AFTER recording his first back-to-back league victories as Argyle manager, Carl Fletcher was notably delighted and credited his hard-working squad for the recent good form.The most recent, Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Rochdale, followed a 4-1 victory at Barnet the previous weekend. In turn, Argyle had won their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second-round tie over Aldershot, too.
“That’s three on the bounce in all competitions and nine goals in three games, so I’m really pleased,” said Carl.
“To get wins in this division, like in any division, is really hard. [We]’ve worked hard, dug in again.
“Rochdale are a good side; they were in sixth position in the league, so we knew it was a real tough test today.”
Similar to their visit to Underhill, Argyle were immediately out of the blocks in impressive style.
Although, where it took 11 minutes to put Barnet two goals in arrears, Argyle knocked four minutes off that record this time: Guy Madjo’s spot kick put the Pilgrims in front, with Andres Gurrieri doubling the tally on seven minutes with a neat header from a fine Argyle move.
Argyle conceded a great deal of territorial possession in the second half, with Rochdale understandably fighting back, but held out and scored a late third to renew the gap after veteran Dele Adebola had got Dale back in it.
“I thought the lads had a great start today, and we did what we needed to do,” said Fletch.
“In the first half, I thought we could have kept the ball a bit better, but we always looked dangerous on the break.
“In the second half, we did alright and, apart from the goal, there weren’t too many major chances that we conceded.
“I was pleased with the way we conducted ourselves after they scored, as well. We didn’t show signs of edginess or anything like that. We carried on and I’m really pleased we got the win.”
Argyle made two second-half changes. The first was enforced, with Paris Cowan-Hall succumbing to a dead leg and being replaced by Joe Lennox, who would later be upended for Argyle’s clinching penalty.
Late in the game, Fletch withdrew attacker Gurrieri and replaced him with defender Curtis Nelson in an effort to prevent Rochdale from stealing anything from the game.
“With Paris coming off and Joe coming on, you can see what he brings,” said Fletch. “He’s quick, he’s sharp and he’s got good technique. He got the penalty for us at the end.
“We brought [Nelse] on at the end to shore things up, because they were finding a little bit of joy getting it into Adebola and working from his flick-ons.
“But we always had that threat on the break, which is what you want when you’ve got a lead. You want to be nice and tight and solid, without being too defensive, because the best way to defend is to attack and keep the football.
“Paris has just got a bit of a dead leg. There was a collision between him, their goalie and Pursey [Darren Purse] in the first half, and he got a bang on his thigh.
“Everyone says ‘Oh, it’s only a dead leg,’ but I’ve had them plenty of times over my career and they are very restrictive in what you can do. They tend to get worse and worse.”