Bittersweet Sympathy

THERE was a bittersweet return to action for Argyle captain Luke McCormick, who suffered an Emirates FA Cup exit on his comeback from injury but took great heart from the Pilgrims’ performance in their 3-1 defeat at Bradford.

“On the whole, we played really well,” said Luke, who had not previously played any competitive football since damaging his ankle at the end of September and missed, among other games, Argyle’s 1-0 Sky Bet League One win at Bradford three weeks earlier. 

“Overall, we’re really pleased with the way we played. We’ve created a lot of chances. The boys looked hungry to get on the ball and moved it about well and were causing a lot of problems. 

“Some of the football we played going forward really gave them a problem. I didn’t see the first game up here, but I’ve been told we played a lot better second time round. 

“Unfortunately, the goals we conceded were disappointing.” 

One of those – Bradford’s third – came just after Graham Carey had halved the home side’s lead to 2-1 and was scored by Charlie Wyke after Luke let Alex Gillead’s cross slip from his control.

Luke said: “It’s taken a slight deflection as it’s coming across and I was backtracking. I’ve tried to stop and get on top of [the ball] and ended up getting it terribly wrong. Unfortunately, it’s squirmed underneath me and ended up in the back of the net. 

“I hold my hands up for that. I’d like to think it’s an uncharacteristic mistake but I should have done better. But, on the whole, I was quite pleased with my contribution today. 

“It’ll be the talking point. That’s how it goes; it’s the nature of the job. I’ll get on with it, get another week’s training inside of me and get up to speed. 

“You can never be too high or too low, just get on with it. There’s another game on Saturday to look forward to. There’s no point moping. 

“I am never going on concentrate on mistakes because they are inevitable; they are always going to happen. They happen all over the pitch, but I am in a position where, if I make one, [the ball] usually ends up in the back of the net. 

“I’m certainly not going to dwell on it. I’m pleased with being able to come though the game today.”

Bradford’s second goal, from Nathanial Knight-Percival just after half-time, also had an element of fortune about it. 

Luke said: “The ball has come into the far post. We haven’t really cleared it. Someone is stood there, unmarked, and it’s a wild volley which is going nowhere near goal and it’s hit one of their players full on in the face and found its way into the bottom corner. 

“On another day, it doesn’t go in, but, unfortunately, today, it has.”