Home Improvement

PASSING, precision and potency in attack were areas for improvement outlined by Derek Adams, as Argyle drew 1-1 with Hartlepool United.

The Pilgrims' boss watched his side grind out a draw at Home Park, despite an early deficit and a less convincing display than many previous outings this season. A miss-hit cross from Nathan Thomas found the net on 21 minutes, but six minutes from time, Jimmy Spencer's bravery in the box earned him a penalty, which was coolly dispatched by Jake Jervis.

Argyle were kept at bay for large parts of the match by their visitors, as the Greens struggled to break Hartlepool down, or maintain their fast tempo and quick passing that played such a key role in their seven consecutive wins.

"We probably didn't use the ball well enough today in the attacking third," said Adams, "or the defensive positions as well. We didn't move it quickly enough and we didn't create enough opportunities.

"We just didn't really find our men today quickly enough. Set piece delivery was poor, through balls were poor - at times, we didn't play that killer pass well enough.

"We probably passed the ball backwards too many times; backwards and sidewards. We didn't really go long-ball, which we probably had to today, to try and put them under pressure, because they were quite happy for us to have the ball in front. It was easier for them to defend. We do play one ball in behind, and we get the penalty."

Once again, Adams was able to bring on effective options from the bench, as Jervis, Connor Smith and Spencer all played their part in Argyle's resurgence late on.

"I could've made any substitution," said Derek. "The ones that I took off at half-time: it could've been anybody.

"I just had to change something to try and get a bit of momentum back into the game, and that's what happened. We did that, but I don't think we did well enough on the ball though."

One option the gaffer was not able to utilise, though, was Paul-Arnold Garita, who is aiming for Tuesday's game against Leyton Orient as a return date from his hamstring injury.

"He's still struggling just a wee bit," said Derek, "and we just have to be careful with that type of injury. We'll see how he is for Tuesday. He'll be in tomorrow getting treatment, and we'll just see how it is."