Luke: "No Excuses"

ARGYLE captain Luke McCormick admitted that the Pilgrims’ opening-day 3-0 defeat by Luton Town had been a “slap in the face”...

...but promised that he and his team-mates would work hard to put matters right.

Amid much hope and expectation following a good build-up to the campaign, and with a new-look squad, Argyle tumbled to their heaviest defeat under Derek Adams to fall to the bottom of the first Sky Bet League Two table of the season.

With seven debutants in the Argyle starting line-up, and another two coming off the bench during the game, there is no doubt that the players – who now face Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday – do not yet know each other’s games yet. 

“It will take a little bit of time,” said Luke after the game, “but we are certainly not using that as an excuse. We don’t want to use any excuses. The bottom line was that, today, for 45 minutes, we weren’t good enough. 

“I thought, for 45 minutes, we did okay. We did the things that we worked on. Second half, it was evident that we let ourselves down.  It was clear, after the first half, that, in the second half, it was going to have to be a case of having to win ugly. 

“It’s a massive learning curve for us. We have had bit of a slap in the face. We go again on Tuesday and we have got to improve on doing the things that we weren’t good enough at in the second half today. 

“Clearly, it’s very disappointing. Pre-season went as well as it could have but – it doesn’t matter – you can do whatever you want in pre-season, as soon as it comes down to the first game of the season, it’s all about the win. 

“All three of the goals were very, very disappointing, from our point of view, and we got ourselves in a lot of good positions with the ball but failed to test their ’keeper as much as we should have done. That’s something that we are going to have to improve on. 

“I don’t think we worked their goalkeeper anywhere near enough and yet he was far busier than I was and I’ve let three goals in. That’s the story in itself. 

“We lacked a bit of fight which is something we are going to have to improve on, especially in this league, at times. We are not a bad footballing side, so we are going to have to roll our sleeves up and do the ugly things. 

“It’s a bit of a reality check, maybe, but there are plenty of positive things that are happening at this moment with the football club and one bad result is not going to put the dampeners on it too much. We dust ourselves down and go again. 

“We come in on Sunday and go to work about putting it right.”