Tactical Perfection

DEREK Adams paid fulsome tribute to his Argyle side after they racked up an incredible ninth away win of the season against Carlisle United.

Ryan Brunt’s double at Ewood Park gave the Pilgrims a fourth win out of four over the Christmas period, maintaining their three-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League 2.

The victory was a triumph for the Argyle manager, who selected a 5-4-1 formation to deal with Carlisle’s aerial bombardment, and for the players who put his plans into action with a brave, skilful and fully committed display.

“It was an unbelievable performance,” said Derek. “It ranks up there as one of the best performances we have had this season. It was excellent from start to finish. 

“We have had to deal with a lot of long balls and throw-ins; we knew that before the game. We set up to deal with it and, tactically, it was done to perfection; we came away with a clean sheet and two goals.

“It was never going to be a pass into midfield that was going to break us; it was a long ball into the box. We had to deal with the high balls coming in from throw-ins, corner-kicks or in direct play and we have done that very well – Carlisle are one of the highest scorers in the division and we have come away with a clean sheet.

“In the second half, we had a number of good opportunities’ to add to the scoreline. Overall, I think it is a thoroughly deserved victory. We had more opportunities on goal than Carlisle; our goalkeeper has not had a save to make in the game; and we have had other opportunities.”

Amazingly, Derek sprang his surprise change of tactics on, not only Carlisle, but also his own players.

“We didn’t really work on it because I didn’t tell the players we were going to play that way until not long before kick-off,” he said. “We wanted to keep it all quiet and keep it in-house, and we were able to do that.”