FREDDIE Ladapo, one of Argyle goalscorers in a 3-2 defeat at Millwall in the Carabao Cup, admitted feeling disappointed at the Pilgrims’ defeat, but had an amount of pride in their performance on the night.
For a long time, it looked as though Argyle would repeat their first round heroics against Bristol City, against whom the Greens had won 1-0. A rerun looked on, as Jamie Ness converted a corner from Conor Grant, flicked on by Ryan Edwards.
Even when Millwall equalised via a penalty after the break, Ladapo’s splendid goal, laid on by Ness, put Argyle back in front.
It was not to be, though, as big-name substitutes Lee Gregory and Aiden O’Brien came on and scored vital goals to send Millwall through.
All this followed a 5-1 defeat at Home Park by Peterborough four days previously.
Asked how he felt, Freddie said: “A lot of heartache, but we need to remember the game on the weekend, and how we really wanted to bounce back. We wanted to show organisation, we wanted to be solid at the back, in the idle and up front, and we showed that a lot today.
“Sometimes you make mistakes but we showed a massive improvement. For a moment I thought we were going to win it.
“You don’t need to psyche yourself up, you are playing against a league above and you now it is going to be a tough game. We got ourselves ready.”
Argyle boss Derek Adams packed his midfield, relying on Ladapo to work hard up front to occupy Millwal’s defence. Both men got their jobs spot on for a long time, as Freddie caused havoc, and Derek’s tactics confounded the Lions.
“It was lonely up there by myself,” said Freddie, “but I have a job to do for the team. That comes first. I was happy to contribute today.
“I headed it on to Nessy in the first half, and I was screaming at because he didn’t pass me the ball back! I think he repaid me in the second half. He won the tackle – I thought he was excellent today – and we broke away. I thought ‘just take him on and go at it’. When you get in there, people tell me I need to be more composed. I think I was today, and took it well.
“It’s not easy when they are pumping the ball in there and winning the first and second [ball]. They were really pressing for it, which they had to be as the higher team.”
With a game on Saturday at Portsmouth coming quickly, Ladapo was taken off with 15 minutes remaining at The Den. He is confident of being ready to go at Fratton Park.
“I’ve always got more in my legs!” he said. “I’m just enjoying playing a lot of games. I was a bit disappointed to come off today, but the manager makes his decisions, and I’m fit and raring to go for Saturday.”