Victory Ground Out

PROFESSIONALISM and confidence are two characteristics Luke McCormick believes Argyle showed in spades during their 3-1 win over Newport County.

Despite facing the Football League’s basement side as Sky Bet League Two leaders, no-one of a green persuasion was taking Argyle’s visit to Rodney Parade lightly - not least the players.

On a tricky playing surface against a physical side, motivated by new manager Graham Westley, Newport provided plenty of tricky situations for the Pilgrims to work around.

“We expected it to be a hard-fought game,” said Luke, “and it turned out to be exactly what we predicted. 

“I spoke earlier in the week about being able to roll up your sleeves and dig in when you have to, and I thought that’s what it needed today. We did that and came out with a positive result, which we’re all really pleased about. 

“Away from home we’re going to get that. We’re going to have to win the battle first, then when the ball comes to us, we can get it down and play. 

“It’s important when we come away from home that first of all, we’re solid, so we have a base to push on. We had to whether the storm early doors and we did that. By the time we can get the ball down, I don’t think there’s many better in the league.” 

Argyle’s professional approach paid dividends in the end, with a brace from Jake Jervis and a Jordan Slew effort securing a superb sixth consecutive away win in the league. Carey’s brace consisted of two penalties - the first of which coming after County keeper Joe Day was sent off for bringing down Jordan Slew in the area, bringing sub shot-stopper (and former teammate of McCormick’s) James Bittner into action.

“I’m always going to sympathise with a goalkeeper because you’ve been in that position, or a similar position to that,” said Luke on the first penalty call. “I can sympathise, but at the same time, I think he saw red because there appeared to be a pull, as opposed to him actually going for the ball. 

“Fortunately, Graham’s been big enough to step up and tuck it away nicely. Even if he [Bittner] goes the right way, I don’t think he’s going to keep them out. That’s the quality Graham’s got. It’s hard enough from 30 yards, let alone from 12. 

“I think he wanted to get his hands on a penalty few weeks ago. We’ve got boys full of confidence, and everyone wants to get on the score-sheet. It can only be a good thing.

“As the game went on it opened up, which suited us. Having the man advantage obviously helps. It was a thoroughly professional performance from us. We’re just grateful to come away from a difficult place to come with three points.”