DEREK Adams famously does not drink or swear. Given that, the Pilgrims’ manager probably does not gamble, either.
However, he knows well enough when to stick or twist, as he demonstrated in assessing Argyle’s 1-1 draw at Sky Bet League Two promotion rivals Luton Town on Saturday.
The Pilgrims bounced back from conceding an early Danny Hylton goal to level matters midway through the first half, when Craig Tanner converted Graham Carey’s cross.
There were no further goals in a tight, even, well-contested match at Kenilworth Road and, with only Portsmouth in the division’s top seven making ground on second-placed Argyle, Derek considered the afternoon a job well done.
“We’d have taken a point before the start of the game,” he said. “You always want to try to get the three points but, at some point in the game, you have to take a point. A lot of people would be happy to come here and take a point.
“We’re delighted to come away with a point. We went a goal down – it was a poor goal to lose – and then to come back into the game and score in the first half ...we knew that Luton conceded goals here and we were able to get that equaliser.
“We had more possession than Luton, more shots than Luton – that’s testament to the players. We have a very good away record and we’ve added to that today.
“We probably could’ve won the game in the end, but we’ll take a point and move on. Coming here and keeping the gap between ourselves and Luton was important.”
The equalising goal came after a beautiful interchange between Ryan Taylor and Graham Carey, who latched on to Ryan’s deft backheel to deliver a low cross that Craig anticipated well.
Derek said: “We got the ball wide – we knew we could cause Luton trouble in the wider areas – and Graham Carey put in a terrific ball; Craig Tanner makes a run to the front post and puts it in at the front post.”
Craig was one of two players recalled to the Argyle starting line-up after another 1-1 draw the previous weekend, at Hartlepool, and Derek paid tribute to the other, midfielder Antoni Sarcevic.
“He wasn’t 100% fit,” Derek said. “For him to play the 90 minutes shows you the mental character and toughness he’s got, and he put in a good shift for us.
“It was a big game and we needed our big players in the game. He’s always capable of scoring a goal – we’ve seen that since he’s come to the club.”
One of the players obliged to drop out was Czech defender Jakub Sokolik, who was pressed into service at half-time after an injury to David Fox.
Derek said: “He was unfortunate to come out of the side today because he had been struggling with an injury – he hadn’t trained until Thursday. When he came on in the second half, he won his headers; he cleared his lines; and he’s a strong boy.”
Argyle now have three home games in eight days, but Derek is looking no further ahead than Tuesday’s visit of Notts County to Home Park.
He said: “We have to take the next game in isolation and go from there.”