SONNY Bradley has taken Argyle’s recent stutter personally.
The Pilgrims’ 6ft 5in centre-back believes he and his defensive colleagues have got to get back to basics when they travel to Morecambe this weekend after suffering successive home defeats to Grimsby Town and Barnet.
The Pilgrims failed to score in either match, after finding the net in 17 of their previous 18 matches, but Sonny reckons the defenders and goalkeeper Luke McCormick are equally culpable for the results.
He said: “It’s our own fault in a way because, even if you haven’t put your chances away, you’ve still got to defend properly.
“Me personally, and the back four and Luke, should feel a little bit responsible for the last couple of games because it’s probably the worst we’ve defended all season. I don’t think anyone broke us down and got through us and created a lot of chances – it’s just the basic defending, at crosses and corners, which we really need to tighten up on.
“In this division, when you’ve got the likes of [Omar] Bogle, at Grimsby, and big John Akinde, at Barnet – the big boys – that’s their game, set-pieces, and if you allow them to dominate and get chances in the box, then they’re going to put them away. It’s something we need to tighten up on.
“We know that, in this division, if we don’t defend properly and we don’t defend in both boxes, then we’re going to lose football matches. In the last couple of games, that’s what’s happened; we haven’t defended set-pieces, especially crosses into our box and corners, well enough.
“We’ve created a lot of chances, just like we did all season, but it’s just not gone for us last couple of games and we haven’t got the ball in the back of the net. When you don’t do that, there’s always a chance of you getting beat.”
Just as forwards love to score, so defenders hate to concede, let alone lose.
“I think, as a defence, you do kind of take it a little bit personally,” said Sonny. “I know I do if it’s my mistake or I could’ve done something about it. I do dwell on it a little bit because I know I could’ve done better.
“You do take it personally but you’ve got to move on as quickly as possible you can’t keep thinking about stuff like that because you’ll take it into training the next day, and you’ll take it into the next game and your performances will start dipping.”
The twin defeat brought an end to the longest unbeaten run in the EFL. The good news for the Pilgrims is that the 14-game streak began after two successive losses.
Sony said: “You’ve got to recognise that if you could’ve done better, then you’ve got to do better. We’ve recognised where we’ve gone wrong; we’ve just got to tighten up and hopefully we can go on an unbeaten run again.”
“The last time we lost two games in the league it was at the start of the season and then we went on to not get beat for nearly three months. That’s got to be our mentality now – to concentrate on Morecambe and start another unbeaten run.
“You’ve got to look at how well we’ve performed so far this season, as well. When you do look at the negatives, you’ve got to look back at the positives because the confidence rebuilds and we take that into the next game.
“You’ve got to draw a line under it now; you can’t dwell on it too much. We’ve been brilliant this season so you’ve got to look at that as well and take the positives, concentrate on training, and look towards Morecambe and see how we can get the three points there.”