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Diamonds Are Forever

Change of System Works

2 February 2019

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ARGYLE manager Derek Adams was delighted to see his tactical change pay off in the 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory over Peterborough on Saturday.

Derek opted for a diamond variant on the 4-4-2 formation, knowing that it is Darren Ferguson’s preferred system. The result, according to the Greens’ gaffer, is that Argyle were able to nullify Posh’s notable attacking threat, helped by the dismissal of Lee Tomlin on the stroke of half-time.

“We obviously matched their formation, we had a diamond midfield with two up top and we stopped them playing,” said Derek. “From our point of view, it was good that we didn’t allow them too many opportunities.”

With Darren Ferguson replacing Steve Evans as Posh manager a week ago, this was his first home fixture in the hot-seat, and Argyle were keen to ensure the Peterborough fans weren’t given anything exciting to get behind in the early stages.

“It was their new manager’s first game at home, and it was probably the story of the afternoon that we didn’t allow them many opportunities, and we controlled possession once they had the sending off,” said Derek.

“We’ve played against Darren a good number of times now and won against him in different ways. Today, we went up against them, because we didn’t want the home crowd to get excited, and we quietened them down and gave them a difficult 45 minutes.”

The Pilgrims’ coaching staff were thrown another tactical quandary on half-time, when Peterborough were reduced to ten men following Tomlin’s push on Ryan Edwards. Derek and his staff opted to remain patient, and it paid off in the end.

“He had to go, the referee has no choice. It was petulant, and the correct decision was made,” said Derek.

“He’d already been booked, and he was probably lucky it wasn’t a straight sending off at the time. The second half becomes one where we’ve had a lot of the ball and created a number of good opportunities but don’t take them, until a fabulous bit of play from Ruben Lameiras.

“We didn’t think they were going to sit in as much as they did [after the red card]. They played with three across the back, four in midfield and one up top.

“They just tried to stop us getting in behind. We used the width of the park well, we had a good number of crosses into the box but unfortunately they had a good number of bodies in the box.”

Argyle’s win, their fifth in the last six Sky Bet League One fixtures, places them 16th in the table, but neither Derek, nor his team, are happy to see their ascent stop there.

“We knew we were 15 points off of Peterborough before the game, and now we’re 12 points behind them,” said Derek. “We knew we could close the gap between ourselves and them, but we’ve also closed the gap between ourselves and the teams above. We’ve done our job today, we spoke about that before the game, and the players were reminded of that after the game.”

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