Derek's Pleasure

DEREK Adams hailed a “massive” win after Nauris Bulvitis’s second-half header at Blackpool lifted the Pilgrims into the Sky Bet League Two play-off places.

Bully struck five minutes after half-time, heading in Graham Carey’s expert delivery, to give Argyle a 1-0 victory and a third win in a row.

“Coming away from home and winning is vital in this league,” said the Argyle manager. “Sometimes you are happy with a draw, but a win is massive because of how tight the league is from top to bottom.

“We have obviously had to come a long distance to Blackpool and we’ve come away with a good victory. I thought we played very well at times, in possession and out of possession, against a very good Blackpool team.

“Blackpool started not badly but we came into the game very well and, when we got our passing, and our shorter passing, in play, then it benefited us.

“We got the lead in the game with a well-taken goal from a very good corner-kick that we worked short – they tried it in the first half – and it was a very good cross into the box for Bulvitis.

“I thought we were in good control of the match in the first half. If a team was going to take more control of the game, it was ourselves. It always looked as if it was going to be one goal that was and, fortunate for us, we were the team that got that.”

Despite Blackpool being reduced to ten men in the 70th minute when new signing Jack Payne was sent of minutes after coming on as a substitute, Argyle had to withstand a deal of pressure from the home side late on.

Their resilience was typified by a brilliant goal-line clearance from substitute Gary Miller, who pulled off a near-impossible header from Armand Gnanduillet’s lob.

“They played balls forward and we had to deal with that,” said Derek, “but we have shown in the past that when you come away from home, you have to deal with the pressure from the home team.  

“I think we could have controlled the game a wee bit better in the last ten minutes. We could have passed [the ball] better; we could have used the width of the pitch better; we could have taken more touches further up the pitch.

“But, in the end, we have been able to have come away with the three points.”

The victory has brought to an end a gruelling 2,300-mile cross-country trek in August that has seen them also travel to Carlisle, Nottingham and Reading, as well as to Britain’s premier seaside resort on a summer Bank Holiday weekend.

“It’s not easy at this time of the year,” said Derek, “and, being a Bank Holiday, it was going to be even tougher. We can’t complain too much because there are teams all over the country travelling’s the way the fixtures came out.

“We have had a lot of travelling to do. We are probably the team in the division which has had to travel the most at the start of the season and it’s not been easy for us.”