ARGYLE’S FA Cup second-round exit at Bramall Lane has cleared the way for the Pilgrims to fully focus on their Sky Bet League 2 promotion tilt.
Two second-half Jose Baxter penalties – after Reuben Reid had missed a spot-kick for Argyle – put League 1 Sheffield United on their way to the third round, with substitute Marc McNulty rounding off the Blades’ 3-0 win late on.
It was the last scheduled knock-out match of Argyle’s season and vice-captain Peter Hartley spent little time in reflection after the defeat, concentrating instead on looking forward the following weekend’s league encounter at Northampton.
“It’s a cup game,” he said. “We go again next week; we get back to doing what we we’ve been doing in the league and just keep progressing.
“We came here with the intentions of getting a win and it didn’t work out for us, but that is not going to affect us. We’re not concerned. We’re a tight group of lads. We gave it everything we’ve got; and now we have just got to concentrate on the league.
“No-one’s head is dropping – I’ll tell you that much. We’re too strong, mentally, in that dressing-room; we’ve got John Harbin behind us, who is different class with the boys, and the gaffer says what he needs to say; everyone takes it on the chin; and we move on to next week. We are going to work our wotsits off to make sure we get three points.
“There are still a lot of games to play. Our aim is to keep going, ticking over nicely, get the busy Christmas schedule out of the way, keep everyone fit and then do what we need to do after Christmas. We’re a confident group of lads and the key to a good league run again is hard work.
“There’s no hiding; we’re not going to get any luck – everything comes through working hard on the training ground and that’s what we intend to do.”