John's Lack of Belief Belief
AS a supporter, if you did not believe that Argyle would get something at npower League 2 leaders Gillingham, then you could perhaps be forgiven.
Argyle in the relegation zone; Gillingham top of the shop; it was hardly an away banker.
For those taking part, though, if you did not believe that points were obtainable from the long trip to Kent, your manager would be none too pleased with that attitude.
It is hard to argue that the Gills were not the better of the two sides on the day, but Argyle played their part and were far from outclassed by the team at the opposite end of the league standings.
Had the men in yellow and green believed a little more in their abilities to pull down the metaphorical pants of their hosts, then things could have been different. At least according to manager John Sheridan.
“There was definitely an opportunity there,” he said, “As a team, we didn’t really believe in ourselves.
“It was a tough game. Obviously they are where they are; they’re strong and well organised. They make life difficult and they get in your face. I think, if we’d wanted it a little bit more, we might have got something out of the game.
“We fought hard, but the goals were poor goals on our part. [Gillingham] picked second balls up, and we didn’t keep the ball when we had to keep the ball.
“In the first half, there were times when we could have caused them problems. They are a big strong team, very workmanlike. They get in your face and get in positions. And obviously they have the long throw as well. I think they just worked a little bit harder than we did.
“I don’t think we gave up. We had to defend as they put you under pressure. The biggest downer was that we didn’t believe. If we could have worked harder by keeping the ball for longer periods we could have caused them more problems.
“They were keeping us on the back foot for longer than we were doing. If we could have done that to them, we would have caused them more problems. We had little patches.
“I really do believe that, if we’d believed in ourselves, we could have got something out of the game. I don’t think we showed enough spirit to try and get something out of the game.
“I’m not too down; I thought we battled away. It was just about belief and players taking command on the pitch. The goals could have been avoided. I don’t look at the goals when they go in the back of the net – I look at it 20 seconds before it’s happened.
“It’s just people not being switched on, organised and in position in case something happens. We don’t do it; I’m trying to get it into their heads. It’s something we have to do a lot better.”
Of the other teams in the bottom seven, three – Barnet, Wimbledon and Aldershot – picked up wins. York, Accrington and Torquay were all beaten. It was not the best day for Argyle, results-wise, but it could have been worse.
We now enter a week where Bradford and Fleetwood each visit Home Park, and the Pilgrims’ points tally after this brace of games will have a huge bearing the season’s outcome.
“It’s very tight at the bottom,” said Sheridan, “We’ve got two home games now to try and get points. Difficult games, but games that we can win.
“They are going to be hard games. We’ve got to get points from them. If we get points then the table looks a little bit different.
“We’re bottom of the league and it doesn’t make nice reading. If we can get two positive results, we’ll be right back in the mix.”