A Round-up of Argyle News
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Ryan Lowe expressed his disappointment with Argyle's end to 2020, going down 3-2 to Oxford. He did however, find some positives to take from the match. Lowe mused: "First-half I thought we were very good, we were getting the ball back, counter-pressing, counter-attacking, had some good chances and scored a great goal. Second-half we just stopped playing a little bit out from the back. The second goal is a killer really, because the right-back scored it. We've turned our back in their half, two people around him, he's got down the side, we haven't stopped the cross, he's carried on and scored a good goal on their behalf, but a rubbish goal on our behalf. The penalty is a sucker-punch, isn't it? Will doesn't need to go to ground, I think the next movement the ball would've gone out. That being said, he's actually got a bit of the ball.
"I thought it was a game of two halves – the first-half was very good from us. We shouldn't be scoring two goals and losing, but we are where we are. It's not ideal, it's not nice, but the lads are giving us everything. Is it just a lack of quality, a lack of know-how? Possibly. There were some situations in the game that we need to possibly do the same thing – to be a bit cuter and more astute. Sometimes you have to give the opposition a bit of credit – they were on the front foot, and they were ready to press at times, but we've got patterns of how we get out from that."
"I know they put a bit of pressure on, but as I always say to the lads, I'll take responsibility if you give the ball away, because that's the way I want them to play – I just felt we went a little bit too long to Ryan Hardie and Luke Jephcott. Once you beat that first press, you've got arguably the best footballing midfielder in the league in Lewis Macleod, who can retain the ball anywhere on the pitch. And then you've got Danny Mayor and Panutche Camara running with the ball, and wing-backs who are high and wide, so we just felt we didn't do it.
"If we don't concede the second one, and we don't concede the stupid penalty, the ascendancy is on us, we've got our fans, and they were cheering us on to potentially get a winner. They're the small margins in the league that sometimes cost you. We are a good footballing team in them moments, but we need to take that into 80, 90 minutes. We can't just be a good team for 45 minutes. We have to build on it and progress as much as we possibly can."
"We'll always keep fighting, we'll always keep trying. Sometimes there's a lack of quality and a lack of know-how, and that's just the league. We've been through a bit of a tough period of late, and we've bounced out of that with a win and a draw at Charlton."
Games will return to being played behind closed doors until further notice with the city of Plymouth being put under deeper coronavirus restrictions. This will start with Saturday's game against Gillingham.
Argyle's upturn in form stalled at home to Oxford United in the third game since crowds returned to Home Park. The greens took the lead with a Pantuche Camara shot but Oxford soon equalised, the scores going in level at half-time. After the interval, they went 2-1 up and then put the game beyond Argyle from the penalty spot. Argyle got one back through Luke Jephcott, who scored our own first penalty of the season. Alas, it was not enough to secure a point. Argyle: Cooper, Aimson, Canavan, Watts, MacLeod (Fornah), Edwards(Telford), Camara, Mayor, Grant(Moore), Jephcott, Hardie (Nouble). Subs: McCormick, Wootton, Reeves.
Ryan Lowe was delighted with Argyle's result and performance and result away to Charlton, cementing his belief that his Argyle side are moving in the right direction after the recent blip in form. He said of the display: "I thought we were excellent, start to finish. We did have to soak up a little bit of pressure, but that's normal at the Valley against a good Charlton team. We went ahead twice, which was very good – the lads were on it, they were pressing in the right areas, they stuck to the game plan we put out. They're a bit disappointed in there that we haven't come away with the three points."
"They deserved the three points, but for a moment of brilliance from a player of Maddison's quality, a nutmeg and a strike, a thunderbolt, if you like. We are not too disappointed – to come here and get three points would've been brilliant, but to get a point and play ever so well is just as good. Four points out of the last two games, we're trying to build our own little momentum now, and that's another point in the right direction."
"It's what we did before we had a little bit of a blip, in terms of results. We were going on the front foot. We know we've got to get on the front foot, and we've got to pressure teams into mistakes, and that's certainly what we've done. The game plan wasn't for us to sit in – we came here to play, and we played some good football, and we had some good chances. Even there towards the end, we're putting balls into the box – we want to go and win, that's our aim. We've got to continue to do that - we've got a fresh squad, in terms of players who can come in and do that type of work, and that's a given now. We've had our little blip - we've been on it of late, we've put game plans together to get high up the pitch and get into their faces."
"We have got an honest group, good set of lads, they listen and take on instructions great. The belief has got to be there, because we've got some good players. You don't have the start that we had and become a bad team overnight. They have got that bit of belief back, but we won't get carried away. We know it's going to be a tough ask on Tuesday, Oxford were play-off finalists last year, I know Karl very well, and it's a game we're looking forward to. We seem to be on the right track at the moment, and we'll continue to keep moving in the right direction."
Argyle put in a much better away performance but their first win on the road eluded them with a 2-2 draw at the Valley with Charlton. Argyle twice took the lead through that man Luke Jephcott but the hosts twice pegged Argyle back to ensure the spoils were shared on Boxing Day. Argyle: M Cooper, Aimson, Canavan, Watts, MacLeod(Fornah), Edwards, Camara, Mayor, Grant, Jephcott(Moore), Hardie(Nouble). Subs: McCormick, Wootton, Telford, Reeves.
Neil Dewsnip gave an insight into his role as Argyle's director of football as he reached his first anniversary in the job. Dewsnip spoke first of the circumstances around his appointment, saying: "I had got such a strong feeling about Plymouth Argyle, in such a short period of time, that I was delighted to accept. One of the things that appealed to me about the football club was the Green Army. I related to them immediately. My team is Everton – at Everton if you don't run around and try hard, the supporters let you know. I got that immediately here. It was that feeling that, if you try hard and give it your best go, they'll be with you. If players or members of staff didn't do that, then the Green Army would be right to be critical. I'm sure that, when they saw performance on Saturday against Milton Keynes Dons, they witnessed the qualities that they want to be associated with their club. I was also struck by the energy around the football club, on and off the field. Of course, everyone knows how much energy Ryan and Steven have as coaches, Nance as well, but Simon Hallett, Andrew [
Parkinson and Zac Newton were also major influences. You're thinking, 'wow, this is a good place.'
"I was conscious that the club had fallen on hard times a little bit, back in League Two, but the stadium and the pitch is to die for. I've been around most stadiums in my coaching time, but the playing surface here is absolutely wonderful. If I was playing out there, if I was the coach out there, I'd be thrilled. It's a lovely environment to perform in, and long may that continue. We had a very successful season last year, a promotion – and the second promotion that Ryan and Steven have had in a row, at two different clubs. The start of the season was going quite nicely, thank you, but in recent weeks we'd hit a patch where the waters were very choppy, obviously, and we have needed to react.
"My role has been very much around supporting the coaching staff – they've never experienced anything like this, and they've had to show some resilience in adversity. They've got fantastic support from everybody at this football club, coaching staff, office staff, playing staff – they're all pulling in the same direction. We do own one or two of the performances, but seeing and being involved in the preparation ahead of the games, there is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to improve. Again, we should remember that this is a long-term objective – this is season two in a project, and it is important that we as a club, as well as our supporters, don't lose sight of that."
"Ryan and Steven have had to experience something that they've never been through before. Expectations, I believe, are high at Argyle – and it's possible that they've been too high. I've heard some supporters speak about back-to-back promotions. Don't get me wrong, that would be lovely if it could happen, but the reality is that we've just been promoted – we have, pretty much, the mainstay of that team, and we're now coming up against better teams, coaching against better coaches. The challenges are far harder. At times like the past few weeks, I am here to ensure that they don't lose confidence. I believe that they have exceptional talents, but it all takes time. They are only into their third season in these roles – I could quote a million examples, but without thinking too hard, Sir Alex Ferguson got sacked in his first role at East Stirling.
"Ryan will be the first to tell you that he has lots to learn, as does Steven, and my role is to support that learning. We have a little action plan between us to work through challenges that arise – and I know that Ryan has also sought out guidance from other significant people in the game, just to take on a range of views. He knows that football is not an easy profession, it challenges every manager. Clubs that have Directors of Football, their roles are around the mid to long-term view. To develop a football club takes time – it took Liverpool 30 years to regain their status, and it will take a period of time to get to where we want to be. Simon's vision is out there, to be in the Championship in five years.
"In year one, we got promoted straight away. There is that danger that expectations fly away, really. My role is to remind people that we're making great progress, there will be bumps in the road of course, but there are a number of ongoing projects to take us towards that ambition. We are constantly developing our recruitment process, we've revamped the Academy to bring more young talent into the first-team squad, to support all of our staff, and to improve the performance side, sport science, and medical. There's so much work to do to build this club into the Argyle we want it to be.
"This is very much a project, a learning experience for everyone at the club, and it is about putting the building blocks in place to go forwards again. We should not get ahead of ourselves when we're on a good run, nor should we overcompensate when we hit a sticky patch. We all need to trust. Supporters need to trust the team, and the team need to trust that supporters are with them. Ryan and Steven need to trust themselves. My trust is very strong with the supporters, the football club in general, the players and the coaching staff, that's for sure."
Ryan Lowe praised the resilience and determination of his Argyle side following the much needed win against Milton Keynes. He also urged his charges not to get too carried away, saying: "Pleased for the lads. We say all the time, 'you don't get too high, you don't get too low.' We've come through a little bit of a sticky patch, and the lads were a little bit low on confidence. I just want to thank everyone who has supported us – friends and family, people in football, the directors, those tough times don't last, but tough people do.
"We set up a game plan, and we were on the front foot. I don't know how many regains it was, but if we were a little bit more clinical, to be ultra-critical, we could have scored a couple more goals. In terms of the desire and commitment that the lads showed today against a good MK Dons team, who play the right way, and do the right things, is great to see. I keep saying it, we're the new boys in the league, and we've got to keep learning. The last few weeks have been a learning curve, and today showed me what type of group and character we've got in there.
"It's just another three points, we're not getting too carried away because you never know what's around the corner, but one thing we can do is enjoy Christmas Day. It's just another win to get that little bit of disappointment off our back – clean sheet, goal, loads of attempts, what we've done today is got that little bit of negativity out of us. The die-hards realise that we've embedded ourselves into this football club from the day we came here. We're here to take this football club on a journey. There have been a lot of positive messages, a lot of emails, a lot of letters, and to see what those 2,000 fans did to them lads today, as well as myself and my staff, was phenomenal, so thank you."
Argyle's winless run finally came to an end with a 1-0 victory over Milton Keynes. Argyle returned to their 3-5-2 formation from the start and dominated the game from the off, being rewarded with Ryan Hardie's winner in front of the Devonport End. Argyle: M Cooper, Aimson, Canavan, Watts, MacLeod(Reeves), Edwards, Camara(Fornah), Mayor, Grant, Jephcott(Telford), Hardie (Nouble). Subs: McCormick, Wootton, Moore.
Argyle's miserable run has continued with a 2-1 loss away to Crewe. Once again Argyle were 2-0 down before half-time. Following a brief experiment with a 4-2-3-1 formation, Argyle went back to their favoured 3-5-2 for the second half. A better display and a goal did follow but it was not enough to stop the rot. Argyle: M Cooper, Wootton, Aimson, Canavan, Watts(Jephcott), Moore(Edwards), Fornah(MacLeod), Camara, G Cooper, Mayor(Grant), Nouble (Hardie). Subs: Wootton, Opoku.
Ryan Lowe has declared the importance of going back to basics when a high shot count was once again not enough to prevent Argyle losing at the Memorial Ground. He said: "The first seven minutes weren't good enough. Set play, corner, lose our man, and then, as always, you're fighting a losing battle. Unfortunately, at the moment, it's both boxes where we're getting let down. The 25 shots is irrelevant because it hasn't gone in the back of the net. We lacked that ruthless edge in both boxes. I haven't spoken to the lads yet, I'll let the other staff members do it. We work ever so hard, but at this moment in time it's just not going for us. I'll get my thoughts together tomorrow, we'll have a debrief on Monday, and we have obviously got to try and put it right, very quickly. The games are coming thick and fast, and we have got to make sure that we roll our sleeves up and get back to basics very quickly. I'll do that, I'll make sure I look at it, and I'll get the lads who I feel can get back to basics. The flair football might have to stop for a little bit, because it's important that we pick up points, and that's what's needed. The possession, shots, attempts, penalty box entries, they'll probably always be there, but what's the point if it's not going in the net? It's tough at the moment, we know that, but we've got to roll our sleeves up. We're in a battle, so let's go."
Argyle went down 3-0 to Bristol Rovers in a game that did not quite reflect the scoreline. Argyle went two down early on and huffed and puffed to no avail. Rovers grabbed a third late in the game to continue Argyle's miserable run of form. Argyle: M Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah(Nouble), Edwards(Moore), Camara, Reeves(G Cooper), Grant(MacLeod), Jephcott(Telford), Hardie. Subs: McCormick, Wootton.
Young duo Ryan Law and Klaidi Lolos have joined National League South side Chippenham Town on a month's loan. Ryan Lowe said of the move: "We have a good relationship with their manager, Mike Cook - he spent some time with us last year, working with Schuey on his A Licence. We know he's an excellent coach, who plays the right way, and it's a good opportunity for Klaidi and Lawsy to get some game time under their belt at a competitive level."
Argyle's trip to face Accrington Stanley in Sky Bet League One has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 9 February. Argyle were initially scheduled to visit the Crown Ground on 31 October, but a number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Accrington camp saw the fixture postponed. With Stanley awaiting confirmation on whether supporters will be allowed to attend the fixture, kick-off time will be announced in due course.
Argyle's FA Cup third-round clash with at Huddersfield Town will kick-off at 6pm on Saturday 9 January 2021. The fixture has been chosen for broadcast free to fans on The FA Player streaming platform.
Despite Argyle's poor recent run, Ryan Lowe expressed a positive reaction to Argyle's performance in the game. He reserved criticism only for the referee, who he felt was exceedingly harsh in booking Danny Mayor for the first of two yellow cards. Lowe said: "Pleased with the performance, obviously disappointed with the result. I thought every one of my players, down to a man, was different class. The work ethic, the game plan, we executed for 70 minutes. Ultimately the sending off has killed us, you look at the goal back, and that's where Danny would've been."
"I've looked at it back, and two of their players are encroaching from the corner, and he books my player. You can see Danny is trying to move, trying to play the pass, but he can't because they're not 10 yards. I'm proud of the boys, they're going through a little bit of a tough time at the moment, not winning games, I thought the game plan was nearly executed. They're wounded in there, and rightly so. They've worked hard. We had a good meeting on Wednesday, we put all the wrongs right, and I think the performance warranted three points. We'll come out of that stronger. If they perform like that in the majority of the games, they'll get the points. They're down and out in there, but we'll recover the group properly, and put a game plan together for Bristol Rovers. We'll get it right, stick with us – if we keep putting performances in like that I'm sure we'll get more points than we won't."
Argyle suffered their fourth consecutive League One defeat with a gutting 2-1 loss at home to Ipswich. The greens took the lead early on via Luke Jephcott and held the lead deep into the second half. Danny Mayor was sent off however, for a second bookable offence and Argyle imploded shortly after, shipping two goals in as many minutes. The frustrating run continues. On a more positive note, the game marked the return to Home Park for 1,808 socially distanced fans for the first time since March 7th. Tickets were allocated to season ticket holders on a first come, first served basis. Argyle: M Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah(Telford), Edwards(Moore), Camara, Mayor, Grant, Nouble(Reeves), Jephcott(Hardie). Subs: McCormick, Wootton, Canavan.
Due to Argyle's inclusion in the FA Cup third round, the scheduled game against Sunderland has been rescheduled for Tuesday 19th January, with a 7pm kick-off.
Argyle's 11 month unbeaten home run came to an end with a nasty bump, going down 4-0 to struggling Rochdale. Argyle were three down at half-time and the game looked nearly gone. A triple substitution wasn't enough to save the game and a fourth was added in the second half. Argyle's next game against Ipswich will see fans return to Home Park at an initial capacity of 1, 808. Argyle: M Cooper, Wootton(Aimson), Canavan(Opoku), Watts(Camara), Fornah, Edwards(Hardie), Grant, Reeves, G Cooper(Moore), Jephcott, Nouble. Subs: McCormick, Telford.
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