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ARGYLE captain Conor Hourihane called on his team-mates to stand up and be counted after the Pilgrims’ 3-0 defeat to Rochdale at Spotland.

An early goal by Jamie Allen, plus late strikes from Ian Henderson and Michael Rose after Argyle had been reduced to ten men following midfielder Andres Gurrieri’s 52nd-minute red card, inflicted a first loss in six league games on the Pilgrims.

“It was a big reality check,” said Conor. “We didn’t get going whatsoever in the first half.

“To be fair, in the first five or six minutes of the second half, I felt we got going a bit and started passing a bit. Then the sending-off killed us, big time.

“When you get defeats like that, everyone has to stand up and be counted. It’s on to Cheltenham next week. The character will really come out now after a difficult defeat.

“A win next week at home to Cheltenham, which will be a big game for us, and everyone will completely forget about this – that’s the way football is. So we will have a good week’s training and go into it all guns blazing again.”

Conor had been praised by manager John Sheridan for his performance in Argyle’s previous game, the 3-2 FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay defeat by Port Vale.

During that match, Conor had scored one of the best goals ever seen at Home Park; on Saturday at Spotland, he missed a far easier opportunity when the Pilgrims were 2-0 behind.

“I had a good chance to get us halfway back at least, but it just wasn’t to be,” he said. “It was just one of those really bad days, to be honest.

“The touch was brilliant and it was right in my stride. I thought to myself ‘Put it in the corner’, but took too much. You have to miss them to score them.

“Football’s a funny game. You can be so high and then kicked to your knees within seconds.”