Targeting Targets

A LACK of ruthlessness in the final third was the deciding factor in Argyle’s 2-1 defeat to Walsall, which manager Derek Adams will be working hard to improve upon.

Despite plenty of intent and possession in attacking areas, the Pilgrims were not their usual, fully-firing selves at the Banks’s stadium. After seeing an early spell of dominance deplete, the hosts forged ahead on 23 minutes, with Daniel Agyei nodding in from close range. 

From that point on, chances were few and far between for Derek’s side, even with a hatful of set-pieces and positive possession to put to good use. 

“We didn’t create enough in the final third of the game,” said Adams.“That started after they had scored the goal. Before that, I thought we started really well. 

“We had shots on goal; we’ve had 13 this afternoon, but we’ve only had two on target. We didn’t get ourselves in good enough positions later on in the game. We had a lot of the ball but we didn’t do enough with it to create that opening. We had a lot of free kicks and deliveries where the delivery from Graham [Carey] wasn’t good enough. That was hugely disappointing.

Adams switched things up sharpish to try and force the issue, but even after bringing on the likes of Nathan Blissett and Ruben Lameiras, clear opportunities were at a premium. Walsall scored a second through Erhun Oztumer with nine minutes to go, and it took a penalty shortly after, converted by Carey, to get Argyle off the mark.

“We talk about playing two up front” said Derek.“I’ve done it a number of times trying to change the game, and I get annoyed with myself because I keep on doing it and it doesn’t work for us. 

“It was a dull affair from both sides. It was a poor game. I didn’t think there was any excitement in the match. We didn’t show the quality that we can do. At this level, you need to do that. We’ve got to continue working hard with them. We’re at another level now and we know that.”