DEREK Adams was pleased to see some more defensive solidity from his Argyle side in their 2-1 win over Reading’s Under-21 side, to back up their attacking prowess.
The Pilgrims’ first run-out at Home Park in nearly three months came after conceding seven goals in three friendlies against non-league opposition, but Adams’ side were impressive in their application against the Royals.
Lisandro Semedo netted the visitors’ only goal as the ball broke kindly to him inside the area, but his strike was deemed inconsequential by goals at the other end from Graham Carey and Reuben Reid. It was perhaps Argyle’s most complete showing under Adams to date, and the boss had praise for all aspects of his team’s performance.
“It was good, and nice to get on the main pitch to get a game,” said Derek. “I thought we were very good going forward. I thought we created good opportunities and so did they.
“Technically it was good from our point of view, tactically it was good from our point of view, and we stood up to the test. The way we play is open; we’d like to have a clean sheet, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s not a concern if we continue with the way we’re playing just now.
“It was nice to see Graham scoring. I said to him before the game that we need a goal. It’s nice to see Reuben Reid coming back as well. He got 45 minutes under his belt.
“The players worked extremely hard. Most of them got 85 minutes, which was important, and it’s another game under their belt. That’s four games now and we’ve got two to go.
“All over the park today I thought we were sound. Defensively, there were a couple of skirmishes and chances, but that happens because they were a good side.”
Reading’s youngsters were, indeed, impressive against a senior side well into their pre-season preparations, and Adams was, as expected, paying close to attention to all the talent on the pitch at the Theatre of Greens.
“I thought Reading were very good as well,” said Derek. “These teams are going to take the ball out from the back, so it was about closing them down and not allowing them to take the ball to the centre halves.
“Tactically, we got that spot on, and that’s good for the players. When they played the long ball forward, we dealt with that as well.
“I think that there will be a number of them that will go out on loan this season, so we’ll look at them, and look at if they could move their way into our team. Today there were a number on show that did really well. They’re all players that need to get out on loan and have that experience of playing in the first team.”
The boss was keen to compliment the display of one loan signing he has already secured for his side, as Crystal Palace midfielder Hiram Boateng showed poise and vision in his central role to stand out at Home Park, just three days after joining the club.
“I thought Boateng, for only coming in on Thursday, to pick up the game and to control it for large spells, he was excellent,” said Derek. “That was something that I was looking for, and he’s given us that.
“He’s good on the ball, he looks forward with a pass as well. He’s comfortable and can play in the defensive area as well as going forward and attacking.”