Fletch's Oxford Assessment

CARL Fletcher believes Argyle were unlucky not to gain some reward for their second-half comeback against Oxford.

The Pilgrims put the home side under the cosh for long stretches after the interval, but were unable to overturn the U’s 2-0 half-time lead given them by two quickfire Dean Smalley goals inside four minutes midway through the first period.

A Robbie Williams’ free-kick with 15 minutes to go reduced the deficit, but Oxford held on to lengthen Argyle’s winless start to the npower League 2 season to three matches.

Fletch said: “Our overall performance with the ball was good. In the first half, we were fine on the ball; off the ball, we were not where we needed to be, and that was disappointing.

“In the first 20 minutes, we were fine; there were no real issues. We were comfortable and we knew that, if we could keep it tight, slow the game down, the Oxford fans would show a little bit of unrest.

“We had just started to do that before we conceded the goal, and sometimes you lose a goal and you lose concentration and focus, and panic a little bit.

“In possession, and in the second half, it was pleasing how we performed. We were unfortunate not to get a result.

“Our overall performance with the ball was really good - we kept it and had some good options.

“A lot of it wasn’t just punting it forward. We moved it around well and found little gaps and, on another day, we could have got a result.

“I thought Conor [Hourihane] and Youngy [Luke Young] in midfield were really bright and enthusiastic, with some good technical skill.”

“We came back and, in the second half, we must have had 70-80% of possession and played the whole game in their half.

“I’m just disappointed we couldn’t get another goal towards the end, but, performance-wise, we should take a lot of positives.

“We battled for the second half, definitely. In the first hal, we were disappointed how some individual battles went.”