Skipper's Performance

WHATEVER happens in the next 11 matches, there’s no argument that 2012-13 has been a breakthrough season for Conor Hourihane: captain of his club and leading goalscorer.

His fifth strike of the season got Argyle back on track after conceding an early goal at home to Barnet, with fellow Irishman Ronan Murray completing a vital 2-1 win early in the second half.

The three points lifted Argyle off the bottom of League 2 with 11 games of the season to make sure they finish out of the bottom two to maintain their Football League status.

“I’ve come up with a couple of goals this year, compared to last year and it’s going well,” he said, “but the main thing is the three points.

“It’s a crucial win. Barnet are down there with us and we’ve got some tough games coming, so it gives us a boost heading into that period.”

Argyle went behind to their opponents’ first attack of the game midway through the first half and Conor said: “It was a shocking goal.

“We started the game well and were really on top, and I think it was the first time they had gone into our penalty area in the game.

“But we stuck at it and got the goal, came back into it, and got a nice early goal in the second half, which we don’t get often. We deserved to win it. We had the better chances and we put in a good performance.”

Conor’s strike, nine minutes from the half-time interval, was a super shot and one of several times he and Andres Gurrieri benefited from getting forward from a midfield three in which Lee Cox played the anchor role.

“It suits me a lot better,” said Conor, of the system of play.

“I’m not being picky – if the gaffer plays 4-4-2 and I’m playing, that’s no problem – but I do like 4-3-3. It lets me get in the box a bit more, and make runs to push us up the pitch.

“I like to get forward. We all like getting on the ball and, with Coxy there, it gives us a bit more licence to get forward.”

One swallow does not make a summer, and Conor cautioned about getting too carried away with the Pilgrims’ first victory in four matches.

He said: “We’ve got some tough games coming up but, if the fans come back and keep getting behinds us, and we keep showing the spirit and the fight we showed today, I’m sure we won’t be far off.”