ARGYLE defender Gary Sawyer believes the Pilgrims were left rueing their slow start as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Charlton at the Valley.
Early goals from Lewis Page and Michal Zyro gave the home side a lead that Argyle, despite periods of play in which they were territorially dominant, never truly got involved in.
The result meant it was the first time the Pilgrims had failed to score in a league match since Portsmouth in November and the first defeat in nine matches.
Sawyer said: “We didn’t start the game great, we were a little bit slack and they hit us with two quick goals. It gave us a mountain to climb and that’s something we haven’t done over the last seventeen games. It’s something to learn from and we have eight games left now with everything to play for. We just need to move onto the next one now and keep doing what we have been doing.
“We controlled the possession quite well, which we have been doing in recent games. It just wasn’t meant to be today; we weren’t defensively tight enough for the first two goals. We couldn’t get many good enough attempts at their goal, so overall it was a pretty disappointing result.”
With Argyle 2-0 down in the 50th minute, Derek Adams made a tactical switch which saw Sawyer move to centre back a position which is by no means strange to the Argyle skipper.
“Centre half is somewhere I really enjoy playing actually,” he said. “Had I been a bit taller I think it would have been my career pathway. But, I like playing centre half and they trust me to do that. They saw Sinky (Aaron Taylor-Sinclair) playing at left back was the way they wanted to play the game so, it was nice to play a centre back again.”
With only eight matches left to play this season the Greens are still in the hunt sitting just outside the play off places on goal difference. Gary felt the lads needed to remember how far the squad have come this season and to use that as motivation for the final run in with the Green Army behind them.
“We’ve been on an unbelievable run; the lads can’t forget that,” said Gary. “Unfortunately, we have lost today; you’re going to lose games and this is Charlton Athletic - they are a big club. From where we were at the start of the season to come here and be disappointed shows where we have come from and the character of the boys. We will get the boys going again and put this to one side and start again next week.”
Over 3,000 of the Green Army crammed into the Charlton away end, and while they will understandably be disappointed with the outcome, Gary hopes their disappointment will short-lived, and assure them the players appreciate the backing.
“We worked so hard for them and they work really hard for us,” said Gaz.“To turn up to here with 3,000 fans is something probably Charlton haven’t seen this season. It just shows the strength of our club and where we want to go. The players know exactly what the fans are all about so, we are disappointed. But, we can’t be too down about it now as it’s done and we go onto the next one with eight games left.”