DEREK Adams has forgiven his players after Tuesday night’s home Sky Bet League Two defeat by Notts County, and expects them to bounce back for Saturday’s visit of Carlisle United to Home Park.
The Argyle manager was – rarely – public in his measured post-match criticism of the Pilgrims’ performance in the 1-0 midweek loss that extended their current run to four matches without a win.
However, he is counting on his team to respond positively in the clash against the promotion-chasing Cumbrians, who are one position and three points behind second-placed Argyle in the highly competitive division.
Derek said “We have to allow them a night like that; we have done really well this season and sometimes that is going to happen. It was a disappointing result for us, but we move on.
“We probably didn’t start the game quickly enough; that’s something we have to change and we will change it because we have got the players in the squad to do that.
“Overall, the performance wasn’t like us, because we have done really well – we have had a lot of good performances – and it is a big game on Saturday, second against third, and we want to do well in the match. We want to continue to either open up a gap or keep the gap as it is.
“It’s a good match for League Two. It’s two teams that are pushing for automatic promotion; they are in a very good position for this time of the season and both will want to try to get a win, or a draw, to keep that momentum going.”
“We have done well on the big occasions. The games when we haven’t done as well are the ones when the atmosphere hasn’t been the best in the stadium, so, from that point of view, I think the players respond to the fans.”
Tuesday’s lacklustre display should not take away a second successive season under Derek’s management which has seen Argyle win a greater number of games than more than 90 percent of teams in England’s top fur divisions.
“We’re still in a very good position,” said Derek. “There are only six teams in the 92 clubs* that have won more games than us this season and that is something we have got to be proud of; in the league, we have won 19 games out of 33. We’ll continue to work away.
“We didn’t play well enough on Tuesday night. The goal didn’t help us, giving it away in the manner we did, and we didn’t really force ourselves on Notts County enough in the later stages of the game. We didn’t pass with the fluidity we have seen over the season.
“In the first half, we got ourselves into good positions a number of times and either we don’t find the right ball or there is not the right person in the box to get the goal.
“I wasn’t happy with the performance because it was an opportunity for us to get more points on the board. Looking at it, as I’ve said already this season, it’s a difficult old league and it’s difficult to get wins.”
*Chelsea, Newcastle, Brighton, Huddersfield, Sheffield United, Doncaster