ARGYLE manager Carl Fletcher used all three substitutes in his side’s win over Northampton Town.Two were enforced, with injuries to Paris Cowan-Hall and Rhys Griffiths forcing his hand. The other saw Griff himself come on at half-time, replacing Paul Wotton and instigating a change of shape.
“I felt at half-time we’d been a bit lethargic,” said Carl. “We spoke before about getting a good tempo in the game as we knew Northampton had a couple of games in three days. We’ve all been there and played those games – sometimes you can’t get your legs going.
“For all the good possession where we moved the ball around, we didn’t have that urgency which was what I wanted. We had that in the second half, which was pleasing. We showed a good hunger and desire to go and do the right things. That got us the win.”
Goals had been at a premium so far for Argyle in their league campaign. In the three games played, only a Robbie Williams free-kick, a consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat at Oxford, had registered on the Green side of the scoresheets.
To get three, especially at home, was very satisfying; particularly the fashion in which they were scored.
Said Fletch: “Feeno’s movement on the first one was great, to get across his man and head it in.
“The way we broke for the second one was pleasing, and Rhys, in his first league game, didn’t panic. He just stroked it home.
“I think that’s a sign of a man that’s been scoring regularly for the last eight years or so. First of all, he did well with the ball, got it wide, and then showed some desire to get into the box once he’d made the pass.
“For that hard work, you get your chance, and he put it away lovely.”
“Then Nelse at the end; it was a great ball in from Willo and Nelse is athletic, can leap and can head the ball. It was a perfect ball for him and he finished it really well.”
It was a bittersweet day for Griffiths.
Having come on and had a big impact on the game, his goal notwithstanding, he was forced off due to a recurrence of the calf injury that had delayed his league bow.
A goal in a big game is still a positive, though, and Fletch was quick to point that out.
“I’m pleased for Griff,” said Carl. “All he wants to do is play and show what he can do. For 20 minutes, he kept hold of the ball, and got his goal.
“He’s a good player and he scores goals. Some players have that knack that the ball falls to them all the time, and he seems to be one of them. That’s great for us. It also helps that he is six foot plus and takes no prisoners.
“We’ll have to wait and see on his calf, but hopefully it is not as bad as we thought.
“I’ll have to speak to my physio. I think was a case of a bit of tightness. It was a case of ‘Do we keep him and something really bad happens?’ or ‘Do we take him off and we can rest him up and have him ready for next week?’
“We’ll wait and see.”