Stoney Takes The Positives

ACADEMY coach Ian Stonebridge was keen to take the positives from the Pilgrims' Milk Cup defeat to Strikers FC South Coast on Monday.

Argyle were beaten 2-1 by their Californian opposition but Stonebridge, who played in the Milk Cup for Tottenham Hotspur as a youngster, was not going to get too down.

Ian said: “You can look at the result and be disappointed but the other side of it is that this is our first game and we have some young lads who are experiencing tournament football for the first time.

“We’ve had a really interesting day where we’ve all learned plenty - both about playing against a team from different continent and in the different conditions that tournament football brings.

"Although disappointing at times, there was certainly plenty for us to draw from it and take into our next games.

Both of Strikers' goals came from Argyle mistakes but again, Stoney was not about to start pointing the finger.

He said: "Young players will make mistakes and that is the nature of youth development.

“What we’re looking to do is to see the response to those mistakes and if we can help the players to understand the things that have happened and improve on them and iron them out.

"Becoming more consistent is important as the players get older and obviously within this tournament setting it’s quite a concentrated series of games so those things are kind of emphasised and magnified.

“We are certainly not going to be digging out individuals in terms of mistakes they made today and we want to help those lads improve and progress.”

Argyle had started the match in fine fettle and even took the lead, a silver lining that Stonebridge emphasised.

He said: “The quality of our possession and passing and movement in that first period was really good, although without really penetrating and affecting their goal and really threatening them which is something we need to build on in the next few games.

“That first 15 minutes certainly gives us positives to build on in the next few games beginning with the trip to Port Stewart where we meet County Fermanagh.

“There are likely to be different players involved as the squad will be used to its full through the week so it will be good to see those players get a chance as several of them got on the pitch as substitutes today and again several of them did well to affect the game in a positive way and it will be good to see their response.”