The Greens suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Leyton Orient on Tuesday, a result which brought Pilgrims everywhere down to earth with a bump after their Home Park dismantling of Exeter City three days previously.
Argyle remain second in Sky Bet League Two – three points behind leaders Doncaster Rovers and eight ahead of Rovers’ visitors on Saturday, fourth-placed Luton Town – thanks to season-long form under manager Derek Adams which has seen them lose consecutive games only three times: last season, it happened only twice.
Most recently, they responded to another Tuesday night defeat – at Yeovil – by keeping clean sheets and claiming six points from games against Cambridge and Exeter.
“We had two wins after the Yeovil game,” said midfielder David Fox. “We bounced back well after that and it’s important we bounce back well against Hartlepool. We need to get the win and we will be going all out to get the win. We know it will be a tough game, but it is a great opportunity to put things right after Tuesday.”
Like a lot of Pilgrims, David has been on an emotional rollercoaster this week: the high of a triumph in the Devon Expressway Derby and the low of seeing victory turn to defeat against Leyton in the last few minutes.
“It was the two extremes in the victory and the defeat,” he said. “You can win on a Saturday and lose on the Tuesday and that’s football, but the manner of the victory and the defeat was very much one extreme to the other.
“For long periods against Leyton Orient, we did fine; we passed the ball well; and it was the fine margins that defined the game, really. The game should have been put to bed a long time before they had the chance to come back and get something.
“Conceding three goals at home – we’ve done that too many times. But, recently, it’s not looked like might be the case, especially after the last two clean sheets. We have managed games well and we did not manage the last 20 minutes against Leyton Orient very well at all.
“I’m not sure why. We are normally better than that. We are normally more solid; we are normally more professional in seeing games out, but that’s football. They threw everything at us; they had nothing to lose.
“It was a big disappointment. We thoroughly thought, before the game, that we would get the victory, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We have got to take the positives from it. Certain aspects of our game were very good for long periods – but, ultimately, we got beat, and it’s how we bounce back, now.
“It’s important we bounce back, put it to one side and focus on the game on Saturday.”