Defensive Unit

THE back three combination of Niall Canavan, Scott Wootton and Gary Sawyer is starting to become a formidable defensive unit for Argyle, securing four clean sheets from the last six games.

The glaring anomaly was a painful 4-0 defeat at Exeter City and Niall admitted the understandable frustration of the Green Army from that result has been a motivating force.

“We were all hurting after the game, it’s not nice knowing that we were going to get booed by the fans, you’re well aware of what has happened and what is going to come,” he said.

“It is hard trying to go and applaud the fans because you know really that they don’t want you to go and do it, but we are thankful for the support that we have had everywhere. We have said from there that we have got to repay them and the two good defensive performances away from home are hopefully starting to do that.

“It’s the hard work on the training ground, just a bit of pointing out a few principles that we maybe let slip at certain times in games.

“We have got a good record for clean sheets this season and it has been in some games that there have been a lot of goals at times that have hurt us and that is something that we have got to address.

“We’ve worked on things on the training ground, we have had meetings and discussions about the understanding of our roles and what is expected of us. The last two results, in particular away from home, we’ve really dug in and got the grit of it done.”

Those successive 1-0 victories, at Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup and Forest Green in the league, was testament to Pilgrim resilience at the back and also a better understanding of the different system deployed by manager Ryan Lowe.

“Obviously we know each other from last season but didn’t play as a three,” said Niall. “It is something that the more work you do, the more you build on those relationships. You get familiar with what people tend to do in certain situations or the decisions that people are more likely to make.

“You get to pick up on little bits and we spend a lot of time here together, so that will just continue to build the more we play together.”

The trio will face their next challenge tomorrow, when Bradford City visit Home Park in Sky Bet League Two.