ARGYLE manager Derek Adams was in no doubt where the Pilgrims’ display in their Emirates FA Cup second-round defeat at Bradford ranked.
“It was probably one of our best performances of the season,” he said, “the way we created chances, and defended at times.”
Instead of enjoying a repeat of their recent 1-0 Sky Bet League One success against the same opponents at the same venue, Argyle were left to count the cost of missed chances and an uncharacteristic goalkeeping error from Luke McCormick as Bradford ran out 3-1 winners.
Yet the Pilgrims could have been out of sight before Romain Vincelot opened the scoring in the 40th minute. City doubled their lead just after the interval but Graham Carey pulled one back for Argyle before Luke let a cross from Alex Gillead slip from his grasp to allow Charlie Wyke to complete the scoring.
Derek said: “It was a really good performance from us today. Bradford scored against the run of play when we have had three or four very good opportunities. It was a great ball into the box from their right-back and a very good header, but it was against the run of play.
“Going in at half-time, we were happy because we were the team in the ascendancy. We played very well in that first half and took the game to Bradford. They were probably fortunate to be in at 1-0 at half-time. Jake [Jervis] had two very good chances, maybe three – he could probably have had a hat-trick before half-time – Joel [Grant] as well, Graham Carey.
“In the second half, [Bradford] get a fortunate goal – a ball to the back post, the player knocked it across the area and it was deflected in off one of their men. Then it’s a difficult afternoon because we have got to get back into the game from there.
“We get back into the game and make it 2-1, a good goal from Graham Carey, and then make a mistake, a goalkeeping error – it goes under Luke’s body and into the goal – that makes it 3-1, and Bradford get a lift from that.
“If strikers miss chances, it’s the strikers’ fault; if the goalkeeper makes a mistake, it’s his; that’s just the way it is.
“We’ve all got to take responsibility.”
Derek is also certain that the level of display will put the Pilgrims in good stead now that they can turn all their attentions to the League One campaign in the second half of the season.
“This was a very good performance, far better than the one we had here when we won 1-0,” he said.
“We were very good overall. It was a very good game, end to end at times; it was a good cup-tie. I didn’t think it was a 3-1 game, but that’s the scoreline.”
“We’ll do very well this season and move off the bottom of the table and put ourselves in a position that we are happy with at the end of the season.”