IT is possibly one of the oldest clichés in the book but Argyle’s 1-0 home league victory over Rochdale was a game of two halves.Reuben Reid’s first goal of the season, from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, secured the victory but the second half was not comfortable and manager John Sheridan knows there is room for improvement.
“I thought we played really well in the first half,” said John. “We caused [Rochdale] lots of problems and could have had the game sewn up by half-time.
“One-nil is always precarious. I think the opposition still believed they could get in and full credit to Rochdale, who came out and played.
“In the second-half, we were sloppy, dropped ten yards, and we didn’t hold the ball up front like we did. We just couldn’t get going in the second-half.
“It was definitely a game of two halves, but we’ve won the game 1-0. It’s two wins on the spin after two defeats and that’s what we are going to take.”
Rochdale came at Argyle after the break and forced them into defending for majority of the half.
Despite some nervy times, the defence held strong for the team’s first clean sheet of the campaign.
“Rochdale are a good team,” said John. “They played really well against the so-called favourites Chesterfield last week and should have won [then].
“I knew it was going to be a tough game. They have good players on the ball and they play good football which causes you problems.
“It’s always a good habit not to concede and end up winning the game which is a plus point and can only breathe a bit of confidence into the players.
“However well we defended, we shouldn’t be defending; we’re at home.
“We’re playing Rochdale at home and we dominated the first half so we should have never have ended up scrapping for a point, or in danger of conceding for a point.
“It should never have got to that stage and that’s what the players have to realise to sort out themselves on the pitch.”
Argyle now sit ninth in the Sky Bet League 2 table going into next Saturday’s match against Morecombe.
“We have to try and get on a run now,” John said.
“We’ve got Morecombe and then two home games, so I said to the lads ‘There are four or five games that if you believe it – I believe it – we could be in a really healthy position in three games’ time.
“When you look at the league table and you’re winning football matches, it always looks different; you feel better in yourself when you’ve won a game and you’ve jumped five or six places.”