DESPITE a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United, Argyle manager Derek Adams is not prepared to give up the fight for a place in Sky Bet League One’s top six just yet.
There was a play-off atmosphere at Glanford Park, as both teams looked to cash in their chance to seriously boost their hopes of promotion. For the hosts, a win would guarantee a place in the play-offs, and they rarely looked like taking anything less than three points from the match, with Hakeeb Adelakun’s low strike finding the bottom corner on 32 minutes.
The Pilgrims stayed true to form and rallied, despite having to cope with yet more injuries both before and during the match, but the Iron flattened the Greens on the hour-mark, as Ivan Toney flicked in a cross. The result was hard for Adams or anyone else to argue against, though the boss knows that the goals were still preventable.
“I didn’t think it was our best performance,” said Derek. “We had good spells in the game. We probably should’ve scored when they were 1-0 up, just into the second half and even in the first half. But, we came up short tonight.
“We could’ve defended the two goals a lot better. The first one, we could’ve blocked; there were three or four players who could’ve blocked the shot. The second one, we could’ve stopped the cross and we could’ve stopped the player getting in front of the defender. So they were all areas where we could’ve stopped the two goals.
“It was live on Sky television, we wanted to perform, but at times we just didn’t do that tonight. Tonight was one of those games where we didn’t do enough to win it.”
Despite the cameras coming to Scunthorpe, the Green Army were once again out in force for a midweek trek across the country. Adams took plenty of time after the full-time whistle to applaud the fans, and he turned his praise into words later on.
“They’ve had a lot of travelling to do this season,” said Derek, “especially in midweek. We had Rochdale last week and Scunthorpe tonight. We’ve had great support this season, home and away, and I’d just like to thank them for that this season.”
The Pilgrims still have one last shot to book an unlikely place in the play-offs on Saturday, as they head to Gillingham, looking to overcome a three-point and six-goal deficit to Charlton Athletic, who play Rochdale. The scenario is unlikely, but unlikely is good enough for Derek, who will prepare his team for one final offensive assault at the Priestfield Stadium.
“We can go to Gillingham and win, and Charlton can go to Rochdale and lose,” said Adams. “That’s a possibility. Rochdale are fighting for their lives. They’re a good team who can score goals, and we’ll wait and see.
“If you’d said at the start of the season that we could get into the play-offs with the last game of the season, I’m sure every single Plymouth Argyle fan would’ve taken that. We need to go there and score goals, and hope Charlton lose.”