ARGYLE manager Derek Adams again highlighted poor defending against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, and a threadbare squad, as the defining factors why his team are yet to find their first three points of the Sky Bet League One season.
The Pilgrims’ twin shortcomings contributed to a 3-2 defeat by Rovers, who took an early lead through John Marquis.
Ruben Lameiras led an Argyle revival with a peach of an equaliser just before the break. However, the second half saw Argyle fail to threaten their visitors until injury-time, when Graham Carey scored another superb goal.
By then, though, Matty Blair and Marquis, again, had scored further goals to take control of the game.
“We give away a poor goal at the start,” said Derek. “We don’t react to [Doncaster] taking the quick free-kick which is very poor play by our players, and it allows them to get a goal ahead in the game.
“Then we score a very good goal from Ruben Lameiras which gets us in at half-time at 1-1; it looks like the tide is turning and going in our favour.
“In the second half, Doncaster were the better team. We didn’t really lay a hand on them until the last five-ten minutes of the game; they took their opportunities well. They had a few good opportunities in the second half by our poor defending and our poor play.
“Our players didn’t get as good a grip of the game as the Doncaster players did. We didn’t take the impetus that we had in the first half into the second half and I thought they were the better side in the second half."
While Derek was pleased with the quality of his side’s goals, shipping goals in the manner we are is a far more pressing issue for the Scotsman.
He said: “They were excellent goals but we’re conceding goals quite easily. I say ‘easily’ because we’re not defending well enough in that split second and allowing teams quickly to get a goal against us.”
The Pilgrims had ten players missing through injury at the weekend and Derek said:
He said “I’ve had to change: I’m playing a left-back at right-back and a left-winger at left-back, and giving a left centre-half his debut. From that point of view, it’s not easy.
“We’re in a situation where we have a horrendous injury problem. We have 10 out, who are high-profile players – they are vastly experienced – and that doesn’t help me at all, in my job.
“We’ve got a situation where we’re playing players out of position; we have a threadbare squad; and we have to go to the next game at Barnsley with that.
“It’s just about trying to get the players back from injury to give us more choices in the squad.”