I can this season. Again, we feel like we could have got a little bit more from the game with the chances that we did have. We're always trying to put it right, we'll go again on Saturday against Wimbledon at Home Park and hopefully get three points. I had a thing with Joel Grant and he jokingly said I wasn't going to score, so I went over to him but he was nowhere to be found. That's why I went to the dugout. I found him in the end."
"The back four did exceptionally well. Barnsley are up there for a reason. It's a tough place to come and, especially with people like Peter Grant, who hasn't really played many minutes, he showed he's a force to be reckoned with. It was a positive result and results breed confidence. I said last year I'm a player that wants to play every week. For me, I just want to play every minute of football I can. I'm strong mentally, I want to play for this club and I want to do as well as I can, whenever I get the opportunity, that's what I try to do. This is my profession, I've got to keep my head down, I can't get too high or too low. I've always got to give myself small targets I can reach and just go from there, try and work as hard as I can, and try to help my team mates because we're a real good team when we stick together. Win or lose, we stick together. Whoever scores, it's a bonus, we just need to get the points now."
Argyle have picked up a point from their tough away fixture at Barnsley with an excellent Ruben Lameiras equaliser just before half-time cancelling out Alex Mowatt's opener for Barnsley. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Edwards, P Grant, Smith-Brown, Songo'o, O'Keefe, Fox, Carey, Ladapo, Lameiras(Wylde). Subs: Letheren, Rooney, J Grant, Ainsworth, Fletcher, Dyson.
Derek Adams elaborated on his post-match words following Argyle's 3-2 loss at home to Doncaster and the verbal discontent voiced by the Argyle supporters as the team trudged down the tunnel after the match. He re-enforced the notion that criticism is fine but some of the more venomous comments overstepped the mark. Adams: "It will be a good thing for the football club; it's good for the supporters to be next to the players, to show support to the players and to the football club. It's never nice, some of the things that did happen on Saturday, which I'm not going to go into; that's not what it is to support your team. We all know that, when times are tough, you must stick together, and that's what I do as a manager. I have to stick by my players, stick by my staff, and look after them. That's what a supporter is supposed to do to stick by their team, stick by their people, and that's all I ask for."
"We have been very successful, moving out through the administration years and putting this football club back into League One. We understand the frustration because we have had a difficult start to the season, but we aim to have our injured players back as soon as possible, to get points on the board to finish as high up as we possibly can. That's our aim at the end of the season. We finished fifth in League Two, and got to Wembley in the play-off final; we got to the last game of the following season - we were pipped on goal difference to winning title; and we finished seventh last season. I know it's only a minority that have a problem at this moment in time. We understand we're at the bottom of the league and we want to get away from the bottom of the league - I get all that, but, when times are tough, you must stick together. I'm not here to make excuses, I'm only here to just explain the situation. I don't mind criticism, but it was more than criticism on Saturday - there was venom, , there was hatred, and that's not nice, to not only myself, but some of my players who have done exceptionally well for this football club. If you want to keep players at this football club, then you have got to be very careful on how you react towards them. They are trying their best. We scored two very good goals here on Saturday; we conceded three bad goals; we understand all that. You have to treat your people as your brother and sister. I hope that some of the people that reacted on Saturday don't treat their brother and sister the way they did to my players and to myself."
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