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.
Players and staff at Argyle have not been paid this month as the club's financial problems worsen, it was reported today. It is understood the club has been unable to pay any members of staff for November after Plymouth Argyle Football Company Limited's bank account was frozen. It is not the first time there have been problems paying the staff and last month Keith Todd admitted there had been 'a couple of delays' in paying wages, and called the situation 'embarrassing and unfortunate'. Todd was unavailable for comment last night.
Argyle's game at Brighton & Hove Albion has been moved from February 19th to February 21st and will now be shown live on Sky.
Argyle's reserve game at Exeter City on Wednesday night has been postponed because of a frozen pitch.
Peter Reid has insisted it is business as usual for him despite the financial crisis which is threatening the future of Argyle. He said: "I'm just getting on with my job and dealing with the football side. I know it's a difficult time for everybody concerned at the football club but, hopefully, the board will sort it all out. In circumstances like this you try to keep the players up to speed with what's going on. I think that's important because they are the ones who have got to go out on the pitch and perform. When you are in this sort of situation you can get a siege mentality among the group, and that could work for us." Peter Ridsdale had further talks with members of Argyle's board over the weekend and also met Reid, who added: "Football is a small industry and you get to know a lot of the people involved in it. He appointed me at Leeds, and I have seen him out and about over the years."
Sean Kinsella has joined Stafford Rangers on loan until January 10th.
Carl Fletcher and Jim Paterson could make their comeback from injuries when the reserves play at Exeter City tomorrow. Peter Reid is hoping the duo will play for around 60 minutes of the game and said: "I will ask them how they feel about going to Exeter and playing for an hour. It would be good for them to get that under their belts and see how they feel physically. They could then be involved against MK Dons at the weekend."
Peter Ridsdale has had further talks with Argyle over the weekend about a possible involvement in the club, but without reaching any agreement. He said: "We have had further discussions on the weekend, which were all very friendly and amicable, but it hasn't yet been possible to find a way forward." Asked what the next step would be, Ridsdale replied: "I'm not sure yet. But I'm still in contact with them."
Argyle will have to re-arrange their game at Huddersfield Town on January 8th as their opposition will be playing in the FA Cup third round on that day.
Roy Gardner has assured Argyle fans that moves are being made to ensure the future of the club, as they face their third winding up petition from the Inland Revenue in the last year. The petition is listed to be heard in the High Court on December 8th and Gardner said: "I can't say anything about the financial situation at Home Park – I spoke with Keith Todd and he told me he had spoken about the situation yesterday. We are definitely trying to make the future of the club as secure as possible.I can't tell you whether I am hopeful at the moment, but everybody's working as hard as they can."
Peter Ridsdale expects to have further talks about investing in Argyle in the coming days. It is understood Ridsdale had a meeting with some members of the Argyle board in London on Wednesday and then travelled to Plymouth on Wednesday night for further talks yesterday. He boarded a 4pm flight from Plymouth to Manchester and is now awaiting further developments. Ridsdale said: "I can confirm I was in Plymouth yesterday. I think Plymouth Argyle is a wonderful football club with massive potential. I expect to have further talks with them, but I recognise I'm one of a number of interested parties at this stage." It is understood Ridsdale has been in negotiations with Argyle for a number of weeks. He was a guest of the board for the win against Huddersfield Town at Home Park on October 23rd but Keith Todd denied Ridsdale would become involved with the club. He said at the time: "He is down in the West Country on holiday and asked if he could come along to the game. There is nothing more to it than that." Seven days later, though, Ridsdale saw Argyle lose at Oldham Athletic. Todd insisted Ridsdale's presence at Boundary Park had come as a surprise to him, and continued to rule out any future involvement in Argyle.
Rory Fallon yesterday became the third player to leave Argyle on loan in the last two weeks and Peter Reid has confirmed it is with a view to a permanent transfer. Reid said: "Roy Keane got in touch with me asking about the boy with a view to a permanent transfer. Rory is out-of-contract in the summer and sometimes certain circumstances dictate what happens at a football club. This is one of those times. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea when it comes to the fans, but he was fighting through a hernia for us at the start of the season. This is a chance for him to have a fresh lease of life, and if he does well it's great for him, great for us and great for Ipswich. I think there is a fee agreed, but Keith Todd has been dealing with that." Reid did not seem perturbed by the fact he had only limited options in attack after Fallon's departure. He said: "We have got Brad, Rory Patterson and Mason, and Bolasie can go up there as well. There aren't many clubs at this level with more than four in their squads." There are bound to be concerns among fans about squad depth but Reid remained upbeat. He added: "The most important thing is for us to get results, and I was delighted with our win on Tuesday. One of the players has gone, and certain circumstances have dictated that, but it means a chance for other people, so let's get on with it."
Argyle have confirmed they are having discussions with Peter Ridsdale about potential future involvement with the club. A club statement read: "There has been speculation about the fact Peter Ridsdale has been spending some time meeting with executives from Plymouth Argyle Football Club. Peter has extensive experience in football and is just one of a number of parties that we have undertaken exploratory discussions with regard to potential future investment. If and when there is anything further to add we will do so at the appropriate time."
Rory Fallon has joined Ipswich Town on loan until January 22nd. Peter Reid said: "I've decided to let Rory go out with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window kicks in in January. We'll be actively seeking a replacement but I was pleased with the way Rory Patterson has been playing and I've got Joe Mason as well. It's a great opportunity for the boy and I'm sure he'll thrive in the Championship environment."
Joe Mason made a crucial contribution to Argyle's winner against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, with his first touch of the ball. Peter Reid paid tribute to the composure of Mason, and said: "I thought the winner was a really good goal. Don't underestimate Mason's awareness and touch. I was sat there thinking, 'Get it out of your feet and try to smash it'. But he had that awareness and the feel for the pass was lovely. It was the right pace and Rory could hit it first time, which he did."Mason has made 12 appearances this season, but seven of them have been as a substitute and he has scored only once. Reid added: "He needs to get a lot stronger, but the kid has got a footballer's brain. He always gets a chance or makes a chance, and he has got ability. He has had a couple of illnesses recently, and he has just got to get that strength in his play. Once he gets that, he's going to be a really good footballer." Patterson's goal against Dagenham was only his second since signing for Argyle in the summer. Reid said: "Let's hope it's a springboard for him. He has worked hard, but I think it has been difficult for him to get to the pace of the game. I would agree he has looked a lot brighter since he has come back from playing for Northern Ireland. If Rory continues to show that brightness he will get games."
Peter Reid's team responded to his request to take more responsibility as they defeated Dagenham & Redbridge last night. "I said at the weekend about players taking responsibility and the players did that," said Reid. "It was a difficult game. The crowd were restless but the players showed plenty of character. At half-time it was a matter of sticking together and showing that character. The players deserve the credit - it's alright having a chat at half-time. I don't think the first-half was rubbish. Certain parts of it wasn't good and certain parts of it was good, but fans pay their money and when you're getting beat 1-0 at half-time after four defeats, I don't expect them to be singing and dancing on the terraces. I've only been here a short space of time but this crowd gets behind the team. Sometimes, when it's not good, they have a right to have a moan - I had a moan on Saturday, and I'm the manager. It's up to the players to get them cheering and the players did that. It is tough out there for the ordinary punter, who works and has to pay a mortgage. Coming to football should be entertaining and, although it's no good for my heart, I think they went home happy. It's up to us to do the business on the pitch and get them into the stadium."
Rory Patterson paid tribute to Paul Mariner after scoring the winner against Dagenham & Redbridge last night. He said: "Normally, anywhere I've been, I've been more about power shooting, but Mariner's been drumming it into me about just placing the ball - I don't need to be taking the leather off it, as he says. He's always been there after training, helping me along and giving me advice. It's been tough, not playing, no player wants to sit on the sides, but he's been there every day, and he's kept me going." Rory made a beeline for his mentor to celebrate the goal, and flattened Mariner in the process. "To be fair, I was going some speed," he added, "but I nearly knocked him out." The goal was set up by fellow substitute Joe Mason, who had just come on. "Joe got the ball inside the box, and Joe will find you if he wants you," said Patterson. "He saw the run I made and I didn't have time to taken a touch, so I took it first time and it found the back of the net. It's been a long time coming, since the first one, and it was the winner, as well. It was nice."
Argyle beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 at Home Park, the goals scored by Craig Noone after 62 minutes and Rory Patterson (83). Argyle: Larrieu, Zubar, Nelson, Johnson, Bhasera, Noone, Arnason, Clifford, Clark, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Mason, Patterson (not used – Chenoweth, N'Gala, Duguid, Molyneux, Bolasie). Attendance - 4,960.
Marcel Seip has joined Charlton Athletic on loan until January 8th. Peter Reid said: "It's a chance for him to go away and get games, get his fitness levels up and put himself in the shop window." Reid is set to continue with Reda Johnson and Curtis Nelson as his centre-backs against Dagenham and Redbridge tonight and insisted he had plenty of other options in that position, despite the departure of Seip. He said: "I have got Timar, I have got Bondz and I have also got Fletcher, who can play there, coming back from injury." Reid has no plans to take Nelson out of the firing line for Argyle. "I think he has been brilliant," he added. "I'm delighted with the boy. I would take him out if I thought he was struggling, but I think he has been one of the plusses for us. I have been really pleased with him."
Peter Reid does not blame Argyle's supporters for staying away from Home Park. The attendance for the defeat by Brentford on Saturday was the smallest for a game at Home Park since March 2003 and it could be even lower for the visit of Dagenham and Redbridge tonight. Reid said: "I can't blame the crowd. They have been brilliant since I have been at the football club, but if you aren't giving them results, you can understand it. Like I have always said, we need their support, but we need to be giving them something on the football pitch as well, so it's a double-edged sword. We need to be winning some games for them. That's the most important thing." Reid is aware there were likely to be a lot of empty seats at Home Park tonight, but wants his players to be fired up for what is an important match. He said: "I always think, as a professional, that should be one of the givens – you go out there and when the whistle blows you are all at it. And, like I have said, we have got to start giving the supporters something, and start getting results. I thought some of the stuff we played on Saturday was decent in terms of passing it, but there wasn't enough cutting edge. We have got to put it together for longer periods, and we have certainly got to hold it up better up the front. That gets you up the pitch. I always think the likes of Noone and Wright-Phillips can make something. So there are positives, but we need to bring that into the game situation. Dagenham are very physical and work hard. We will have to match them and earn the right to play the game." Argyle are still without the injured trio of David Button, Jim Paterson and Carl Fletcher. Reid added: "They aren't available. It's too soon for them. All three should be ready to return at MK Dons on December 4th though."
Peter Reid has done his homework on Dagenham and Redbridge and all the reports he has received have highlighted the threat of 22-year-old Danny Green. Reid said: "The delivery of Green off dead balls is going to be something we will have to watch. We will have to defend really well. And where we have been poor doing that, we will have to make sure we are up to the mark." Both of Brentford's goals on Saturday came from set pieces after Argyle had committed needless fouls, and Reid blamed lapses in concentration for the problem. "You looked at us on Saturday, in terms of physique and height, and you would have thought we should be able to defend dead balls, but we just switch off," he said. "Sometimes with that physical presence you need a mental alertness as well. One thing I impress on the players in training, and certainly before they go out for every game, is that they must concentrate on dead balls, for and against. That's so important, and not just in this league. It's all through football, even at the highest level." While aware of Dagenham and Redbridge's strengths, Reid wants his team to implement their gameplan. He said: "We have got to look to be positive, and try to get at them by getting the ball wide and putting crosses in. In that final third, we have got to take care of the ball a lot better than we have been doing, because some of the play has been good but then we seem to panic. We either give it away, or there isn't enough quality. I can remember us going down the left on Saturday on numerous occasions, but there wasn't enough quality coming in."
Argyle lost their third consecutive match when they were beaten by Brentford on Saturday. Peter Reid said: "We weren't great. I don't think it was a game we deserved to lose, but I don't think it was a game where we did enough to win. We conceded off dead-ball situations, which I keep on harping on about. I can't fault them for effort. The effort is great because we give away the ball that much and we have got to run to get it back. So I can't fault them on that. But I can fault them on the passing, on conceding stupid free-kicks and not dealing with dead-ball situations. You can't give goals away, at any level, the way we are and win football matches. And it really frustrates me when we give the ball away cheaply. Football is a professional game and you are judged on your results. And we aren't good enough. And we aren't good enough at defending dead balls. Players have got to do that." Argyle's defensive deficiencies at set pieces are driving Reid to distraction. He said: "We are going to have to go through it again, and again, and again, which I will do. I know people wouldn't have thought it today, but I can assure you we do passing sessions in training. And we impress on the players about not giving away free-kicks and defending dead-ball situations. Unfortunately, it isn't getting through, but we keep on trying." Reid did take some positives from the match, including the performance of Stephane Zubar on his debut. He added: "Nelson did well and I was delighted with Zubar. It was his first game in a long time and I thought that was a plus. Conor Clifford kept going, and I was pleased for Rory he got a goal, but, apart from that, there wasn't much else." Argyle now face Dagenham and Redbridge at Home Park tomorrow and Reid said: "When you get beaten, it's a huge disappointment. At this moment in time, we can't do anything about it. The only thing we can do about it is get it right on Tuesday against Dagenham."
Peter Reid has declared it is time for his players to take responsibility for their performances. "I keep saying 'we shouldn't do this and we shouldn't do that' but we keep doing it, so it's a major problem," he said. "Sometimes players have got to take responsibility out there. I can't go on the pitch and mark somebody. Years ago I did, and I did it rather well, but I can't do it now. They have got take to responsibility about picking people up, not giving stupid free-kicks away and staying strong. The same things keep happening with different personnel. It's frustrating, but we have just got to keep working at it and hope it changes." Argyle will take on Dagenham and Redbridge at Home Park tomorrow. Reid said: "We are in a battle now. We are down there and we need to show character. And we need to stop giving silly free-kicks away, to deal with dead-ball situations, and to pass the ball better. We are running about and working, but you have to when you give the ball away." The deadline for clubs to make loan signings is on Thursday, but despite Argyle's struggles, Reid admitted he was not expecting to make any additions to his squad. He said: "We have got players here who are better than our league position. You can talk about getting loans in until the cows come home. If we do, we do, but I tell you what, we have got to come out and get results. We have beaten good sides, such as Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday. It's frustrating we aren't doing it consistently, but there is no magic wand. You have got to do it out there on the pitch. That's where you get paid, for the results on a Saturday, and that's my responsibility. I take responsibility for that, but the players have got to as well, without a doubt."
Referee Phil Gibbs made a mistake when he failed to award Argyle an obvious penalty in the second half against Brentford, according to Peter Reid. Marcus Bean clearly handled a cross into the penalty area and Reid was bemused by the fact Gibbs did not spot the handball. He said: "I have never made excuses, and I don't have a go at referees. It's not my style because it's a hard job out there. But I think he got an easy decision wrong, and we have paid the penalty."
Four defeats in a row may have left his players fearing the worst, but Peter Reid insists blowing his top is not in the teams best interests. He said: "I did a TV programme a few years ago and I kicked-off twice in the season, and they showed the two times I kicked-off. You can't give them six of the best with a cane, those days are gone now. I have to work on the training pitch, and go through it again and again. You're better to be constructive. I'm sick of players saying 'I'm sorry, it's my man that scored'. Sorry doesn't get you anything. Just do your job." Reid remains committed to putting things right after the defeat to Brentford. He said: "It frustrates me, just as it frustrates me when we give the ball away, but we're in a battle now and we need to show character. We've got players here that are better than our league position. You can talk about bringing in players and loans until the cows come home. If we do, we do, the players here still have to get results. If you beat Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday, you can beat good sides. Not doing it consistently is frustrating but you have to go out on the training pitch, and then do it on the pitch, that is where you get paid." Reid opted to stick with his starting line-up until the final 10 minutes, instead of making early changes. "It was a tight game and I tried to match it up, and then go wide to have a go at their full-backs," he said. "I could have possibly made an early substitution but it is swings and roundabouts. If you keep working hard, I can't ask for anything more, but we have got to stop making the mistakes we are making. Does it hurt me? Yes it does."
Argyle's youth team drew 2-2 with Exeter City at Millbay Park yesterday, the goals scored by Jack Stephens and Connor Clifford. Argyle: Varazinskis, Sawyer, Richards, Pearce; Harper-Penman, Stephens, Young, Copp, Clifford, Coombes, Rickard. Subs - Sims (not used - Berry, Hart, Vassell, Ord).
Argyle lost 2-1 to Brentford at Home Park, the goal scored by Rory Fallon after 38 minutes. Argyle: Larrieu, Zubar, Nelson, Johnson, Bhasera, Noone, Arnason, Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Patterson (not used – Chenoweth, N'Gala, Duguid, Molyneux, Clark, Mason). Attendance - 6,939.
Yasuaki Kagami is 'committed' to ensuring the existence of Argyle, a pledge that has come from the club's chief operating officer, Tony Campbell. He said: "He is committed to making sure that the club continues to exist. Despite stories to the contrary, Kagami and his group, K&K Shonan Management, have injected significant funds into the club, as have all the directors, without exception. I think it is important for fans to understand Kagami's involvement. It was only ever his intention to become a minority shareholder in the club. He wished to remain very low key, which is why you never saw him sitting in the stands waving an Argyle scarf claiming to have been a lifelong supporter. His interest revolved entirely around the marketing of English football in Japan and any Japanese players who we could attract to the club. The World Cup was never a factor, nor was property development. Neither of these were even on the horizon when Kagami became involved. Kagami became the majority shareholder out of circumstance rather than by design.The club had a director who wanted to leave and Kagami was the only director with the financial ability to resolve the problem. Even when he became the majority shareholder he had no interest in running the club, which is why Keith Todd is now the executive director. It was hoped that marketing income generated by Kagami in the Far East would be reinvested into the club. However, a lack of success on the pitch has adversely affected this strategy. We are where we are. Kagami is not pretending to be anything he is not. He still believes in the club and the long term marketing potential in Asia. Neither the decision on the World Cup bid nor the planning application will affect his commitment to the club."
Peter Reid has confirmed that Adam Sadler will continue working as a first team coach at Argyle. He said: "At this moment in time, Adam is working with me and just overseeing the youth. That will continue for the foreseeable future."
Peter Reid has admitted Argyle have much to work on as they try to start moving up the table. He said: "It's difficult to win football matches if you don't get clean sheets. I go on about defending, and I go on about scoring goals, but in football it's about what happens in both boxes that counts. We haven't been good enough recently, defensively and attacking-wise, and we have got to improve on it." Reid thought Argyle's defeat at Tranmere Rovers last Saturday was a perfect case in point. He said: "I have had a look at the game again and we did have some really good chances. In fact, we had the best chances. They have got a great goal from their point of view, but a really poor one from our point of view. We had possession, we lost it and the lad has made a run and he scores. We had clearcut chances that we didn't stick away. Their 'keeper made a couple of good saves. But with the chances we had I think you have got to be hitting the back of the net. So we have got to stop conceding goals at one end of the pitch and put it in the net at the other end." Argyle have a chance to move up the table with back-to-back matches at Home Park, starting against Brentford tomorrow. Reid said: "It's a massive game tomorrow. When you get beaten three times in a row it's very disappointing. I wasn't too happy with the manner of one of the defeats, but it was a young side. You could say we have been unfortunate in the other couple of games. But if it goes on like that for too long you aren't unfortunate. You have got to get professional about it and manage football matches." Reid understood fully why many fans have been unhappy with the performances. He added: "We have got to give them something on the park, and we have got to give them some results. They pay their money, and their support has been fantastic, but we haven't been good enough."
Peter Reid has revealed that a deal which would have seen Krisztian Timar leave Argyle on loan has fallen through. He would not disclose the club involved, or the reasons why it would not be taking place. He said: "It's the other end, not ours, so I don't want to delve into why they have pulled out." The deadline for emergency loan signings is next Thursday, and Reid was away from Home Park earlier this week on a scouting trip. "I spoke to certain people about players but nothing is imminent," he said.
Conor Clifford wants to start getting among the goals during the second month of his loan spell at Argyle. He said: "I think I have done quite well, but there is still a lot more I can give to the team. I'm happy enough with how I'm playing. Hopefully, I can just keep it up and get a few goals. I haven't got off the mark yet, but hopefully, I will get my first one tomorrow. When I came here, the gaffer had me sitting in the midfield, to get used to it really. But now he has taken my reins off a bit and I can play my proper game. I will be trying to get forward a lot more, to get some shots in, and to get closer to Brad." Clifford had not played any first team football before signing on loan for Argyle and has enjoyed the experience tremendously. "I have loved it" he said. "It's brilliant I have got games under my belt. The whole idea was for me to come down here and play some games and get good experience. The gaffer has been brilliant. He has thrown me in and I have been in the team ever since I have been here, so it has gone really well. The results haven't been as good as I would have wanted, but I'm staying for another month so, hopefully, we can get a few more wins." Playing in League One has certainly been an eye-opener for Clifford, who added: "It's more up in the air, and more of a battle, than I'm used to, but it has been good to learn a different style of football. I think I have dealt with it quite well. It was a shock at first, though, because back at Chelsea the reserves is more tippy-tappy, nice football." Chelsea have closely monitored his progress while Clifford has been with Argyle. He said: "Steve Holland, Chelsea's reserve team boss, and Neil Bath the academy manager have been in contact with me a few times. They were really happy for me to stay here because I'm playing games and it's good experience for me. I have signed for another month and, hopefully, I will do well and we will see what happens then." Clifford revealed he had received a lot of encouragement from his team-mates at Argyle. He said: "I'm living with Nooney and he, Doogie and Fletch have all really helped me. The lads down here are great and I feel like I have known them all my life. I'm really good mates with them. I couldn't wait to get out on loan and it has been everything I expected. I'm just happy to be here and playing games. The lads were buzzing in training yesterday and are looking forward to the game tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get a run of wins, which would move us back up the table. A lot of the games have been really tight and it's just all about taking our chances."
Stephane Zubar is set to make his debut for Argyle in the game against Brentford tomorrow and the team will also be boosted by the return of Kari Arnason , after a four-match suspension. Peter Reid stopped short of confirming Zubar would start, but said: "He will be in the squad and comes into contention. Arnie is a decent player, and the likes of him and Fletch are bound to be missed by us." Arnason will probably play in the centre of midfield with Conor Clifford. Reid said: "I think the boy Clifford has done really well for us. It's part of his football education. He's enjoying it here, although I think he would enjoy it more if we started winning – like all of us. He's an infectious type of boy, and I'm just delighted that Chelsea have let us have him for an extended period." Reid has spoken about his concern over the teams disciplinary record earlier this month, but is now worried the players have gone from one extreme to another. He said: "A couple of weeks ago we had a problem with bookings and sendings-off, but I don't think we won enough tackles last week. I have got to get that happy balance, which is driving me mad. I'm on about the players being sensible in their approach to it but, equally, I don't want them to duck out of the physical side. They have got to manage the game better. We need to win a few more tackles but in a sensible manner." Argyle will take on Brentford without the injured trio of Carl Fletcher, David Button and Jim Paterson, but all three are getting closer to a return to action. Reid said: "Fletch trained yesterday and did non-physical contact work, so that's good news. David is back at Spurs and we are hoping he will be back in full training next week." Paterson has been out of action since suffering a torn hamstring on October 2, but took a full part in training yesterday. "It's just trying to get them up to that match fitness, and trying to get them into games, but at least they are on the training pitch," Reid added. "Jim was in really fine form when he got his injury."
Rory Patterson has enjoyed a confidence boost after scoring his first international goal, and that could lead to a return to the Argyle starting line-up. Peter Reid is planning to watch a rerun of the game on TV today and said: "Whatever you say about penalties, with five minutes to go in an international, you've still got to stick it in the back of the net. I will be having a look at the full 90 minutes again today. It's a bonus to have the lad play a full international game and get a goal. It will give him great confidence and adds competition for places. If he shows me he's up for it and puts in good performances, he gets a chance because his record proves he does hit the net. He has to fight for a place because there are a lot of lads in the team who didn't start the season in the team. The door is always open."
Kari Arnason has not been a happy spectator so far this month and is eager to return to the Argyle team tomorrow. "There's nothing worse than watching the team when you're fit," he said. "It isn't like watching any team on TV, it's more personal than that. You truly want them to win and do well." When was asked if he had learned from his dismissal at Oldham, he replied: "I guess I had to take the result of the stupid thing I did. I went for the ball all in, like I always do, and he just got there early and I got there late. Yes, I led with my elbow. I'm not going to elbow anybody in the face on purpose, but that's how I go for headers to protect myself. It looked bad, because I was running towards him and he was standing still. Yes, it was probably a red card. It won't put me off going in hard for a 50-50 ball but, if that's what the gaffer wants me to do, then that's what I'll have to do. Yes, we have been giving away stupid free-kicks, but I don't think there's anything wrong with going in hard into 50-50 challenges." Argyle have not thrived in Arnason's absence and he added: "We can't seem to string two wins together. We need to do the basics right, we know that. We can play all the fancy football we want, but, if it isn't effective, we won't succeed. It all comes down to how solid we are at the back. If we have a solid back four, most likely we'll succeed." Argyle will be trying to pick up six points from home games against Brentford tomorrow and Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday. Arnason said: "We seem to do better against the better opponents, but we struggle against the teams we're supposed to be able to control games against. As long as we keep our heads and just do our work, our quality should exceed theirs." When he was asked if he believed in the team's ability to climb up the table, Arnason replied: "I think, when everyone is fit, we have a good enough team to do it. I've always thought that. If we can manage to string a few wins together, then anything is possible in this league."
Conor Clifford's loan spell from Chelsea has been officially extended for another month. Peter Reid said: "It's good that we've got Conor for another month, it's the news that we wanted at this stage of the season. I spoke to Frank Arnesen and he kindly agreed that we could extend the lad's loan with us. Conor's enjoying the experience of playing with us and he's been good for us. And with Arni also available after missing four matches through suspension, we've got more options in the middle of the park. The young lads who have come in during have been terrific for us, but Arni has a calming presence and has bags of experience under his belt, which we've missed. But, on the plus-side, Arni was carrying a couple of injuries, which because of his enforced rest, have been able to clear up." Reid added that although Stephane Zubar has not played competitively since a pre-season friendly at QPR, he had no qualms about starting him against Brentford. He added: "Yes, we've got the lad Zubar available for us and while he's not had the chance to play for us, I wouldn't be afraid to bringing him straight in. I know he's fit enough and keen enough to play, so I'm not worried about starting him. It's important that we start getting some good results after a pretty disastrous couple of weeks results-wise. We need to kick-on now and having these players to add to the squad can only help us."
An experienced Argyle side won 3-1 at Plymouth Parkway in the Devon St Luke's Bowl last night, the goals scored by Ryan Leonard, Connor Clifford and Jed Harper-Penman. Adam Sadler was delighted with the performance of his side, and said: "The attitude was first class on a difficult night where the pitch made it very tough. However, we tried to play football and do it right way and, as it went on and opened up, we played some terrific football, particularly in the final third. It was a great result, a professional performance and one without injuries." Sadler was also very complementary about the hosts. He said: "Parkway were fantastic. They played their hearts out in a professional manner and the hospitality we received at Bolitho Park great and I'd like to say a big thank you and wish them all the best for the rest of the season." Argyle: Chenoweth, Zubar, Seip, Timar, Richards, Leonard, Stephens, Peterlin, Clifford, Rickard, Baker. Subs – Copp, Young, Harper-Penman (not used - Berry, Varazinskis).
Rory Patterson won his fourth cap, and scored his first goal, for Northern Ireland in their 1-1 friendly draw against Morocco last night.
Stephane Zubar is desperate to prove to Peter Reid that the long wait to sign him was worth it. A dispute with Zubar's former club in Romania dragged on for far longer than expected, but was finally resolved earlier this week. Zubar said: "The manager has played a massive part in getting me out of Romania. It's a nice feeling when someone with his experience and what he has achieved in football shows that kind of faith in you. I believe I have got something to offer Plymouth Argyle and I can't wait to show the manager what I can do." Argyle were so frustrated by the hold-up in signing Zubar they took their case to FIFA, world football's governing body. Zubar added: "It was a very long process. Initially. I thought it was going to take up to a month, but the people in Romania made it as difficult as they could. There were all sorts of things going on, and it would take all day to tell you about them. The one worry I had was I would walk in one day and the manager would say 'we have done everything we can, but it's not going to happen'. I'm thankful to everyone involved who has been pushing to get this sorted out. We did everything we could, it was just the Romanian side of it that was difficult." Zubar believes in one way the saga could turn out to be a benefit for him. He said: "The last three months haven't been easy, but I have had a lot of support from my family, my agent, and even the group of players here. I was part of the squad in training all week, but I knew I didn't have a chance of being named in the team. That was difficult. But I have tried to take the positives out of it. It has given me time to watch some games and find out what this league is all about, and what is expected of me. I think that might help me to settle in when I get my chance to play in the team." Zubar admitted his transition to life at Home Park had been made easier by the presence of Romain Larrieu and defender Reda Johnson. He said: "The fact Reda and Romain are here has helped me greatly. I have played in Belgium and Romania – where I was pretty much on my own – so coming to Plymouth has been a piece of cake! I'm excited about trying to get in the team and trying to get up to the level which I know I'm capable of. That might take three or four games because I haven't played since May. I just want to hit the ground running and help the team achieve their goals." Zubar is ready for the challenge of playing in League One, and added: "I'm giving 100 per cent in every single training session. Hopefully, that will be enough for me to shorten that wait." He insisted he did not mind whether he was used at right-back or in central defence, and said: "I just want to be in the team, and it doesn't really bother me which position I play in. From what I have seen in the games and in training, there is a squad of players with a lot of quality. Before I went to Romania, I had trials with a few clubs in this league, and this squad is way better than anything I can remember from then. This league is very tight and there is still a lot of football to be played this season."
Rory Patterson is set to start for Northern Ireland when they play Morocco in a friendly in Belfast tonight.
Argyle are set to extend Conor Clifford's loan spell at Home Park. Peter Reid has been in discussion with Chelsea Director of Football Frank Arnesen and the new agreement is expected to be in place before Brentford visit Home Park on Saturday. "We have been delighted with Conor's contribution over the last month," said Reid. "I have been in discussions with Frank Arnesen and we are expecting the paperwork to be completed by the end of this week. I would like to again express my gratitude to Chelsea for allowing Conor to continue his development with us."
Keith Todd has appealed for unity as Argyle try to stop their season from unravelling. He said: "I have always said playing football is unlike any other job in life. I would ask the fans to think about it – imagine 6,000 or 7,000 people watching you at work each day, and when you make a mistake how would you feel? I'm sure you would feel better if you were given encouragement by those around you, so I think we all need to get behind the team and Reidy. The guys are good characters and I'm confident we will come through this. The one thing we must not do is start complaining at each other. We have got to be focused and the results will come. Reidy is a good bloke, there are some great characters in the team and the skill is there. I'm sure they are going to be big enough to pull it all together. This league is still very close. We have just got to get some results on the board." Argyle's financial plight continues to be a cause for concern among supporters, especially after the team's early exits from all the cup competitions. Todd said: "We have got to start putting some results together. The business model is pretty straightforward. If you put some entertaining performances in, and get a few wins, the fans will keep coming back." Asked directly about Argyle's financial state, Todd replied: "It's no different from what I have said before. We have got to start improving on the pitch, and that will increase the income coming in."
The signing of Stephane Zubar was finally completed today. Argyle's Football Secretary Carole Rowntree said: "It was the most protracted transfer in ten years of doing this job. The manager has been in my office every day. The transfer process can be incredibly complex, with international clearance and any issues between the player and his former club to be considered, but this deal reached a new level of difficulty." Zubar has been training with Argyle throughout the transfer process and his English is improving all the time. "There were times when it was difficult to see the end of the process but it is now all worthwhile," he said. "I am very happy to have been given the support of the players and staff. It has been difficult because I obviously wanted to play but the up side was having time to get to know the players and the club as a whole. I wanted to compete for a place in the team a lot earlier than this, especially with some results going against us for one reason or another. It is difficult to watch from the stands. The main frustration is to train all week and do all the work, and then you are not able to be selected for the match. I can play at right-back or centre-back - all I want is to be on the pitch. I have learned the basic language of what you need to know on the pitch. Football is the same everywhere. The ball is round and you deal with a situation as a defender."
A desperate late onslaught could not save Argyle from defeat against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, Rory Fallon spurning one chance, while Bradley Wright-Phillips had a header cleared off the line. Curtis Nelson and Joe Mason also forced Tranmere's 'keeper into saves and in the last minute of stoppage time Craig Noone was denied by another excellent stop. Peter Reid said: "How we haven't got one in the last couple of minutes I don't know. We have had numerous really good chances and we haven't stuck any of them away. Their 'keeper has made a couple of saves, and they defended desperately. But from those sort of situations you would hope to get one in the back of the net." Argyle could have taken the lead in only the second minute when Wright-Phillips latched onto a pass from Noone, but his shot was saved. Reid said: "It was a great ball by Craig Noone and, seeing it was Bradley, I thought it was going to be 1-0. But the 'keeper has made a save and we couldn't capitalise on it. I thought we always looked dangerous, but if you don't stick it in the back of the net you are going to struggle. They have got a bit of pace up front, on that left-side, and I thought we just sat too deep. I know you are leaving space in behind, but you have got to push up and make it difficult for them. They had too much room to play in. Once we got them on the back foot we created chances but we couldn't stick any in." Noone was Argyle's best player and deserved a goal, but Reid did not blame him, or Wright-Phillips, for failing to take their chances. He said: "They both got there and they hit the target. That's all you can ask from your players." Reid made only one change to Argyle's starting line-up, Reda Johnson being recalled and Rory Fallon dropped. Johnson was paired with Bondz N'Gala at centre-back, and Curtis Nelson was pushed into midfield alongside Conor Clifford. Chris Clark moved to the right side of midfield, which allowed Yannick Bolasie to partner Wright-Phillips in attack. Reid said: "I thought N'Gala and Johnson did alright until their left-sider started to get into the game. I know you are looking at your right-back to stop him, but I think he scored from the middle of the goal. Sometimes you have got to deal with that situation and leave men. It's a great goal for Tranmere, but it's a very poor goal defensively for us. You can't have people running half the length of the pitch and coming in onto their right foot and sticking it in the bottom corner. No-one laid a glove on him. It was poor."
Kari Arnason has completed a four-match suspension and will now come into contention for the game against Brentford. Peter Reid said: "Arnason is back, which will be a big bonus for us. It has been a terrible week. It's a hard league, and anyone can beat anyone, but we need to start winning games."
Craig Noone returned to his native Merseyside on Saturday, but could not lead the team to a win. "We created a couple of chances, but we left it too late in the end," he said. "We should have bossed the game a bit more. We passed it around, but maybe we should have got it up the field a bit quicker, like we did towards the end of the game. On another day, we would have scored from one of the chances we made. I had two or three chances, and Bradley has put away chances like the one he had every week in the past." Their inconsistency is frustrating for Noone and his team-mates. "We can't get a run going," he said. "We're only getting the odd win here and there. We've got two home games coming up, which we've got to get points from." In the absence of Carl Fletcher, Noone has led out the team in recent games. "I'm really proud of being skipper," he added. "I've come a long way since I first came here, and being made captain was probably the biggest moment of my career. Every time I get the armband, I just want to play my normal game, but try that bit harder."
Peter Reid thinks there is 'a chance' that Conor Clifford will extend his loan spell at Home Park. When asked whether he thought the loan would be extended, Reid said: "Do I think? I just hope. I've had a chat with the boy himself and a chat with Frank and I hope we can conclude something in the next few days. I think there's a chance. I don't want to say 'yeah' and I don't want to say 'no'." Clifford teamed up with Curtis Nelson in the centre of the midfield at Prenton Park. "They were strong," said Reid. "It was a good competitive battle and, certainly, my midfield players will only get better. Both of them did ever so well."
Peter Reid thought his side deserved something from yesterday's game at Tranmere. He said: "How we haven't got a goal in the last couple of minutes I really don't know. We've had numerous really good chances and we haven't stuck them away - their keeper made some really good saves, and they defended desperately, but from those situations you hope to get one in the back of the net. I thought we were dangerous and we always looked dangerous, but if you don't stick it in the back of the net then you're going to struggle."
The Argyle youth team won 2-0 at Herford United yesterday, the goals scored by Jamie Richards and Jake Baker. Argyle: Varazinskis, Sawyer, Clifford, Berry, Richards, Pearce, Harper-Penman, Young, Rickard, Copp, Baker. Subs - Ord, Vassell, Sims (not used - Coombes, Hart).
Argyle lost 1-0 at Tranmere Rovers. Argyle: Larrieu, Duguid, N'Gala, Johnson, Bhasera, Clark, Noone, Nelson Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips. Subs - Mason, Fallon (not used – Chenoweth, Seip, Molyneux, Stephens, Patterson). Attendance - 4,840.
Bondz N'Gala will not make any changes to his style of play, despite being sent off twice this season, and intends to continue being aggressive when it comes to his defending. N'Gala vowed to learn the lessons from his two red cards this season, but added: "I'm still going to go out there and be aggressive and do what I can for the team so we win games. If you look at my sendings-off, they aren't reckless. That's not in my nature. They are things I can avoid, and I will try to avoid them from now on and be more careful. You live and learn from it." N'Gala thought his red card against Oldham had been a harsh decision. He said: "It was a penalty, however I wasn't the last man so I don't believe it was a sending-off. The ref told me he was sending me off because it had been a clear goalscoring opportunity. You would think that's what penalties are for, so I thought it was unfair in that respect. You have just got to deal with these things." N'Gala served a two-match suspension after his dismissal against Oldham and also missed the defeat against Swindon Town last Saturday. He said: "It's always frustrating to miss any game, whether you are suspended, injured or not in the squad. But it's part and parcel of football, and you have got to learn to deal with it and try to get back in the side." He returned to action for Argyle's game against Exeter City on Tuesday, and said: "It was a massive blow to lose in the last minute of that game, especially as it was a derby. It means so much to the fans, and to us as well. The ground was fuller than it usually is and, obviously, that's a great feeling. The support was lively and it was a good atmosphere to play in." Argyle are away to Tranmere today and N'Gala is keen for them to improve their position in the table. "It's a very busy period of matches, and I think now is the time we have got to come together as a team and pick up some points," he said. "We had a good win against Bristol Rovers in our last league game, so we should go on and try to push up the table."
Onismor Bhasera is looking forward to the resumption of league football this afternoon, after an unsuccessful break to play in two cup-tie competitons. With two home games to follow after the game at Prenton Park, Bhasera believes Argyle are capable of a rapid rise up the table. "If we can go on a run and win three games in a row, that's nine points in the bag," he said. "That would take us very far. The league table is very close and very tight, there are so many teams very close together, so we badly want to come home with three points this weekend. We have managed to win some good points away from home, and we can definitely get something from this game. We want to have the points in the bag." The teams downfall in the games they have not won has been caused, more often than not, by defensive mishaps and Bhasera knows that the slip-ups have to stop. "We need to get our confidence back, and we need to try to keep clean-sheets," he said. "If we can do that, we will always have a chance to win games. That is what we have been working on. We need to stop conceding silly goals, and we need to minimise mistakes." Argyle's cause has not been helped by the lack of a settled side, especially in defence, but that is no excuse for low standards, according to Bhasera. He added: "We have had some suspensions and injuries, so there have been changes, but everyone is capable of doing their jobs. Anybody who is given the task of playing has to go in there and do his best." Having had a spell playing on the left side of midfield, Bhasera has settled back into his favourite role. "Left-back is my position," he said. "I can play left-wing, but left-back is my best place in the team."
Peter Reid has presided over 15 League One fixtures since arriving at Home Park, and he knows where his priorities lie. He wants his team to do the best they can on a consistent basis, rather than produce displays of differing standards. "We're up and down," he said. "There's been a lack of consistency, some good performances and some very bad performances. We need to improve. The players are working hard, but there have been too many silly mistakes. Good football sides are consistent, and we're not consistent. That's a fact of life. We have to try to get that into our play." First of all, Reid wants his side to cut out the defensive mishaps which have plagued them. "Anybody can beat anybody on their day in this league, but we can't get that level of consistency that makes us hard to beat," he added. "We've just got to get harder to beat, and stop giving things away." Reid has absolutely no regrets about moving to Plymouth. "It's still a great job, a great football club, but sometimes you can't change things overnight," he said. If Curtis Nelson is rested today, the likelihood is that Reda Johnson will resume his partnership with Bondz N'Gala. Marcel Seip harmed his chances of a run in the side with a lacklustre display last Saturday, and was dropped on Tuesday. Krisztian Timar, remains out of favour. "I think he's a great professional, but I think it's a bit of a struggle for him," Reid said. "I know he had a bad injury, and sometimes it takes a little bit longer than you think. Pace-wise and mobility-wise, it's a struggle for the lad at the moment." Whoever plays at the back, Reid is seeking solidity. "The amount of goals we've been conceding does concern me," he said. "We haven't had a clean-sheet since Cheltenham, and we could have done something about the goals I've been watching going in. That has been disappointing."
Carl Fletcher faces at least another fortnight on the sidelines because of a badly bruised leg and Argyle will also still be without David Button for the trip to Tranmere Rovers tomorrow. Reda Johnson will be available however, and Peter Reid said: "Reda trained yesterday and is fit and available for selection, which is good news. Fletcher has a deep haematoma, which is taking it's time to heal. You can't have much treatment for them. You just have to let Mother Nature take her course, so that's a blow. Button isn't going to be fit for tomorrow, which is another blow. It's a similar type of injury to the one Fletch has, deep inside the thigh muscle." Reid admitted Argyle had missed the experience of Fletcher during his lay-off. He said: "I think you do miss somebody with the experience of Fletch, but young Conor has done great and I thought Clark did well the other night. We did okay in the centre of midfield. It was other areas where I thought we struggled." Clark had been dropped by Reid after a poor performance in the defeat against Notts County. Reid added: "He was a lot better the other night, and I was pleased for the boy because he's a good pro and a good lad. I think he showed us something of his true form." The return of Johnson could lead to a change in defence against Tranmere but Reid could continue with Bondz N'Gala and Curtis Nelson as two centre-backs. Nelson was substituted in the second half against Exeter because he was suffering from cramp. However, he trained yesterday without any after-effects. Reid said: "I thought he was terrific the other night, to be perfectly honest. It's one we will continue to monitor, but it gives me more options with Reda being fit."
Peter Reid has admitted it will take him time to turn around the fortunes of struggling Argyle. "It has been hard," he said. "When I was interested in the job, I obviously looked at the squad situation and the league, and it's a difficult one. But it's a great job at a great football club and sometimes you can't change things overnight. I'm not making any excuses. It's difficult but we will come through it. It's up to me, and up to all the players, to fight through it. We have got to get harder to beat and stop giving goals away." Reid was adamant there was still a lot for Argyle to play for, even though they only had League One to focus on for the rest of the campaign. He said: "It could go two ways because we are seven points off second and three points off the relegation places. The league is that tight. So you can't let it fall away. You can either get sucked down the table or go up it, and I prefer to go up it. That's the challenge. We have had some good performances and some very bad performances, and we need to improve. At this moment in time, the players here are working hard, but we are making silly mistakes. Like I have said before, good football sides are consistent, but we aren't consistent. That's a fact, so we have got to try to get that in our play." Reid remains upbeat that Argyle can make a positive impact in the league this season. "With no disrespect to anybody, but if you take a couple of teams away there is a much of a muchness about this league," he said. "Anybody can beat anybody else on the day. It's ridiculous when you look at some of the teams we have beaten, but we can't get that level of consistency." Argyle have conceded 16 goals in their last seven games, and that is a concern for Reid. He said: "Sometimes you concede goals from good play and you think, 'That's difficult to defend against'. But the goals I'm watching going in, we could do something about. That's disappointing from our point of view because if you are conceding at one end it's difficult to win football matches." Tranmere Rovers' manager is their former physio Les Parry, and Reid added: "I know Les very well. He's a real character and his team mirror that. They will be very busy. Prenton Park is always a difficult place to go to, so we have got to be up for it – mentally and physically – because it isn't going to be a cakewalk. They are scrapping for their lives and have had a couple of good results recently. Les has been there a long time and he's a good Scouse character. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he's a good football man."
Luke Summerfield has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, which has ended any chance of him being involved in a father-son clash when Argyle play Tranmere Rovers tomorrow. Kevin Summerfield has been the assistant manager to Les Parry at Tranmere since the summer. Luke had returned to full training this week, but Peter Reid said: "Summerfield has had a setback. He just went over on it and it has swollen up again on him."
Steve MacLean has joined Oxford United on loan for a month. Peter Reid said: "He's having a month with them to get a few games under his belt and also to get some match fitness so we hope he can do well for them."
No decision has been taken yet on whether Conor Clifford will have his loan spell at Argyle extended. Peter Reid said: "I spoke to Frank Arnesen last week, and I will be speaking to him again in the next couple of days." Dean Parrett had his season-long loan with Argyle cancelled on Tuesday and Reid described the decision as 'by mutual consent', but it followed Parrett's red card for a reckless two-footed tackle against Swindon. He said: "The boy worked hard while he was here and did well in certain games. But I have got other players who are ready to come back in that position." Reid was asked whether Parrett's dismissal had been a factor in the decision to end his loan spell early. "No, not really," he replied. "It's just one of those things in football. I had a word with Tim Sherwood, and I had a word with the boy, and by mutual consent we decided he would go back."
Peter Reid has challenged his under-achieving players to salvage the club's season, starting when they travel to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday. "We just haven't been good enough and we will need to improve on it," he said. Reid realised the fans would have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat against Exeter, and added: "There is no way we can affect that now. We have just got to affect it at Tranmere. We have got to be positive and try to get a result at Tranmere. If we can get three points, we are up that league. That's a priority at the moment. I was disappointed for the fans and disappointed for the players on Tuesday. But, at the end of the day, we shot ourselves in the foot and we have got to bounce back against Tranmere. A cup run puts money in the coffers and it's good for confidence, but it's not to be. We have just got to do it in the league now." Reid was particularly frustrated by his side's inability to retain possession against Exeter in key areas of the pitch. He said: "I just thought we gave the ball away in the final third too many times. We kept on going, but you can't afford to do that. I can remember us giving the ball away, in good possession, half-a-dozen times, and then Exeter were at us. It wasn't difficult, so that was disappointing. The players worked hard, but there wasn't enough quality where we needed it." Exeter took the lead in only the second minute when Ryan Harley scored with a 20-yard shot and Reid was annoyed at the way Argyle conceded the early goal. He said: "We started the game slowly and dropped off deep. Exeter got the ball and sent it back and we had no-one shutting it down. You can't afford that – a free set-up and a free shot." Argyle equalised in the 52nd minute when Chris Clark punished a poor clearance from Exeter goalkeeper Artur Krysiak. Reid said: "You could say it was a mistake by Krysiak. But I would rather say it was a terrific goal. Clark had a great first touch and it was a lovely chip. You can't blame the 'keeper. He was trying to get back. We were on the front foot after that for a bit, but we just weren't good enough in the final third to win the game." Exeter scored the decisive goal in the final minute of stoppage time when Daniel Nardiello fired a shot past Romain Larrieu. Reid added: "We had comfortable possession and gave it away, and we got caught with a sucker punch, which is really disappointing. You have got to be able to manage a football match, and we didn't do that well enough." After scoring ten goals in his last ten League One games, Bradley Wright-Phillips hardly had a shot at goal in Tuesday's loss or last Saturday's defeat at home to Swindon Town. When Reid was asked if he was concerned about his top scorer's last two displays, he replied: "Sometimes strikers do that. I still think we look as though we've got goals in us, but we need to get the ball to Bradley in the right positions. We tried to use his pace and slide balls down the side for him, but we didn't handle the ball well enough in the final third. We haven't been good enough, and we need to improve." One slim consolation was that Argyle played at a higher tempo against Exeter than they had done against Swindon. Reid also recognised some good individual performances. He said: "Curtis Nelson, who had to come off with cramp, had a terrific game for us. Clark came in from the cold and did smashing for us. It was a good game, and I know what a Devon derby is like now. There was a tremendous atmosphere."
Peter Reid is already concentrating on three points at Tranmere after the Devon Derby defeat at Home Park last night. "Home ties in the FA Cup and the Johnstone's Paint, and after a great result against Bristol Rovers, you want to kick on," he said. "A cup run is good for confidence but it was not to be. Even though we've had a few injuries and people not in the side, it's not been good enough. We've got to improve. We will look positive and try to get three points at Tranmere - that's the priority. I'm disappointed for the fans and the players, but we've got to bounce back."
Peter Reid believes he will have to move players on in January to make his side competitive. He said: "You don't get easy jobs - it's a great club that needs work and I'll get that work done. I've got some good players and I've got some players that I need to move on, that's just a fact of life. We've just got to work hard on the training pitch and then it's up to me when I get the opportunity to get some better players in."
Argyle lost 2-1 to Exeter City at Home Park in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the goal scored by Chris Clark after 52 minutes. Argyle: Larrieu, Duguid, N'Gala, Nelson, Bhasera, Clark, Noone, Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Mason, Seip (not used – Chenoweth, Stephens, Patterson). Attendance - 9,431.
Dean Parrett has returned to Tottenham Hotspur after Argyle and Spurs agreed to end the loan, which had originally been until the end of the season. The decision was taken following discussions between Peter Reid and Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood. Reid said: "I had a chat with Tim Sherwood and we both agreed that the boy's best interests would be served by returning to White Hart Lane. I'd like to thank Tim, Harry Redknapp and Spurs for allowing Dean to come here and wish him all the best for his future career."
Argyle renew their rivalry with Exeter City when the teams meet in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Home Park tonight and Peter Reid is well aware of the importance of the game. "I have been involved in a lot of derby games, and I know what it means," he said. "I know this one is very fervent, and we are desperate to win tonight for ourselves and the support." Bobby Saxton spent a week with Argyle earlier this season and told Reid about some of his experiences of Argyle and Exeter clashes, having played for and managed both clubs. Reid said: "Bobby Saxton has been involved on both sides of the fence and we talk about derby games when we are out socially. We had a few of them when we were together. He has told me everything I need to know about this one." Romain Larrieu is the only member of the squad to have played against Exeter but Reid is convinced his team-mates also realise the significance of the match. "I think the majority of them have been in the area for a length of time so they are aware of it," he said. "But as big as derby games are, and they are, every game is so important. The FA Cup tie was just as important to me, and the game at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday will be as well, perhaps even more so because you get three points. Tonight is a massive game, and it's one we need to win, but I think every game comes under that category, without a doubt." Argyle will want to bounce back from their drubbing by Swindon and Reid added: "We were pretty poor on Saturday, but the couple of games before that were exciting football matches, and really good performances from us. I just want to get the team back to playing that way. I hope the fans come out and support us, that it's a good game of football, and we win it."
Rory Patterson has been named in the Northern Ireland squad for their friendly against Morocco in Belfast next Wednesday.
Peter Reid was at a loss to explain why Argyle played so poorly when they lost to Swindon and thought the only players to come out of the game with any credit were Romain Larrieu and Curtis Nelson. He said: "I thought Romain was terrific. One low-down save he made was absolutely outstanding. They are the most difficult ones for 'keepers to make. I thought there were only two people who came out of the game with any credit. One of them was Romain and the other was Curtis Nelson, who kept on going fantastically well. Apart from that, there wasn't much else to come out of it. We were half a yard off the pace for whatever reason. I don't know why because in training we have been conscious of the heavy ground and it has all been short and sharp. Hopefully, we will get a better response tonight." Larrieu was only recalled against Swindon because David Button was ruled out by a dead leg. Button has also been hit by illness, so Larrieu seems certain to start against Exeter tonight. Reid said: "A few of the lads have had 24-hour sickness, and he is one of them. He has still got a problem with his thigh, but we will have a look at him today." Reid is also waiting on the fitness of Bondz N'Gala, who has completed a two-match ban after being sent-off at Oldham, but has been troubled by an ankle injury.
Conor Clifford will return to action against Exeter City tonight and Peter Reid described that as 'a big bonus' for the team as they bid to make it into the last eight of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. "We have got Conor back in the middle of the park tonight, which is a big bonus for us," he said. "He can get his foot on the ball and start us passing." Reid has seen his options in the centre of midfield reduced by injuries to Carl Fletcher and Luke Summerfield, while Kari Arnason and Dean Parrett are both suspended. Fletcher has missed the last four matches and had another scan of his injury yesterday, but there is no timescale on when he will be available again. Onismor Bhasera will be fit to face Exeter, despite being substituted near the end of the defeat by Swindon because of a slight calf injury. Bradley Wright-Phillips was also taken off on Saturday as he has been troubled by a sore knee. Reid said: "Bas was feeling his calf and Brad was feeling his knee, and we weren't going to win the game at that score, so I thought it necessary to protect those little niggles."
Peter Reid has dismissed the fatigue factor ahead of the Devon derby with Exeter City tonight. "I am still one of those who thinks players should be able to handle three games in a week," he said. "They're supposed to be fitter, they're looked after and I can't really get my head round fatigue and three games in a week being a problem. Different managers and coaches have different ideas on that. I've got no qualms on players playing three games in a week, if you get their training right. The couple of games before Saturday were exciting football matches with really good performances. I want to get the team back to playing that way."
Romain Larrieu will have more reason than most to want to help Argyle record a victory over Exeter City tonight. He said: "We want a chance to redeem ourselves. It's going to be a big game and we don't want to lose. We don't want to lose any game but we know this one's a big one. I played a few games earlier in the season when I didn't play to my full level. I didn't really enjoy it and didn't feel like I had made the most of the opportunity. I think I can play better than that."
Peter Reid offered no excuses after Argyle's 4-0 FA Cup defeat by Swindon Town on Saturday. He said: "They bossed us all over the pitch. Our front man, Rory, got no change from their defenders, we didn't get a hold of the middle of the park and their front men bossed our defenders. So I have got no complaints about the result. I think we were poor. I did have a look at changing the team, but our performance in midweek was great, so I stuck with it. In hindsight, maybe I might have changed one or two. I just thought we were on a roll, but we weren't at the races. It was like men against boys out there, in terms of a physical contest.They were stronger than us, and they were a yard quicker than us. In terms of getting it down and playing, I thought we played some decent stuff but it was powderpuff football where we didn't really hurt them." Argyle have repeatedly conceded goals from set pieces this season, and it was no different on Saturday. Reid said: "To be fair, the 'keeper made three or four really good saves. But when you concede off dead balls, and people should be marking, that makes it even more disappointing. So, all in all, we were way off the pace." Argyle were without eight players against Swindon because of either injury, suspension or unavailability but Reid would not blame that for his team's performance. "Swindon had players out," he said. "We had a good result in midweek, but we haven't seen it through. Taking nothing away from Swindon, who I thought played well, but it was too easy for them. That disappoints me more than anything." Argyle lacked the drive that Conor Clifford has added to the team since signing on loan from Chelsea. "We certainly missed him, without a doubt," said Reid. "It's amazing when you have got a 19-year-old as a leader. I don't know whether that tells you something about us, or something about him." Reid substituted Rory Fallon and Bradley Wright-Phillips in the second half. Wright-Phillips was taken off as a precaution because he has had a slight knee injury but Fallon did not have one of his better matches, and there were cheers from some supporters when he was substituted. "The crowd get after Rory a bit, and I don't think it was his greatest performance, but he was trying," said Reid. "It just didn't come off for him today. I know it gets frustrating for the fans, but all I would say is to them don't forget he was wearing a Plymouth Argyle shirt." Onismor Bhasera was also substituted in the second half and Reid revealed that was because of a calf problem. When Swindon scored their fourth goal, many Argyle fans headed for the exits. Reid understood their reaction and said: "We haven't given them anything today. It's tight out there, in terms of people earning money. We all know how difficult it is. The financial meltdown has hit everyone. The fans pay their money and we didn't come up with the goods. In certain circumstances, you can't blame them. We have got to give them more than that. The fans know when you have had a go. But today it was too easy."
Argyle crashed to their heaviest Home Park defeat in 16 years as they lost 4-0 to Swindon Town in the FA Cup on Saturday and it could have been even worse had it not been for some outstanding saves by Romain Larrieu. He said: "We started slow and sloppy, and we didn't do the basics things, which has cost us too many times. The gaffer keeps banging on about it, and it's going to have to stop. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. The first two goals came from set pieces and, in the end, a 4-0 defeat at home is just not good enough, whichever way you look at it." Larrieu took no consolation from the fact he had saved Argyle from a complete rout. He said: "When Deano got sent-off, it was always going to be a hell of a climb to get back into the game. But it's pointless talking about individual performances. It doesn't matter who plays well when you lose 4-0. I'm sorry, but it's a team game so you can't really single anyone out." Larrieu was not totally satisfied with his performance, despite his series of saves and thought he should have stopped Sean Morrison from heading the Robins into the lead in the 23rd minute. Larrieu said: "I do feel I should have saved it, but I don't think it would have changed much in the end. It's disappointing. I can't remember conceding four goals here. I don't think I have, and that's even more disappointing." Argyle have an immediate chance to make amends when they play Exeter City in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tomorrow. Larrieu added: "That's what you want, a game to redeem yourself. But I have had to say it too many times, we shouldn't be trying to redeem ourselves. We should go into every game with the mentality to try to win it. It's going to be a big game. The fans have been waiting for it for quite a few years now. The boys will be looking forward to it. It's one game you don't really want to lose. You don't want to lose any, but this is a big one."
Dean Parrett became the seventh Argyle player to be sent-off this season, being dismissed for a two-footed tackle on David Prutton. PeterReid had no sympathy for Parrett. "It was another lack of discipline," he said. "That's seven off this season, which is ridiculous. I have talked to the players about this." On Parrett's tackle, Reid said: "You can't do that on a football pitch nowadays. The game has changed and these young players have got to stay on their feet and not go to ground. I have got no complaints about the red card. It was a stupid tackle. It has happened too many times. You keep telling players not to give cheap free-kicks away and not to go to ground. But we keep on doing it, and keep shooting ourselves in the foot."
The Argyle youth team lost 5-0 at Millbay Park to Swindon Town yesterday. Argyle: Varazinskis, Hart, Sawyer, Richards, Pearce, Young, Harper-Penman, Coombes, Rickard, Copp, Clifford. Subs - Vassell, Baker, Sims (not used - Berry, Ord).
Argyle have a swift opportunity to make amends for the 4-0 defeat at home to Swindon, against Exeter City in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday. "I know how important the game is on Tuesday," said Peter Reid. "The final was fantastic last year and it's a derby game, which is one for the fans. We want to win for them and for ourselves. We want to get through to the next but we have to be better."
Argyle lost 4-0 to Swindon Town in the FA Cup at Home Park. Argyle: Larrieu, Duguid, Seip, Nelson, Bhasera, Noone, Parrett, Peterlin, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Molyneux, Clark, Mason (not used – Chenoweth, Stephens, Patterson, MacLean). Attendance - 5,226.
Chelsea look set to extend Conor Clifford's loan at Home Park, although they have refused Argyle permission to play him in tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Swindon Town. Peter Reid said: "I can understand it that Chelsea haven't let him play, they were kind enough to let us have him in the first place. We were talking about extending his loan and they have said they're not against it, so there's possibilities. We will miss him tomorrow, he's got energy, he shuts down and he has that commodity where he seems to have time on the ball. He's done well considering he's a young player coming into a tough league, so that's been a major plus for us." Reda Johnson is also likely to miss the game after suffering an ankle injury which ruled him out of Tuesday night's win, and David Button is struggling with a haematoma suffered during the first-half against Bristol Rovers. "Button has got a haematoma, so he'll be out, and we haven't got permission from Chelsea to play Clifford," said Reid. "David did well seeing it through on Tuesday, to be fair, as did Craig Noone, with the stitches on his head, but Noone will be OK." Johnson has not recovered from the injury he sustained at Oldham last Saturday. "We've had a scan done, and there's a bit of fluid on his ankle," Reid added. "He's still out, while Fletcher has got no chance of playing." Also, Dean Parrett is ill, possibly suffering from the same bug which previously afflicted Clifford. Reid said: "I'm hoping it's a 24-hour bug, which is what it was for Conor. Dean has been told to keep away from the training ground today, and we'll see how he is tomorrow." Reid added: "There will be changes. I've got a few teams in my mind at the moment. We'll try a couple of shapes and take it on from there. I have got to make decisions. You talk about match-fitness, but in the FA Cup and one-off games, adrenalin will get you through it."
Peter Reid has admitted he expects Swindon Town to come at his team like a wounded animal. He said: "Danny Wilson is an excellent manager. He's lost his leading goalscorer, which in some respects you have to sell, but he's just got on with it. That wounded animal syndrome will be coming out, because I know what he's like. They will be coming here to try to bounce back. We put on possibly our best performance of the season there and we know what to expect. It's going to be a difficult game." Reid insisted it was important for the club to go on a good cup run, although he thinks the FA Cup had been devalued as a competition. But he said: "I think it's a fantastic competition. I was fortunate enough to play in three finals and win one of them, so I know what it's like. We look to be realistic, but to get to the next round is vital – it's massive to go on a cup run. The fans enjoy it, the players certainly do if they get on well and I love the FA Cup. There's something about it – it's still there for me, hopefully it's still there for the players and the fans will come out and support us." Reid made it clear he wanted his team to treat tomorrow's first-round clash seriously, although he confessed he wasn't sure how other managers felt. He said: "At our level, let's not beat around the bush, money's tight. It's tight in every walk of life. The supporters are paying hard-earned money to come out to see us, so we have got to put on a performance. We are desperate for a cup run and we are desperate to be in the hat for the second round."
Curtis Nelson seems unfazed about the responsibility which has been thrust upon his young shoulders and admitted he was not surprised to get his first Argyle start at just 17. "No, not surprised at all," he said. "After the Saltash game, the manager just shook my hand and said 'well done'. The match against Oldham was different, because I've never played with nine men before. You couldn't afford to go to sleep and there were balls coming in from right, left and centre for the whole 45 minutes. It was a real challenge. I was nervous about starting for the first time, against Rovers, but I thought that this was my chance and that I would do well and take it." Nelson pointed to his communication techniques during a game as one of his most important assets. He also revealed that he had chosen Argyle over other clubs when it came to being offered a deal. He said: "I've always been told to talk, it helps keep you in the game, and it keeps you involved in it. It keeps spirits high and it keeps players around you going and gets more out of them. I think my mum was more concerned about me going away from home, but I just wanted to play football. There were other clubs closer to home, but at the time, Plymouth were the highest, being in the Championship. I've no regrets at all about coming here." Nelson, if chosen to play, will make his FA Cup debut tomorrow. He said: "If I do play, it will be my first time in the FA Cup. Hopefully, I can keep my place after Tuesday night's game and just carry on from there."
Recent wins over Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers and the quality of football produced suggest that Peter Reid has found a winning formula at Home Park. The next test of this will be the visit of Swindon Town in the FA Cup tomorrow. "The players are now looking forward to playing at Home Park," said Reid. "When you look at the Huddersfield game, the Oldham game, even though certain things went against us, and the way we played on Tuesday night, there was an energy and brightness to our play. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to carry that on, even with enforced changes. I'm sure we will because the lads coming in know they've got to play well to have a chance in the team, and the players are up for it. I think I have settled in but I keep coming back to consistency. We won one, got beaten, even if it was with nine men, but then won to get back-to-back home victories. From being apprehensive at home, we're now going out there with a certain amount of confidence. We're creating situations and we have to keep that going. You can see a lot more confidence in us and some of the football has been really good. I think the players are enjoying it, which is the biggest thing."
Carl Fletcher is definitely out of Argyle's FA Cup game against Swindon, having already missed three matches because of a bruised leg. Peter Reid said: "It has bled really deep. He's feeling a bit down, which is only to be expected." Reda Johnson is also a doubt for the tie after sitting out the win against Bristol Rovers with an ankle injury. A scan did not show any serious damage, but Johnson told Reid it was too sore for him to play.
Karl Duguid has fond memories of the FA Cup and is convinced the magic of the cup is still there for all to see. He said: "It's just special. When you're a kid you watch it on TV and it's everyone's dream to play in an FA Cup final. To even be a part of the FA Cup is massive, it's watched throughout the whole world." Duguid has fought his way back into Peter Reid's plans and is convinced the recent performances of the team can generate a good atmosphere among Argyle fans. He said: "Winning breeds confidence and performances breed confidence. I think even the performance against Oldham helped the lads confidence-wise, the togetherness was superb and that's what it's all about. You need your support and obviously the last two home performances have been very good, so hopefully we can draw in a good crowd, it's a derby and it's a special competition. There's nothing better than coming to your home ground as a fan and watching your team play some nice football and scoring goals, and that's what we have done in the last few games, but we've got to continue that on Saturday." Duguid has experienced some tough times at Home Park since joining from Colchester, but is optimistic about the future. He added: "It's nice because the fans give you the backing and hopefully they can continue doing that and we can perform as we have done. I'm sure everyone will be there and hopefully we can get a few more in the gate supporting us on Saturday. The confidence throughout the club is high at the moment and long may we continue that. That's down to us as players to do that on the pitch and hopefully the fans can give us a boost by turning up and showing their support."
Conor Clifford gave a superb display in midfield last night, despite feeling ill before the win over Bristol Rovers. Peter Reid said: "Conor Clifford has been sick all day and the medical staff weren't sure whether we should play him. He insisted on playing and he was fantastic, considering how ill he has been. Dean Parrett has come back in the side and got a great goal, and showed glimpses of what he can do. It was a great finish. That is technique because he's sliced across the ball. I've seen him do it in training and it's great technique - a terrific shot." The defensive qualities of Clifford have been a feature since he joined on loan from Chelsea and Reid is already discussing an extension with Frank Arnesen, the director of football at Stamford Bridge. Reid added: "Bristol Rovers played a good system where they get people on holes and Clifford was influential in tightening up the midfield. He tried to go a bit long with his passing and we said to him at half-time to shorten it, and try to keep it because they had a good shape. Besides his ability on the ball, he shuts down and he is a leader in what he does out there and I'm talking to Frank Arnesen about extending his loan."
Bradley Wright-Phillips has now scored ten goals in ten league appearances this season, following his double against Bristol Rovers last night, and Peter Reid said: "I have mentioned consistency before and that magic word, confidence. That is the word and he believes he is going to score in every game, which is a big thing. I think he had about six chances and he was always a threat. He got down the sides and there was one move where he cut inside two people and tried to play in Rory, when I thought he was going to do a bender. He is in a rich vein of form and he drilled the first goal in the bottom corner. He looks as though he is going to score goals." Reid added: "It was a terrific football match and obviously I am delighted we got the three points. There were some great performances and I thought the skipper for the night, Craig Noone, was fantastic."
Dean Parrett confessed there was a bit of frustration behind the goal that set Argyle on their way to last night's 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers. Parrett lashed home a rebound from Craig Noone's free-kick to open the scoring and, after the game, revealed that he had been lining up to take the kick but had been beaten to it by his skipper. "I've been practicing them every day for the last month and I wanted to take it," he said. "I ran over to get the ball and I was a little bit angry that I didn't take it - I think that's why I hit it. I think that, if I was calm, I would have brought it down and crossed it for Bradley." Wright-Phillips was hungry for more, despite scoring twice, taking his tally for the season to ten. "I can get better because I missed two chances in the first-half," he said. "I have always thought if there was one thing I can do, it is get off a decent finish, and it's just coming off for me at the moment."
Argyle youngster Jordan Trott has joined Tiverton Town on loan.
Argyle beat Bristol Rovers 3-1 at Home Park, the goals scored by Dean Parrett after 64 minutes and Bradley Wright-Phillips (77 and 90). Argyle: Button, Duguid, Seip, Nelson, Bhasera, Noone, Parrett, Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Clark, Mason, Stephens (not used – Larrieu, Patterson, Molyneux, MacLean). Attendance - 7,413.
Conor Clifford has taken just two games to settle into life at Argyle and he is ready for the visit of Bristol Rovers tonight. "It is another chance to show the Argyle fans what I can do and another proper game in professional football," he said. "I want to keep learning and gaining more experience. I was more confident in the Oldham game because I knew the lads. My first game against Huddersfield was a little bit more reserved and difficult to express myself. It was a tough game, so we just focused on recovery yesterday. We had a massage and flushed all the bad stuff out of our muscles. Our fans were brilliant at Oldham. They really got behind us and kept on singing, which helped us to keep going. We all worked well for each other and kept each other going, but it was just so disheartening when they scored because we really thought we were going to get something out of the game. Every time we went at them, we looked like we were going to score. They didn't look great at the back and we just wanted to keep getting at them, even when we were down to nine men after half-time. I've scored a lot of goals from outside the box in the past and it is something I work on. I like to get forward and have shots."
Peter Reid has appealed for the fans to get behind Argyle when they take on Bristol Rovers tonight. His side could have as many as seven players aged 22 or under in the starting line-up but Reid has confidence in the young talent and believes they will rise to the challenge. He said: "Rovers have got two lively frontmen, who aren't the biggest but have got good movement. They like to try to get the ball down and play, so I think it will be a good football match. Everybody is disappointed with the position we are in, none more so than me. This is a big game for us, and it looks it will be a young side out there, so we need all the support we can get. I'm sure the players will come up with the goods." One concern for Reid, however, is that Argyle have now conceded nine goals in their last four league games. He said: "We are in that bottom four and tonight is a massive game for us. From wondering where we were going to get a goal, now I'm wondering where we are going to get a clean sheet, so it has changed dramatically. We have just got to get it right at both ends. We look as though we have got goals in us. But we have got to try to be a lot stronger and get some clean sheets to win football matches."
Argyle are not in a rush to offer new contracts to Bradley Wright-Phillips and Craig Noone. Both have deals which run out at the end of this season and speculation about the future of Wright-Phillips has already started, with one national newspaper linking him with Crystal Palace and Millwall. Peter Reid is relaxed about that though, and said: "Football changes all the time, doesn't it? Six weeks ago we couldn't have given him away. So I will deal with that problem when it comes. The same with Noone. Everything is in hand and both players have done tremendously well. They are out of contract next summer and they have got to keep playing well. We will address it when we deem necessary, and in the meantime I'm desperate to get three points against Bristol Rovers." Reid has vast experience so transfer rumours about his players do not worry him. He said: "I will handle that all day long. I hope I get speculation about all 11 players because it shows they are doing well. If it affects the player and he doesn't do well, the speculation will end anyway. It's a fact of life."
Peter Reid is ready and willing to consider rewarding Curtis Nelson with his first senior start against Bristol Rovers tonight. Nelson played alongside Reda Johnson in central defence at Oldham and Reid liked what he saw. "I was quite comfortable with Curtis Nelson in the back four," he said. "I thought he did smashing when he came on, so it wouldn't be a problem starting him there. I've got experienced players like Timar and Seip, but I'd have confidence in the young lad Nelson playing. It was big ask to go on when we had nine men and handle it so well, and look strong. He was terrific, and I thought his positional play was excellent. The thing that I like about him is that, when a centre-forward is trying to pin him back, the kid comes in front. That's really intelligent play." Reid is hoping to be able to call on Johnson as well, and added: "Johnson is having a scan on his ankle, but I expect him to play. Fletcher hasn't made it, but I'm hoping Reda will be fit. Even nowadays, players can play with a bit of pain." Two changes will have to be made, however, because of last Saturday's red cards. "The disciplinary record is a problem, and it's something that I'll be talking to the players about," Reid said. "It will be dealt with in-house. Too many of our yellow and red cards have been too petty, and it has happened too many times. We've got to put a curb on it." When Reid was asked if Arnason and N'Gala will face club punishments as well as bans, he replied: "It will be sorted out in-house in the dressing room. I'd rather leave it that way." Bristol Rovers occupy 12th place in League One, and are four points better off than Argyle. "It's a massive game for us," said Reid. "We're in the bottom four, and we're wondering where we're going to get a clean-sheet from. I think we look like a threat, we look like we have goals in us, but we have to get it right at both ends. We have to be a lot stronger."
Peter Reid was highly critical of Bondz N'gala and Kari Arnason, who were both dismissed for the second time this season, on Saturday. "The players who were out there were brilliant, and they deserved more than they got," he said. "The only problem is we have got two players who have let us down badly. They have let their team-mates down, the supporters down and me down. They owe us." Reid had no complaints about the refereeing decisions. He said: "The reason we have been beaten wasn't because of our tactics. It wasn't because of a lack of effort. That was fantastic. Two players have got to take the blame. N'Gala shouldn't have let the ball bounce. The boy gets through and it was a foul, a penalty and a sending-off. I have got no problem with that." Reid was equally opinionated about the dismissal of Arnason. He added: "It was rash. You can't lead with your elbow in this day and age. Whatever I think about football getting a wee bit soft now, well, not a wee bit soft, really soft, it's the climate we are in. I say to my players not to concede free-kicks in the final third. Obviously, they don't listen to me, or two of them don't listen to me, and they got what they deserved. It's their fault we were beaten." N'Gala and Arnason will both have one match added onto their suspensions because they were sent-off earlier in the season. N'Gala will be banned for the visit of Bristol Rovers tomorrow, and the FA Cup game with Swindon Town on Saturday. Arnason, meanwhile, will be suspended for the next four matches. Reid sent on Curtis Nelson as a substitute for Rory Fallon at the start of the second half, slotting him into the centre of defence alongside Reda Johnson, who had injured his ankle before the interval. Reid said: "Reda was struggling with his ankle, but he got through it and did a great job for us. And I thought Nelson was outstanding. They didn't deserve what happened." Argyle seemed set to hold out for a draw until the third minute of stoppage time. Reid said: "To be fair, they shifted the ball wide and stretched us. We just couldn't hold on and have conceded two goals in the four minutes of added time, which is football for you, but we were great." Reid was reluctant to offer any criticism of the way Argyle conceded the third goal. He said: "We went too deep off the free-kick, but there were some tired legs and tired minds out there so I think it's understandable. It's the two players who weren't tired and made stupid, ridiculous decisions who have cost us the three points."
Karl Duguid put into words Argyle's bitter disappointment after the defeat at Oldham. He said: "I can't believe how late their last two goals were. That's what hurts so much, but you can't ask for any more from the lads. I think we deserved more. A point would have been a great result, but we should have come away with three. Oldham are going to have chances and pin us back, but we dug in. We do a lot of work in training with the back four, and the two centre midfield players. We had a three in midfield today and they were different class. Conor, Nooney and Yala Bolasie worked their socks off. They helped out the defence very well and were an outlet for us going forward as well. They kept going and their fitness levels showed. I think that was the case for all of the team. We have gone into the changing room disappointed we have lost when we have had nine men. We feel we should have won the game. I think all the fans ask of their players is to go out and give it everything. I don't think we could have given any more today, and even Oldham's fans clapped us off at the end. That just shows you what a performance it was, but we have lost three points again." Curtis Nelson came off the bench to play at centre-back and showed the maturity of a far more experienced player. Alongside him, stand-in skipper Reda Johnson played through the pain barrier after injuringed his left ankle towards the end of the first half. Duguid said: "Reda did his ankle in the first half and was limping, and I haven't played a lot of games lately and I have been ill in the week. Nelse had to come on and, at 17-years-old, he has done really well. For someone so young, his organisation and talking in there is brilliant. It's great when you have got someone like that alongside you. And no-one is going to get past Bas down the line. They didn't today. Every now and then you are going to get over-run two-against-one, but we dealt with it. They are going to get crosses and shots in, but I don't think David had a lot of saves to make. We have got to pick ourselves up, get rested and push on for a massive game on Tuesday."
Peter Reid ordered his weary Argyle players to rest up after the defeat by Oldham. He said: "They were due in Sunday. But I think they would be better served if they get their feet up and relax. We are in on Monday lunchtime. It's so important the players get a rest." Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his eighth goal in nine league games this season, but after playing as Argyle's lone striker until the 66th minute, was replaced by Rory Patterson. Reid said: "Bradley just tired, and he told me he couldn't give any more. I thought he was tremendous. So were Noone and Bolasie. All the players were terrific and deserve a lot of credit. But credit doesn't get you points. It's a cruel game this, and we haven't got any points out of it."
Danny Barrow came on as a 73rd minute substitute for Wales under-16's in their 1-1 draw with Scotland on Friday night.
After six red cards in just 14 games Peter Reid admitted his team's general discipline needs to improve. "I had my say and I don't know if N'Gala and Arnason said anything after that," he said. "The disciplinary record is a problem and it will be dealt with. I love players being competitive, that's the nature of the game, but too many of our bookings and sendings-off are petty. We've given referees too many opportunities to show red and yellow cards. We've got to put a curb on it."
Peter Reid was proud of his nine-man team on Saturday but also painfully aware of our reality. "I was really proud of them," he said. "I thought they were brilliant but the cold reality is disappointing. The lads who stayed on put in a real good effort. There were good performances out there but the bottom line is we lost the game. The midfield three were brilliant. Noone has been in great form and he carried it on. Clifford's shown great energy and determination, and Bolasie, who is an attacking player, showed a fantastic work-ethic. Bradley Wright-Phillips also gave everything he had and that's why I made the change. With Tuesday in mind, he said he couldn't raise another yard, which I can understand. These young players have shown a lot of spirit in difficult circumstances and it's going to be like that tomorrow night in a big pressure game. I back them to come through it. We had a walkabout session today and have a look at them. I don't want them expending energy on the training pitch."
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