Mixed Messages

CARL Fletcher displayed mixed emotions after his Argyle side’s 1-1 home draw with Southend.

On one hand, he had positive words for his team’s hard-working and, at times, stylish display.

Yet, he declared himself disappointed that they did not claim all three points after going in front on 50 minutes through Alex MacDonald. The Pilgrims have now opened the scoring in their last three home games, yet come away only with two points in total.

“For us, the feeling is that we are disappointed we didn’t get three points.

“We played well in the first half and little bits of the second half. I felt it was a little bit of an opportunity missed.

“We played some good stuff. We played [the ball] around well; we were getting second balls; we were on top.

“So we’re disappointed – but not too disappointed because the performance was good.

“All week we’ve been working on getting wide men in pockets.  I thought Baz did it really well, and the first time Macca did in the first half, we had a good passing move and Madjo had a chance to score.

“We’ve been working on the movement of our strikers down the channels, and we worked that well. Feeno and Madj both worked tirelessly to do that.

“We scored soon after half time which was pleasing.

“We dropped off a little bit after we scored, which was disappointing, and we couldn’t kick on from there. We’ll learn from that.

“Southend will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. They’ve won four of the last five games. We knew it was going to be a real tough test, but I thought we played well.

Fletch had confident and strong words for his squad both in analysing the Southend game and in assessing Argyle’s near future.

Whatever the result in recent weeks, it has been noticeable that the Argyle players are adopting the manager’s philosophy of combining hard graft with attractive, positive football.

“I’m not sure these days people like to say they work hard,” said Fletch.

“For us, we’d be proud to say we work hard – be proud to say you might be the hardest working team in the league. That’s first and foremost, and if you’ve got a bit of quality to go with it – which we have – then we won’t be far wrong.

“Football’s a game of decision-making, really, whether making the right ones or the wrong ones.

“We’re getting there in terms making the right ones, than wrong ones. That should bode well for the future.

“I’ve got a lot of good players here in my squad. I’ll defend them to anyone until I’m blue in the face.”