THE Pilgrims sail into the relatively uncharted waters of the Carabao Cup second round at Championship side Millwall after their worst result from their best performance of the season.
Manager Derek Adams’ considered post-match analysis of Saturday’s 5-1 Sky Bet League One loss to Peterborough United at Home Park confirmed what he had thought in the immediate aftermath of the defeat.
“The performance on Saturday was very good,” he said. “It was probably the best performance we have had this season. We played really well in the game – our statistics are unbelievable in all aspects apart from the scoreline, and that’s the most important thing.
“We didn’t do well enough from the point of view that we gave away goals from individual errors. Other than that, it was a good performance.
“Freddie Ladapo had the most shots by any player in the league; we were up there with opportunities and actions in the league – Peterborough had 10-12 opportunities, we had 22.
“We passed the ball well; we created a whole host of opportunities in the game – we didn’t take them; we allowed Peterborough to get goals with our slack play, and we need to eradicate that.
“We made individual mistake, but performance-wise, we were very happy.”
Happy, too, to be underdogs away from home against good quality opponents from a division above – after, all that was the case in the first round, when the Pilgrims caused an upset by knocking out last season’s Carabao Cup semi-finalists.
Derek said: “It will be a difficult game for us. Millwall are a very good Championship team – they have been there a couple of seasons now – and they have obviously got home advantage and a lot of good players in their side.
“But we have shown that going to Bristol City last time out didn’t faze us. Doing as well as we did will give us confidence.
“We would like to progress to the next round. We’ve got a good opportunity. We know we’re away from home. We’ll have to be as disciplined as we were against Bristol City.”
Derek dispelled any thoughts that he might rotate of make wholesale changes to the Argyle line-up, although he did confirm that new loan signing from Cardiff City, Stuart O’Keefe, would be in the 18-man squad as long as the transfer received necessary international clearance, and that Calum Dyson would be among those having to wait patiently for his chance.
Derek said: “We’ll be close to what we were on Saturday. There will be a few changes to the team, which was always going to be the case.
“It’s a squad game and we have got a strong squad. Unfortunately, some people have to miss out of being in the 18-man squad [at Millwall] and in future weeks because the ones in front of them are doing better than them, either on the training-field or in games.”