IT HAS been a split opening to Argyle’s season.Either side of a highly encouraging performance at Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City the Pilgrims have slipped to disappointing league defeats to Southend and Fleetwood Town respectively.
After the 2-0 home defeat by Fleetwood on Saturday, manager John Sheridan was keen to stress that he does not feel that his players are falling short when it comes to physical effort, but that perhaps the problem thus far lies within the heads of his men.
“We’ve got to stay focused,” he said, “It’s only two games but, performance-wise, we’re just not at the races. There were probably nine or ten players not at the races. “They put the effort in, but they didn’t put any thought into the game and what they were doing.
“It’s too many. You can get by and get a result when it’s one or two, but when it’s seven, eight, nine, you don’t get a result.
“It’s not about running around and looking like you’re working hard. Sometimes your mind takes care of how you play.
“I get frustrated that we’re taking corners and they end up taking a shot at goal. It’s ridiculous. Everyone knows what their jobs are.”
After naming the same 11 that started at St Andrew’s and took the Blues all the way to extra-time, John saw Argyle burst out of the gates in the opening nine minutes or so and put their visitors under pressure. However, they gifted David Ball a goal in the tenth minute, and allowed him to double up within 120 seconds.
“I thought we started really well, on the front foot and got at them a little bit,” said John.
“The killer was the two goals. At the time, it was against the run of play, very quick after each other, and you find yourself 2-0 down.
“We just didn’t pick up after the two goals. Full credit to Fleetwood, who kept catching us on the break, but we just totally switched off. That shouldn’t be the case.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s 2-0, there was still 75 or 80 minutes to go, plenty of time.
“I went to watch the game against Notts County that Fleetwood had and I really expected us to get something.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up and get ready for maybe the toughest game we’ll have which is Cheltenham away.”