A Round-up of Argyle News
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Simon Hallett gave fans a progress update on the status of the new grandstand, revealing Argyle are nearing the last 10% of the development now. He detailed: "We are hearing handover at the end of October, beginning of November. I'm not quite sure of the exact details, but before final handover we will be starting on the internal fit-out. So we are hoping that we will have the grandstand available in December. Now, the regulations say that you can only open it gradually, and so on and so on, but we have taken a booking from the Vice President's Club! So yes we are hoping for December but I'm not going to be relaxed until people are sitting in it, frankly. It's like doing a kitchen. The last 10 per cent seems to take 80 per cent of the time."
"It's important to have a look from the outside because I was quite surprised at the scale of the land that we have got between what is going to be the ice rink and the stadium. There is plenty of room there for the kind of fan zone that we are looking for, that we have started to do outside the Devonport End. One of our goals is to have entertainment, fun stuff to do outside the ground for grown-ups and kids, and there is much more room than I thought.
"My experience with this edifice the whole time has been that it is always bigger than it looked on the plans. Even from outside it is better than I expected. We have started offering tours to various groups, who have gone round, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, overwhelmingly positive I think doesn't express people's enthusiasm and surprise, just at the quality and the size of everything that is going on inside. I'm thrilled. So long as we can can get it done on time we are going to be in a good position."
Matchwinner Conor Grant with a win, a goal and a gritty performance upon his return to the side that he guessed was coming after training on Thursday. Grant said: "I'm delighted with the win. We needed to get back to winning ways after recent results, but we're very happy. There was probably a side to the team in the second half that we haven't really seen enough of. When we lead the game like that, we have to dig in and fight for everything. It was a sweet feeling to get a 1-0 win in those circumstances. I thought we were good first half, but two halves are very rarely the same, so it was important that we dug in. They put a lot of pressure on us we can't deny that, it was clear to see but we dug in as a team. My goalscoring record isn't as good as it should be but I'm hoping that'll give me the confidence to keep adding a few more goals."
"I had a little inkling that I'd be starting, on Thursday in training and then had confirmation yesterday so I was obviously really happy. I always believed I could get in the team, but it's been frustrating the last five games, not playing any football at all. The goal has been a long time coming. The ball came to me, I've had a good touch on my feet and, at that range I always fancy myself, I'm just happy to get the win. It's a strange league; it's quite an open league and a lot of teams can beat anyone, so it very important to get three points. To score a goal and keep a clean sheet is brilliant; it's not always as easy as that, so it's important. I also think the way we won it was important we had to battle for it, and it wasn't just one way, it wasn't all us."
."It's a little different to the formation we normally play. We actually touched on it at Northampton; we changed in the second half; it's not too dissimilar, but it worked today. We will analyse Scunthorpe as we analyse all the other teams and come up with a plan. We want to win as many games as possible. We haven't done that recently but hopefully this win will kick us off."
Ryan Lowe had similar words to add, hailing a performance that was accomplished and 'gutsy' in nature: "Not a good football performance, but a good gutsy performance. I've seen a different side to my team today resilient; their guts out; bodies on the line; block tackles; George Cooper's broken his nose, got a big black eye. That's football; that's League Two sometimes; that's the way Mansfield did it. Mansfield were always going to put pressure on you, always going to get at you. The pleasing thing for me is I know I've got characters in there who put bodies on the line. They can do it, and they will do it. We've just been talking about one of the other games that we played and we lost because of the way they played. Not today. No-one was beating us today. In terms of the performance, they wanted to win,
"The football wasn't that great, but we've footballed teams to death this season and haven't got any points for it. You can play football, and we play football right the way through we know that. The first half was a dominant display. We should have scored more but we know where we are with that. Conor pops up with a great strike. We've been asking him to shoot and I'm pleased for Conor. He's been having to wait patiently, and he's taken his chance, certainly. We did play some good football. The goal we scored was fantastic but we want more. If you go in 2-0 up, the first half becomes much better. I would have liked to have scored a couple more goals, but the other end was fantastic."
"There's a long way to go. We've said that all along. I don't get carried away and obviously expectations are up and down at the moment. That's fine. We are where we are and that's probably where we deserve to be possibly two or three or four points off but we're a work in progress. We're doing a fantastic job behind the scenes; we're working hard; everything's going good. It pays off it is a good week to come to Mansfield and take three points."
"We'll do things that we need to do. I don't want to be disrespectful, but we thought that our three attacking players, against their three defenders, would cause problems, and when we pressed the way we pressed, we got our rewards. It's just tactical, if you like. We worked on stuff this week we thought 'Let's get up against them and let's force them into errors', and we certainly did that. That's why I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get the second goal but, in terms of overall play, we can play any formation. We pushed the front three right up; we had a nice solid four in the middle of the park; and we broke them down every time, hence the chances we were creating. We're getting there; we're getting the chances. I'm pleased because we'll always create chances; it's just putting more in the back of the net, so you don't have to go through moments like that at the end."
Argyle's committed displays saw six yellow cards in the game at Mansfield, including to all three centre-backs. Ryan Lowe said he had faith in his back three to do the job throughout, explaining:"At one point, I was concerned and I sent Josh Grant out to warm up but I've got belief in those lads and they have got belief in themselves, and they knew they weren't going to do anything stupid. It's been a tough week for them in terms of training and everything they have taken on board for us, so they weren't going to let it slip by getting sent off. They are all good," he said. "We have got a fantastic squad, as I keep saying. We can chop and change it whenever we need. Niall Canavan is back, fully fit, and Josh two top defenders on the bench. We don't just pick players on Saturday, Saturday, Saturday we pick them on training and Scotty has been fantastic this week. He was in with me this week, knocking on my door, saying: 'I want to be back in the team.' I said: 'When you're back in, you'll stay in, but I'm the manager, I pick the team.' That shows to me he's gutsy and determined to make sure he wants to get in the team. A clean sheet is nice for the boys and the work they have been putting in this week. They have had a gruelling week, we had a couple of double sessions in there, and it's paid off to get the win, which we knew wasn't too far way, because of the way we have been playing. I'm pleased with everyone, especially the back lads."
On the injury picked up by George Cooper, Lowe added: "He's been brave for us. Pretty-boy attacking players don't like going in those areas and he's gone in there and been brave enough to put his head on the line. He's got a nice shiner and he's broken his nose; we sent him off to A&E just to make sure. It's still bleeding a little bit."
Argyle's winless run came to an end as the greens secured their first September victory since 2016 at Field Mill. The greens shifted formation slightly to a 3-4-3 system from their usual 3-1-4-2. A 13th minute goal from Conor Grant (his first for the club) was enough to secure the victory and a clean sheet came with it, the game ending 1-0. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Aimson, Sawyer, Edwards, Sarcevic, C Grant, McFadzean, G Cooper(Taylor), JV Grant (Riley), Mayor (Lolos). Subs: M Cooper, J Grant, Canavan, Randell.
Ryan Lowe has echoed the view of Antoni Sarcevic that Argyle will soon begin to click irrespective of the current frustration of results. He said: "If we're sitting here and creating three or four chances a game, it's worrying. But, we're sitting here getting 39 entries into the opposition box against Cheltenham, so it isn't worrying. We know that the last little bit is putting the ball in the back of the net. Is it clicking? I think we've played a lot of good football, attacking play, and most of the games we lead the possession stats, cross, shots, all the way. There isn't enough on target, but the creating of chances is very good."
"I read a quote from Michael Duff saying that we're going to be there or thereabout. He told us after the game that he wasn't expecting that he expected a thumping, really. That's not because he's going against his side, but he thought that they were in for a rough ride, and they were. But we didn't score, and he comes away with the two goals and the three points. It's frustrating at times. I come in after the press conferences frustrated, and then, I look at it back and get a smile on my face. What these boys are doing, they're giving us everything. It's that last little bit. In terms of clicking, it might just be that one ruthless edge where -bang, it's a goal, after five, ten, or fifteen minutes, and then it might be a confidence thing where we kick on, we'll wait and see if that's the case. If the goal was a little bit bigger, we'd have been alright, wouldn't we? But, listen, we're not far off."
In light of Argyle's commitment to offer greater financial transparency as set out in a vision by Simon Hallett, financial director Paul Berne has laid out Argyle's first financial transparency report. Full details can be found on the club's official website.
Antoni Sarcevic admitted he's feeling the frustration of Argyle prolonged winless run but is confident that it would just take one lucky win to turn their fortunes around. He said: "You'd rather see one a goal go in off someone's backside to get it going because at the minute we are not taking our chances and conceding at the other end. I would rather take a 1-0 win in a scrappy way than play really well every week and not come away with three points. It's something the Gaffer wants from his number eights if you like, me and Danny Mayor. He put that to us the other day with a few strikers being out. It's another source of goals and me and Danny know that. I'm doing my best to chip in with as many as I can, with either goals or assists, and I hope I can add to that on Saturday. I think that's what it is. Like I said, whatever way that win comes, it will boost everyone's confidence. However we do it, whether we're playing nice football or it's a scrappy goal, we need to get the wins now, it's as simple as that."
Ryan Lowe has praised the generosity of Simon Hallett in writing off £4 million worth of loans to the club in exchange for shares in the club. Lowe said of his chairman: "When I met the chairman and he talked to me about the vision for the club, it was a no brainer. He ploughs £5m in for a new stand, takes the club debt-free, owns 97% of the club. That's phenomenal. That's one of the reasons I came here. With the situation that happened at Bury, I found myself in a situation I didn't think I'd ever be in. One of my questions when I came to the interview was 'how stable is the football club? I speak to him by text on a regular basis. We talk about family and stuff, and he makes sure that everything I need, I've got. We even talked about the new dug-outs!
"He's over today, so I might catch him tonight or tomorrow. He's coming to the game on Saturday, travelling with the fans on the bus. He's a good guy, we don't necessarily speak about football all the time. He wants what's best for the football club, just the same as I do. It's good that I have the relationship with him, Andrew Parkinson, and Zac Newton. I went to the MK Dons game last night against Liverpool, and you've got to have these relationships and that's what we're about. Simon won't be here forever, wherever the club goes in the leagues, if it gets to the top level he might not be able to fund it, but ,in terms of what he's doing for the football club, credit where credit is deserved. He's been brilliant with me, with the staff, and put his money where his mouth is. A lot of football clubs are financially struggling, and he's made sure this football club will not."
Just over a year since Simon Hallett became Argyle's majority shareholder, the Pilgrims are now all-but debt free. That follows the cancellation of a 4m-plus loan made by Simon and Jane Hallett to the club to help finance the soon-to-be completed Mayflower Grandstand refurbishment. In place of the loan, Hallett has been issued with more than 4m new shares in the club, taking his holding to 97%.
Whilst taking a crumb of comfort from the fact that his side are at least creating chances, Ryan Lowe was insistent that his side needed to find a harder edge in order to start winning League Two games. He said: "We've lost to a decent enough team in Cheltenham but I felt we were better in all departments. But they were better at finding that yard in the six-yard box for the first goal and finding that yard in our 18-yard box for the second goal. The mentality of the lads, and the desire and the work-rate and everything they give us has been different class, but there is that final little bit of ruthless edge that I need to get out of them. As a former striker, I'm working that keeper; I'm making sure he's picking that ball up out of the net. At this moment in time, I feel that there's a few of our lads who haven't got that desire and that ruthless edge. I'm not saying we won't have it; we certainly will. I'll make sure we get it."
"It's our problem; we'll deal with it; we'll make sure we put it right we've got to score goals and we've got to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Everything else around it the build-up play, the football is fantastic, but I don't want to become a possession-based team that looks nice and looks the part every week but just can't put the ball in the net and can't keep the ball out of the back of our net. We feel we're creating chances but we say 'if you can't score, keep the back door shut' and we're not doing either at the moment. Once it clicks, we will start scoring goals, but that needs to be now."
Lowe was also frustrated at what he deems to be excessive targeting of Danny Mayor by opposition players, something he feels Cheltenham were especially guilty of. Lowe said: "He's going to get his leg broke and it's not going to be nice. I had a polite word with the ref before the game. I didn't want to show him any video footage, but you will all have seen footage of the Port Vale game... I asked the referee to protect him, before the game. I'll leave it up to you whether he did, or he didn't. I don't want to paper over any cracks by blaming the referee. I don't make excuses. I'll take responsibility for it. I'll back the players a million percent that they will come good and score goals. The good thing is we are creating good chances, and we are working teams open and getting in between the lines. That's going to be the case in most games that we play, especially at Home Park, but that doesn't win you games. I know we've got that but what I'm disappointed about is that we're not finding the net on a regular basis, and we're not keeping the ball out of the net on a regular basis, which is even more worrying."
"On the training pitch, back to the drawing board, keep working hard we'll never rip anything up in terms of our philosophy and the style of play because you've seen its working; it is just that last little bit in both boxes that's hurting us at the moment. "The fans have brilliant and they will be thick and thin Green that's what we want," he said. We sympathise with them, they know that, and the frustration will kick in. Listen trust me they will have more good times, than bad times, under me. I understand them getting frustrated, that's fine, but keep with the team, keep sticking with them through thick and thin."
"Our business is here. Home Park. Plymouth Argyle. The Green Army. The 12th man. We'll make sure we get the good times going. We are, at the moment, in terms of the football, the philosophy. I've just had a nice text from the chairman to say: 'Well done; it's nearly there. We see that; we know. It's about just keep doing the right things. We'll score goals and, ultimately, we'll keep them out at the other end, also."
Finally, Lowe gave a lowdown on Argyle's injured players, first detailing the process in which he decided to substitute forward Dom Telford: "I had to have a serious conversation with him at the side of the pitch. He couldn't give me an answer, so I made the answer easy for him and said 'Get off and get yourself in' because he wants to stay on and give it his all, but there's no point. As I've said all along, I'm for losing players for one or two weeks, not four-six weeks, so we've done that. Is it a kick in the teeth? Yes, because I thought Dom would have scored. He looked lively for the first 30 minutes he was on the pitch."
He went on to explain how Zak Rudden is having his injury assessed at parent club Rangers: "With due respect to us, they are a bigger club and have got the best facilities. We felt we needed to come to a mutual agreement with them that he goes up there to get his knee checked, which is the right thing. He's gone up there to see their doctor. They dealt with the injury that he had before he came to us. The knee's fine; he's struggling with something at the back of it. Hopefully, we'll get some good news on that on Monday. Jose could be out for a week to ten days; Joe Riley could be alright soon; Dom we'll have to address him now. At the moment, I'm making changes when I don't really want to. I don't want to be known for making changes week in week out. A majority of last season, we stuck with a team we stuck with a plan, which we'll always stick to. This season, we seem to be chopping and changing because of injuries, and I don't want to be doing it. But I'll address that side of it very quickly, and hopefully we can get it right. It's my team and it's my squad and I feel that I've got a good enough squad to compete."
Argyle slumped into the bottom half of League Two after a 2-0 loss to Cheltenham Town that saw two sucker punch goals seal the Pilgrims' fate. Luke Varney put the Robins into the league and an unfortunate own goal by Will Aimson in stoppage time added to the misery. Argyle: Palmer, J Grant, Aimson, Sawyer, Edwards, G Cooper(Lolos), Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean, Telford (Taylor), JV Grant (Randell). Subs: M Cooper, Wootton, Canavan, C Grant.
Will Aimson is confident he's seen the worst of his injury that kept him out of the entirety of pre-season as well as the first month of the season proper. Aimson said: "On a personal note, I was delighted, it has been a long time coming," said Will. "We agreed that the time was right and he put faith in me to put me in on Tuesday night and I enjoyed it. It was a bit of a game to come back into, it was an intense game, I'm happy to get through 90 minutes and, touch wood, all is well. It was frustrating to miss the first part of the season. It's difficult turning up on Saturday and watching the boys go out and play in front of the fans in a great stadium. I just had to be patient and make sure I'm doing it right. It was a bit longer than we all thought it would take. I've had to be patient. If I came back a bit earlier, it might have flared up again and I could have been back to square one, which we definitely didn't want for the sake of two or three weeks to come back into training. For it to be all settled down, stronger and to hopefully be able to play consistently, that's what we want and hopefully that's where we're at now. The fans are brilliant, home and away. We took 800 on a Tuesday night away to Crawley, which is incredible," said the centre back. "Especially at home, I can't wait, and hopefully on Saturday I get the chance to play in front of them."
Ryan Lowe gave a positive appraisal of the defender's display, adding: "We're very pleased and what you see is what you get with Will. We were watching some clips back and he made a tackle in the first four minutes, it went out for our goal kick and it was a great tackle, and he jumped up and gave a fist pump right by our fans. That's what it means to him, and he's kicking himself because he's not scored down the away end down where our fans were. Will Aimson went through the pain barrier for me last year and there was only one objective and that was to get him in, because he's a leader and he's a fighter. He's got that desire and his attitude is top class. He's going to be a good asset for us."
Lowe also gave a positive shout-out to Joel Grant, himself coming back from an injury absence. He said: "He's a fantastic pro and he does everything right. You get the one or two odd players who just want to train and get back, but Joel is very level-headed, he does all the right things. He goes and gets acupuncture, he sees the back specialists, the standards are there with him, and he looks after himself. When the lads are back to fitness they have to be able to play 70/80/90 minutes, because that's what's it's about, and Joel's certainly done that."
Joe Edwards has spoken in depth about his relationship with Ryan Lowe and the way the manager commands respect to get the best out of his side. Edwards said: "I think he has got it spot on. He's relentless in how he works, which is why he has been successful, as a player and as a coach. He knows what he wants and by speaking to, or shouting to, his best players, captains, he knows that's the way it's going to get to most of the team and everyone will take that on board. As a whole, we know and respect what he's trying to achieve here and we have all bought into that. With the top managers in the Premier League you will get this all throughout, I'm sure.
"To get to where you want to be, to be successful, you are going to have little arguments and disagreements, but ultimately you want the same goal. He's not just doing it for the sake of it, or he doesn't like you. He's doing it for a reason. He wants you to do well, which then ultimately makes the team and him do well. It's massive in football that you do get across how you feel and what you want. Once you are in this game you have to be man enough to know it's not personal. It's something to do with the game and to be successful you have to have that."
Will Aimson shared Joe Edwards' rueful disappointment at Argyle's inability to convert a dominant performance into all three points after his first display in a green shirt. Aimson said: "We were disappointed with the first goal we conceded. A cross coming into the box, and we have been working on that to try and avoid those situations. It was a big thing to us to come from behind and go 2-1 up, that shows we have character, togetherness and that fighting spirit to come back and get in the lead. I think, especially with the time that was on the clock, we do have to see out the game, so that's why we were disappointed. On another day we might have scored five or six in that game, I could have had two and a couple of the other boys could have, but it wasn't to be. It's a good system, I enjoy it and we play good football. I have seen it this season watching the lads, we have a great team and a great squad that can handle the ball and play the right way."
Ryan Lowe did concede that Byron Moore is likely to be out of the team for a prolonged spell following his substitution in the match at Crawley. Lowe said: "He is a bit gutted, a bit disappointed. We're waiting for the scan, they should be with us soon, but the likelihood is he'll be out for a couple of weeks. Apart from him, everyone's fit. Everyone's trained, just the one out, everyone's raring to go, even the youngsters who are staying back and doing extra to make sure they're ready, just in case they're called upon. I'm gutted for Byron now, but we just need to make sure he's fine."
Niall Canavan has spoken further about the impact of diabetes upon his professional career. He elaborated: "A lot of the people within this sector in the South West are very heavily aware of Henry Slade at Exeter Chiefs and, thankfully for me, one of the consultants I spoke to has worked quite closely with him. So, he was able to sort of reassure me on that level 'You can still play there's no worries about that. They didn't understand how I'd been playing with my sugars as high as they have been for however long I may have had it. Most people who have their sugars at that level can't operate, never mind live a full professional sportsman lifestyle. They were able to spin it quickly for me in the sense that 'It's going to take some time to get used to and you'll learn as you go along, but the best thing we can tell you is that you've been doing it and you've been playing well by all accounts while being ill, so, if we can sort this out, it only says good things for you. 'You'll feel better, you'll be able to give more physically; there's only upsides for you, given that this hasn't stopped you yet.' That all I needed to hear at the time and I just tried to take it in my stride as best I could."
"Things had just started to turn for us, so that helped a little bit. It was just something else to cope with. I wasn't aware of it before and then, all of a sudden, I can check my blood sugar and, if it's really high, I know why I don't feel right. The hard thing that the medics were trying to get across to me was that there isn't one fix for everyone and I was going to have to play it by ear. There would be times when I won't have a clue what's happening, the blood sugar levels will change and I'll feel different without really understanding. The staff at Derriford Hospital have been really good. If ever I've needed anything, they've been on the end of the 'phone, or I can email them and they can get straight back to me whenever I have any questions, which I have at certain times."
"Last summer was my chance to sit down and properly look at things. I was very slowly increasing insulin at the start, because I don't want to send me the other way and end up in a coma. It's been very much trial and error and trying things, and I've got it wrong at different times. Training is the best time to try and figure stuff out, but it was hard, at times, because I'd gone from being in a state where I'd had a lot of sugar in my body and I couldn't use it so I was passing between 800-1,400 hundred calories a day. So I had a real craving for sugar all the time: the famine amongst the feast your body has got everything there it needs to use but can't use it, so it cries out for more and just makes the problem worse. I'd gone from having a very, very sweet tooth to suddenly not really being bothered at all. You'll see me carrying around sweets or something and it's not because I'm craving sweets, it's because if I need them, I can take them, and it keeps me going."
"Games were a challenge I am not going to lie. We found out very quickly that adrenaline blocks the ability to use the insulin you've got. I remember the first game that I played after I'd been injecting. I came off after 80 minutes because I was absolutely spent, and I started cramping. I remember that the other side put a ball down the channel and I'd seen it out of play. Kyle Letheren was in goal and I turned and looked at him and he said 'Are you alright?' and I said 'Not really, no I don't think I've got anything left'. I came off and my blood sugar level was 30, which is incredibly high for optimum performance, you want to be between 5-8. By the time I got home an hour later, my level had dropped to 8. I went on the phone to my old man for 10-15 minutes, like I always do, and I checked it again now 4. I started getting the cramping feelings. I had this big build-up of getting everything right for the game and then, as soon as I'd be finished, everything wore off and my body started spasming because it couldn't cope. So, it was just a bit mad."
On the subject of Canavan, Ryan Lowe confirmed that his lack of selection for the game at Crawley was related to the injury from which he is currently suffering. Lowe said: "Niall was struggling with a little bit of a knock and we already had a player on the bench. We said 'Look, there is no need for you to travel because you have picked up a little bit of a knock' but he's training today so he's fine. I'm the manager. I can do what I want in terms of the squads. Klaidi Lolos was left at home and he has been terrific. Tafari Moore was left at home, he has been terrific when he has played. So it's not a case of Niall has been left out the squad. He has been left out the squad because he had a little bit of a niggle, and hence we changed things round also. There is nothing to be worried about with Niall, or Tafari or Lolos. It's just a case of we can't bring everyone."
Ryan Lowe was proud of an excellent effort by his Argyle charges at Crawley in spite of a late goal conceded to cede two points and share the spoils with the hosts. Lowe praised a positive performance, saying: "I'm gutted for the boys because we found ourselves 2-1 up and the performance was outstanding. We've come here and dominated a team that are going really well and scoring goals. We wanted the three points but, before the game, you're thinking you've lost the last game and a point at Crawley is a good point. The performance and everything they put on display showed they've learned from the weekend. They've listened, taken it on board and I'm disappointed for them because they've taken on a lot, mentally and physically. We respect every team in the league and we knew what Crawley are about. Everything we had to do to get a point, nearly got three, we've done. You have to respect Crawley because they're going well, flying high in the league and we knew it would be no pushover, but I thought there was only one team looking like winning it. Without being disrespectful to Crawley, we could have scored four or five goals."
On debutant Will Aimson, Lowe added: "Will has got that eagerness, determination and desire. He's not happy that he has made a worldy save. We know what Will's got and so have the rest of the lads. We freshened it up, made a couple of changes and gave opportunities. The lads know that there will be opportunities until I get a consistent team. Will was outstanding. I don't like to single out individuals but we know what we've got with Will, and just unfortunate not to get a goal."
Of his temporary captain and double goalscorer, the gaffer opined: "I'm pleased with Joe, he's been vice-captain and leading while Gaz hasn't been playing. He's been doing an excellent job. I'll always say my captains and my best players will get the most criticism from me. Gaz has been in for that, Joe's been in for that, Danny Mayor's been in for that and one or two more. I'm buzzing for Joe because he's got two goals. He was in the right place at the right time and gives us that adaptability because he can play different positions. I'm just gutted for Joe and the lads that it wasn't the winner."
"My teams will come in for some criticism at times but we are going to stick with the principles, stick to the style of play. We're on 12 points, I'd like to be on 15 or 16, but we're not, and there is a lot of work to be done. I was quoted as saying that unless they start listening, they won't play. Well, they're listening, because they've got no option. The one thing I can say about the lads at Crawley is that they gave everything. It was a good point, we've now got a good home game to play on Saturday and if we play anything like we did at Crawley, we'll be ok."
Acting captain Joe Edwards declared himself both pleased and disappointed with the nature of the Crawley game, being more pleased by far with the manner of performance than the final score. The skipper said: "I'm slightly disappointed. We got ourselves into a winning position, and then to concede later on like that is frustrating, but overall I thought we played really well. We stuck to the game plan, we did the things that were asked of us, and I think we played really well but it was that final ball that maybe, at times, let us down. Overall, we are pleased with how we played and got ourselves back into the game, and when we had that lead it was something we should hold on to. When you do dominate the game like we had done, the minimum you should come away with is the three points but it's something we can learn from. It's a positive that we can build on as well, so we have lots to take from it.
"It was a vast improvement on performance, and we are still looking for that 90-minute, complete performance, but it's coming. We're getting in good areas and playing really good football, I thought the tempo and the pace was fantastic, we dominated most of the game, so there's plenty of positives to build on. It was nice to get my first goal for Plymouth Argyle, it was unbelievable, just a shame it wasn't enough to win the game, but on a personal note it was fantastic. It was a nice feeling to score in front of the fans, as well. It's wasn't a fluke, that's what Ryan Lowe wants us to do, he wants the full-backs to be setting up and scoring goals. Because of the way we were playing, I genuinely felt like we were going to get a goal and thankfully we did. Your confidence is up after your first goal, and you think 'why not chance your luck', and that's what I did. I suppose if you don't shoot you don't score."
"Sometimes my work may go unnoticed, which is absolutely fine, as long as I'm helping the team and doing what the manager's asked for. This is a great club to play for, I have a great manager to play for and I'm really enjoying it. I've played for managers who haven't always said how they feel, and I think Ryan's got it spot on, he's relentless with how he works, which is why he's been successful as a player and a coach. As a whole, we know and respect what he is trying to achieve here and once you buy into that, which we all have, you all have the same goal. It's frustrating, it's not where we want to be. It's where we are for a reason, I suppose, we haven't been good enough in some games, we haven't taken chances and we haven't been clinical. It's a long season, we're a building process, and as you can see from Crawley, we are getting there. When we do play to our maximum, I think we will be up there. We have the quality throughout the team to go on and win games and score goals, but we need to make sure we don't concede silly goals."
Niall Canavan has spoken in depth about living with type 1 diabetes as a professional footballer, looking back to his first diagnosis in early 2019. He said: "I'd had a couple of years of not playing so much, due to injury and other things. I did feel very fatigued all the time, but just put it down to being out of the practice of being in a routine. The manager had quite a heavy training schedule, so you always felt tired anyway, or that's what I assumed. I sweat quite a lot, so the thirst thing never really became apparent because I drink a heck of a lot, anyway. It was only later that I started thinking 'Maybe this isn't right', because I could be chugging away all day and still be dehydrated. I used to get cramps an hour after every single game everywhere, without fail. No matter what I ate, what I drank; no matter if I stretched or jogged around, anything: an hour after every game, I was pretty much useless. I'd be sat in my car a couple of times and I couldn't get out of it; I've been sat outside in the rain because I couldn't get up the steps to get in my flat. From the knee down, I was fine, but quads, hamstrings, my back, my stomach, my arms, my chest everything would just start spasming.
"The cramping I just put down to maybe dehydration or a lack of salt. So, I kept trying different things but seemed to still get the same results, no matter what I tried. That's when I became a bit frustrated and made a real point to the medical team. I'd never had cramp after a game, ever. It didn't make any sense. All through pre-season, things had been fine everything was absolutely as it should be and then it just changed. We did a hydration test every morning, and my scores went from within the perfect levels to severely dehydrated overnight. I had started using creatine as a supplement and we put it down to there being something in that that was not being processed by my body and I was passing it out. We thought that was maybe what was conning the machine, so we just left it."
"It was around Christmas time. I'd turned my ankle in training, and I was going to be out for about two weeks. The cramps were still happening, and I still felt shocking. So, I thought 'I'll test it out'. I stopped taking creatine and then, when I came back to training, we tested the hydration again and the score was still ridiculously high. The optimum for the machine we were using last year is between 200-400, and my score was 1,400. Ollie, the old strength and conditioning coach, said 'That's not right'. We spoke to the club doctor; he came in and used a swab which tests for sugar in your urine. He also asked if I could come in the next day and do some blood tests."
"It was the weekend before we played Coventry City. I went in on the Friday morning, having not eaten anything since the day before; had the bloods; and thought nothing of it. I thought it must've been a bit of a mistake. I played the game and saw the physio Monday morning. He just smiled at me and said 'The Doc wants to see you this afternoon'. I said, 'Right so what are we looking at?'
"Type 1 is generally found in very young children or throughout your teenage years, so I am late on in life to get it, but I feel that helps me a little bit because I can't think of anything worse than having it as a child. I had a friend at school who had it and we used to take the mickey out of him. He used to join in and that was his way of dealing with it. I can't imagine how hard it must have been at times: when your mates are going out and wanting to do new things, you've always got to be checking and keeping an eye on it. The first thing I asked them when I was told I had it was 'Will my son have it?' and they said 'no'. Because I got it after 25, it's not hereditary, which is a good thing, I suppose."
Argyle have continued their winless run with a frustrating 2-2 draw at Crawley Town. Crawley took an early side and Argyle plugged away before two quickfire goals from Joe Edwards, moved to the left-wing-back role, turned the game in our favour. Sadly, Crawley equalised shortly after due to a penalty given away by Callum McFadzean and the spoils were shared. Argyle: Palmer, J Grant, Aimson, Sawyer, Baxter(Wootton), Edwards, Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean, B Moore(Telford), JV Grant(Rudden). Subs: M Cooper, G Cooper, C Grant, Taylor.
Ryan Lowe said that he was expecting a ruthless reaction in both boxes as Argyle prepared to travel to Crawley for their second away game in a week, wanting improvement from his team. Lowe said: "There are aspects in the game where you have to be more ruthless in both boxes. I'm responsible, I pick the team and there will be lads knocking on my door wanting to play. It will be another tough game. Port Vale away and then Crawley away are two tough games. We'll debrief this one, put it to bed and address it with the lads. There are certain lads in there who want to put it right and lads in there chomping at the bit to get a chance. 'll make sure we have the right lads to get results. We've got a group that is still gelling, possibly too nice, and I've got to rough that up. The points tally is not as much as we want and we know we've got work to do. My staff and I will put the work in. We've got a great squad and once Joe Riley comes back on Monday, we've got a fully-fit squad, so I'll pick the team and see who wants it. Crawley are doing fantastic. Their manager has gone in and cleared out a lot of players, so we know it's another tough place. It will a number of hours on the road again for us. Crawley, we know, will be a tough ask but we're going there to win."
Ryan Lowe refused to gloss over a disappointing loss at Port Vale and stated his refusal to paper over the cracks. Lowe bemoaned: "You've got to expect the unexpected and that goes with life. We showed them what they are going to do, so for a man to run into a space unmarked is disappointing and frustrating. Newport was a couple of minutes of madness and today was the same. It's only a ball, it's not going to burn you or hurt you. We had to get hold of it and keep it. I'm not going to paper over any big hole but there are a couple of cracks, and we have to sort it out. It's up to me now to potentially make changes and pick a team I think is capable of getting results. Sometimes, when there is a bit of pressure on us, some players revert back to type. Well, no, you revert to my type or you don't play. We didn't get on the ball as much as we should and play our way because, once you beat the press, you're alright. It's do what I ask you to do or don't play. I'm not concerned in three away games lost. I'm concerned with individual errors but not concerned with the way we're trying to play, just certain errors, and I'll address that. We'll never adapt and try to play the way I believe in, which has been successful. The lads have got to stick to it and we got out comfortably, especially in the first half. We've got routines and patterns of play. We've got to be brave to get on the ball and we just weren't brave enough."
Lowe also restated his preference for strikers to be more predatory in and around the final third of the pitch, wanting more runners coming into the penalty area. Lowe:
"If strikers don't want to get in there for a tap-in, you find yourself out of the team and you're never going to score 20 goals in a season. It was a big moment because, if we score first, momentum is with us, but it's all ifs and buts. The first-half performance was alright but I said to the lads that I'm not giving them a well done yet because there was work to be done. If my two strikers were in the right areas when Danny Mayor puts over the cross, we score and get the momentum. Instead, they scored and kept going at us."
Regarding some changes made to the team due to injury, Lowe added: "Joe Riley has had a bang on his knee so we have rested him. The swelling has gone down a lot now. We had a scan on it and it's all good news, but it was his knee he had an operation on so many years ago. It was a precaution so he hasn't travelled but he will probably be alright for Monday."
Callum McFadzean reflected with similar disappointment at a frustrating display, with the promise of putting things right at Crawley. McFadzean said: "In the first half, we were dominant and in the second half, it was drips and drabs. In the first half, we could have had two or three goals, so we know ourselves that it needed to be better. There were a few decisions that we should've done better, and I hold my hands up to that myself. We just needed to be a bit more clinical in the final third and It's disappointing because when we get up there, we are creating things. It's just the final pass. I don't think we are worried. Obviously, in the first half today, if we were more clinical, we could've been 3-0 up, so I don't think we are worried we are just disappointed. We know what it takes, we are all disappointed with the goal today but we move on to Tuesday. We got into good areas, we just didn't produce it today. It's frustrating but we just have to pick ourselves up. We have a game on Tuesday, so we don't have long to wait to put it right. We all know what direction we want to go in, the Gaffer keeps saying that, it's there, you can see it. There have been other times where the final ball has been there but today, I hold my hands up, and I know there are other boys who will hold their hands up as well. It needs to be better and it needs to be consistent. It's over now, we are all disappointed, we take it into Tuesday now and put things right there."
"We aren't going to be plain sailing all season. You're going to have rough, rocky times, and it's how you deal with them. We have a good set of lads out there that will deal with it. We want to be up there but there is much more football to be played. Obviously, we are going to be disappointed, we want to win as many games as we can, but we are not going to be down and kicking ourselves because we know there's more football to be played. We know that if we keep playing right then we will only be going in one direction, and that's up. We need to keep believing and keep sticking to the things that the Gaffer wants. It's proven that it works, so get it right and we will go in the right direction. There are going to be a lot of teams who try to frustrate us, but that's where we have got to be clever and stick to the game plan. We have conceded three goals that have come from crosses which is something we are working on and we will put it right. We have our analyst Jimmy Dickinson who will do his homework, we always know coming into every game what they're going to be like, so we won't be worried about that. We just need to believe in us when we get in the final third, and we need to make sure we are putting the right crosses in. We know the process is there and know it works, we just have to keep working hard, keep believing and things will pick up."
Argyle's frustrating run of form continued, with a 1-0 defeat at Home Park meaning that the greens have now lost their last three consecutive away games. A 76th minute goal proved our undoing against a side who are fast becoming a bogey club for Argyle. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, J Grant, Baxter Edwards(G Cooper), Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean(Rudden), Taylor(Telford), Moore. Subs: M Cooper, Aimson, Sawyer, C Grant.
Alex Palmer believes the current Argyle side are clicking into gear after a large turnover of signings this summer. He said: "It's been good, its been tough. Obviously we're a new bunch of lads getting to know each other but it's gone relatively okay, I think we'll only get better as a team. That will take time and, once we totally click, we will play to our capabilities and we will be flying. We have had a lot of later signings who are getting used to the group and getting into the ethos," said the 'keeper on loan from West Brom. It is just getting used to how the gaffer wants us to play. Once they get in and make a difference to the team, I think it'll be really good. I've had an upbringing at West Brom where that's how they play, so I feel like I have a good sense of know-how. It is different everywhere you go, the gaffer has got different ideas to back at West Brom. It's a good experience and it's only going to make me a better 'keeper by doing this."
Regarding his competitor for the number one keeping spot at the club, Palmer added: "He is young, like myself, so it's good that we can push each other. We try to help each other as much as we can. I respect Coops and I know he's a really good goalkeeper, so he is keeping me on my toes at the minute. Every game for us is going to be tough, especially when we go away from home. We know that teams won't sit off us like they do here sometimes. They will be in our faces, trying to make it difficult for us but we have to relish that challenge and play the way we know we can. If we manage to score a couple of goals, I'm sure we will play football the way we know we can. The gaffer is good like that, he lets us get time with the family as much as we can and that helps," he said. "I think it's important to have that down time as well. A few of the family try to watch me, they come down here as well. They try to go to away games as much as possible but they have lives as well, so it's not all revolving around me on Saturday. I've settled in well, it's a great bunch of lads and the gaffer is really good, which has helped me to settle as well."
Ryan Lowe has revealed that Byron Moore is very likely to keep his place in the team whilst he continues to score but did note that Dom Telford and Joel Grant are ready to return to the side when required. He said: "When you are in that little bit of a rich vein of form, and you have scored two in two, you want to keep continuing that. It's always and Byron will be looking to do the same, but we have got plenty of players we have got Joel and Dom Telford back now as well so we are fully fit. Whatever players are out there they know they have got to be doing a job otherwise there is someone next in line to take their place. Byron is no different to the others but if we can keep him on a rich vein of form scoring goals then we will all be happy."
On Argyle's overall progress, Lowe noted: "We are where we are for a reason. We'd like to say that we've dropped four points, for definite, which would have put us in third. But, is that papering over some cracks where we can do better? Probably, yeah. So, I'm under no illusions that we're in a position we deserve to be in. The lads know that, and the staff know that. You can see that the style of play is good," he said. "Everyone's enjoying it, everyone's liking it, there's certain aspects of the game where the opposition get a bit more of the football than we want, we don't take as many chances as we should, we don't get as many shots as we can. There's those elements to work on, but it's not going to take another month. We're an OK team at the moment, but I've said to the lads that we'll become a good team, then a very good team, then an excellent team. Over the course of the season, those are the targets you want to get to, and at this moment, we're probably in the right place."
Ryan Lowe declared himself very disappointed with the first half display in Argyle's draw at Oldham Athletic, noting that it was not at all like the type of side he is wanting to build at Argyle. Lowe mused: "I just didn't like it. It wasn't enjoyable; I didn't enjoy it one bit, and I've enjoyed every game so far. I think the goal they scored gave us a bit of a rocket and then we thought, 'We've got to do something about it'. Fair play to the lads - they reacted, but I don't want us to be reacting when we go a goal down; I want us to be at it straight away. We know that we have to work for our goals, and I don't think a lot of teams have to work for theirs against us at the moment. We didn't lose the game, and the lads are disappointed. We've analysed the goals we know we can do better, that's the good thing, the plus side. The lads know when they're at fault and one or two owned up and said they could have done better that's great, that's what we want, and we'll work on it and make sure it doesn't happen often."
"I think it's been well documented me saying that we don't want to lose many games here and I think it's nice we haven't lost. We've still got that unbeaten record at home in the league we'll continue to work on that and make sure that's a given, because of our fans. Today, I think it was a bit flat, maybe, I don't know. Maybe we need to give the fans that spark, and we'll look at that. Towards the end, when we weren't putting the ball in the box, the fans need to understand that's not how we play, but the fans have been brilliant."
He declared himself especially annoyed with the manner of the goals conceded: "Frustrating is the word I think, because when you find yourself 2-1 up you've got to see that out. The first one we should compete and win the first header, then the second header, then it flicks into the him, we lose a man and he puts it in the bottom corner. The second one was our fault, we went through the middle of the pitch, give the ball away, then concede a corner and we lose our man. David Wheater has played for England, so you can't give him a free header like that."
On a more positive note, Lowe did agree that Byron Moore's goal that put Argyle into the lead was a good example of the type of goals Argyle should be scoring if they are going to replicate Lowe's former side last season. He praised: "I said to the lads that the goals we are going to score are going to be those type of goals. Bury scored 103 of them last season. Whether we score 103 this season is yet to be seen, but I certainly want us trying to score those sorts of goals and I'm going to make sure we get bodies in the box for them. We've got to execute in those areas when get down the sides. With Danny and Fadz, it's like clockwork for them two, we need to start doing it down the other side."
"Rudden for Taylor was because we wanted to get down sides. That's what Rudden gives you, whereas it sticks with Tayls and you play off him. When it was coming into Tayls he never had enough options, to be fair to him. "We wanted to get Byron and Rudden down the sides, which I thought worked well because Rudden has had a great chance towards the end. Sometimes, as a striker, you can't do any more. He has done more than enough. He has just missed out but he will keep getting in them areas.
"Jose looked a little bit tired towards the latter part of the game. You are thinking 'Get Coops on, nice and fresh', and we wanted Joe to pass a few more balls forward, rather than sideways and backwards, and I think young Randell done that for us. Sometimes, it's just freshening things up a little bit to go and win the game. You have seen all three players we have put on the pitch, they are all attacking players. Sometimes, lads will be disappointed not getting on the pitch and that's my problem in terms of who I put on and what I feel they need to go on there. At that time, I felt we needed Rudden, I thought we needed George to do something for us, which he did, and obviously young Randell."
Argyle can perhaps consider themselves unlucky to have came away from the match against Oldham Athletic with a 2-2 draw following a string of missed chances in the game. The greens went behind early on before Scott Wootton equalised with his first goal for the club. Byron Moore saw us take the lead in the second half before a headed goal direct from a corner shared the spoils. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, J Grant, Edwards(Randell), Riley, Baxter(G Cooper), Mayor, McFadzean, Taylor(Rudden), B Moore. Subs: M Cooper, Sawyer, Aimson, C Grant.
Versatile defender Josh Grant has shared his thoughts on being able to play all across the back line for Argyle this season, saying that he is beginning to find his feet for the greens: "It's been really good, I've been working hard in training and finding my feet in the games. I'm hopefully ready to start pushing on now and help the team as much as possible. I'll play anywhere on that pitch, I don't mind, as long as I'm playing and doing my job for the team, then I'm happy. Coming up from Chelsea, they like to have versatility and make sure players are comfortable whenever they're called upon and it helps me get into the team if I'm comfortable in different positions, so I can slot in wherever and hopefully get minutes. We're all doing well and we're giving the manager a headache, that's all we can do as players," he said. It's up to the manager, he'll do whatever he feels best. I think the boys have been doing well at the back, so obviously I've had to bide my time there's nothing wrong with that, it's not like I'm not pushing for a start or anything."
As Jose Baxter prepared to face his former club Oldham Athletic, Ryan Lowe spoke about his continued integration into the first team. Lowe said: "You are obviously cautious will he go out and perform, will he go out and try too hard?" Jose is the type of kid that won't look into it, he had some great times there but now he's an Argyle player, he loves being here and he's performing. It depends what type of game it is, when he played against Reading, he was by far one of the best players, up against a top-quality player in Charlie Adam. There's loads of factors, I just look at the best team to pick and if Jose Baxter is in that team then he'll be picked. Conor Grant has been playing in the position, Sarce has been playing, so we're not just going to throw caution to the wind, and we'll make sure it's the right choice."
Lowe also revealed how his preferred style and formation of football is being implemented right down to under-14 level so that youngsters familiarise themselves with it on their road to the first team. Lowe explained: "That will be implemented now from the under-14s right the way up. They will have to play the same way as us. When you are calling on young players like Jude Boyd, he has got to be playing in that system so that when he does get called up to the first team he can handle it. The 14, 15 and 16-year-old lads have got to start building that momentum now and playing the patterns that we want and what we want to do. When they do get called upon they have got to be ready for it. We won't change, that's us, that's the style of play. "I think it's an exciting style of play as well. A lot of fans are happy with what they have seen so far in terms of the way we play, the way we move the ball quick. But, listen, I will always say we need to get better, whether that's taking one less touch or having one more touch in the final third to work a shot. Whether that's putting your foot through the ball in terms of a rapped pass into the striker that it gets there and doesn't get cut out. We are always looking for that little bit more. The style of play, we will continue to do right the way through the season."
Ryan Lowe has given the fitness lowdown on Argyle's two main absentees in the shape of Joel Grant and Dom Telford. He explained: "We are fully fit apart from Dom Telford and Joel Grant, but the two of them are actually on the grass now. We will monitor them. They won't be ready for Saturday but come next week we have hopefully got a fully fit squad. We have got a great squad of players, players who can come in when called upon. Sarcevic was terrific the other night, he's coming back into the fold, and then we have got two lads who are going to be back fully fit with us next week. It's good. It's what you want and it's exciting times for everyone with the squad we have got. If we keep them all fit there will be plenty of selection headaches for me, but that's why I'm the manager. I will relish them opportunities of putting players in when I need to."
Ryan Lowe praised a proficient performance from Argyle as they took League One Bristol Rovers to a draw in 90 minutes and won the extra point after a penalty shootout in the Leasing.com Trophy. Lowe enthused: "Team-wise and individually, I think there were some great performances and the way we played. I think you've seen that we've done it, whoever's in the team, that's the way we have to play. We've practiced them, we knew it could go to penalties and we knew we needed to be ready for them. We felt we picked the right five to go first but you shouldn't really miss a penalty should you, it's only 12 yards out, so you should at least make the 'keeper work.".
He was also full of praise for individual debutants, saying first of Will Aimson: "He was fantastic. I'm pleased for him because he's worked hard, and we've had to put him back a bit to make sure it's the right game he plays. He was only pencilled in for 45 minutes, and I did want to give him a bit more, but we're cautious, very cautious that if we did, he could have done something."
Of George Cooper, Lowe added: "He's exciting, isn't he? That's what he's got both feet, he can play left wing-back, right wing-back, left of the three in midfield, right of the three, off the front as you've seen. He's an excellent talent, he's exciting and that's why we've brought him, but he does need to get fit. George is a footballer, he's a talented footballer, he's a fit lad but it takes time. He's probably been a bit rusty; he hasn't played a lot of games the last game he played he scored four goals and that's when he was fit. He was unlucky with a few against Rovers, on another day he probably could have scored two or three, but he's a big coup for us and he's going to excite the fans."
Finally, of Jude Boyd: "I speak to Kevin Hodges and we asked who had been the outstanding performers. Reuben Collum has been good but he has hurt his hamstring and Jude has been playing very well. "He caught my eye in the pre-season game at Tavistock when he came on and I thought he had got something about him. I phoned him today. He was actually on the way to the gym and I told him he was in the squad and to get himself home. He was made up. We made sure his family got some tickets to come and support him. I said to the boys at half-time 'Go and put a show on for us and try and get a goal so I can get the youngster on the pitch. Was it a gamble putting him on at 1-1? No, because the kid can handle the ball. You have seen that. And as I have always said, if you are good enough you are old enough, and Jude has certainly got a bright future ahead of him."
Argyle collected two points from their opening Leasing.com Trophy fixture as they ran out 5-3 winners on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Home Park. Byron Moore's first goal for the Greens cancelled out Rovers' opener. Rudden, along with Randell, Lolos, Sarcevic and G Cooper netted ruthlessly for Argyle to boost the chances of progression. Apprentice Jude Boyd notably made his debut for Argyle from the bench and Will Aimson also debuted after being kept out by injuries. Argyle: Palmer, J Grant, Aimson(Wootton), Sawyer, Randell, T Moore, Baxter(Boyd), Sarcevic, G Cooper, B Moore(Rudden), Lolos. Subs: M Cooper, Peck, Edwards, C Grant.
20 year old forward Alex Fletcher has joined Aldershot on loan for an initial one month. Fletcher, who made his Argyle debut in 2016, will be hoping to use this as a platform to push on and break into the first team.
Ryan Lowe has hinted that he will use the next game against Bristol Rovers in the Leasing.Com Trophy as an opportunity for further team rotation. He said of his team: "We've got to analyse the boys and see where they're at, in terms of the bodies. We spoke about one or two looking a bit tired, so might need to freshen it up. There will be changes in terms of what I want to change, whether that's tactical or to freshen things up. We'll have a look, see what we've got and take it from there. It's a chance to get to Wembley. Last time I just missed out, one game from getting to Wembley, and there's no guarantees of getting there but I'll be making a good shot of it. Once you get an opportunity to go to Wembley, you want to go. It's going to be taken very seriously. Sometimes when you've had a loss, you want to just bounce back quickly. We've got a big enough squad to do it."
Regarding George Cooper, Lowe elaborated: "Listen: he's not fit. I could've put Jose on, who played a great game the other night, but we were preventing him from injury again if you like. Jose will play on Tuesday night to get more minutes. I just felt I could put George on because he's played as a striker. Tayls goes off and we lost young Lolos yesterday to a dislocated arm, so we just needed to bring someone on who's forward-thinking on the pitch. Cooper is going to bring something special to us. You saw glimpses there. He gave the ball away once or twice but he's not played competitive football for a while. I threw him in at the deep end, but that's what he brings for us."
Joe Riley was pleased to get his first goal for the club at Northampton but expressed disappointment with the loss and the manner of it. Riley said: "We're bitterly disappointed not to have taken anything from the game. We're gutted because we haven't reached the same standards that we have done this season, or anywhere near that standard. We've got to go home, look at ourselves in the mirror and ask why we haven't performed today. It was a better second half than first half, but the first half couldn't have gone any worse to be brutally honest. We were nowhere near it, we had a go in the second half but when there are 1,200 fans here and we're playing for a manager and staff like what we've got, we have to do more than have a go."
"It was spur of the moment. I scored a goal for Shrewsbury a couple of years ago from a similar angle and it popped up on my Facebook yesterday. When we got the free-kick, I felt there was a good chance the wall might jump and it's gone in, so good fortune with that one."
Ryan Lowe was equally dissatisfied after the match and said that Argyle didn't play well enough in terms of learning the style that he is trying to implement. Lowe bemoaned: "We just weren't us. Fair play to Northampton they had a game plan, they stuck to it. The goals, I'll always say, are avoidable they're at our cost. They haven't ripped us open and played the way we play. Second half: we give a good account of ourselves and made a few changes. We brought a couple of players on who changed it for us, a little bit. We were more direct, looking to get the ball forward, but our first half performance cost us three points today. We kept going into Tayls, and I just said to him in there: he kept getting balls wrapped into him and I don't want that as a striker. It's not what I want from a striker. I was fine with them pressing us, but we've got the ability to get through them. As you've seen in the last ten minutes, we can do it. He keeps getting a knock on his foot. He has a hell of a bruise on his foot and he's taken painkillers to play through it, because he wants to play and he's putting his body on the line. It's always the way, when you've got a bruise, you keep knocking it. He said it was sore, so we got him off the pitch. I thought he was magnificent in the first half. He did everything for us. Tayls will do that; he's strong, he's solid, he'll get on the ball for you, and he was a big plus in the first half for us."
"I was disappointed that they didn't do what we were asked to do. They always listen, but in terms of still doing it I'm not going to change. We play football; we play out from the back; we play through the thirds; we create chances. That's how football should be played. We just weren't brave enough in the first half to do that. In the first half we weren't going around them enough. We were trying to go through the middle and that's what they wanted. As you've seen, they're very aggressive and on the front foot, trying to counter. That's what Keith Curle's teams do. We should've withstood that and kept the ball a bit more, and we didn't. I was disappointed that we didn't keep the ball today. I need 75% or 70%, minimum 65%, and when you do get that, you end up winning the game most of the time. I didn't want them going long. I feel we've got good enough players to play shorter. We've proved it; we've done it against Championship opposition last week. We'll continue to do it. We have certain outlet balls but we kept going long."
"We try and do the best for them and recover them. Is jaded the right word to say? Or tired? I'm not sure. Maybe it was just a bit of a lacklustre first-half performance. We've said to the lads in there: to be the best, you need to do both sides of the game, and just today, especially in the first half, we weren't at it. Maybe the eight games in so many days or weeks maybe that's catching up with us. But again, we kept a couple fresh. I'll accept lack of ability sometimes, but I won't accept lack of effort, and I think the first half was a bit of a lacklustre effort. I don't think they did it on purpose; I just think overall, Northampton were more aggressive, more on the front foot, wanting the ball more, and we couldn't get to grips with it. We kept giving the ball away, that's why we maybe looked jaded, a little bit. We kept giving it away, so we had to work twice as hard."
On the penalty that gave Northampton their first of the game, he added: "I didn't see it I've watched it on the video. Callum has said it's hit his nose, not his arm. The ref's taken a little while to give it. I'm just disappointed that they've got that far up the pitch in those areas and got the cross in. Fadz has turned and is it harsh? I don't know I don't get involved with it. The ref's made a decision and there's nothing you can do. I don't look for excuses I just think before that we could do a bit better. It's a loss. It's not the end of the world. We move on. Apologies to the fans; they've come in their numbers. I think they've seen what we wanted to do in the second half, rather than the first. They should've turned up at quarter to four! I'll always say we'll keep working on it, we'll keep getting better, and we've got to bounce back quickly."
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