Seven, Eight, Nine

ARGYLE manager Ryan Lowe has called on his team to secure a long sequence of positive results that would provide the platform for a sustained promotion challenge.

A 1-0 defeat at Cambridge in Sky Bet League Two on the weekend came after a run of three wins and a draw in all competitions, but particularly frustrating after a poor first-half display at the Abbey Stadium and a goal gifted to the home side.

“It’s alright winning two, three, four games but you need to win seven, eight, nine, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do,” said Ryan.

“I’m disappointed and they [the players] are aware of it. You can’t come to Cambridge and put in a performance like that in the first-half. In saying that, we gave them the goal, we haven’t tracked our runner, given the ball away and not closed our man down.

“At worst, we should have been coming off the pitch with a 0-0. If you give the ball away in certain areas, it’s not going to help. The possession stats say we were on top but it doesn’t matter if you give the ball away in cheap areas because you’ll get punished.”

Even after an opening 45 minutes that was a long way from the standards required, the Pilgrims did create plenty of opportunities to level the scores and went very close from a George Cooper free-kick.

The bigger picture for Ryan, however, is getting back on the training pitch to right some wrongs ahead of the weekend visit of Morecambe.

“We didn’t quite get the rub of the green,” he said. “Coops’ free-kick has gone a yard wide, we’ve had shots and made them [Cambridge] work, but it should have been a 0-0.  

“It didn’t quite work in the 18-yard box, we didn’t have that clinical edge someone has to give. We’ve got some fantastic attacking players but it didn’t happen. The first-half performance has cost us a point.

“We’ve got to keep working hard, keep listening and learning. We make sure when we’ve lost a game of football that we get on the training pitch to put it right. The players have been told in the right way and if you want to be a mid-table team, you’re not going to achieve anything.

“If you want to be progressive, get into the play-off positions and push on from there, you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and do the right things.”