ARGYLE’S only possible response to a painful defeat in the Devon derby is to learn lessons and bounce back quickly.
On Saturday, the Pilgrims went down 4-0 at Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two and manager Ryan Lowe is insistent his team cannot allow themselves to dwell on a difficult day.
On Tuesday, the chance to respond comes in the form of Chelsea visiting Home Park in the Leasing.com Trophy and then it’s Grimsby at the Theatre of Greens in the league next weekend.
“We will learn from it and that’s the heaviest defeat we’ve had,” said Ryan. “It’s against our arch rivals and that’s disappointing. We’re absolutely gutted for the fans, we’ve ruined their weekend and ruined ours as well.
“We work hard all week for today [Saturday] and we have to bounce back quick because that’s football. I share the frustration and the anger because I’ve bedded myself into it, but what we can look forward to is the next game at home [against Exeter in March], when we’ll have over 16,000 fans.
“We can’t dwell on it. We’ve got bigger fish to fry in terms of where we want to be in the league. We’ve lost a game of football against our arch rivals and now we have to bounce back.”
The Grecians edged in front on Saturday after what looked like a soft penalty following Josh Grant’s challenge in the box.
Nicky Law converted the spot-kick and Argyle conceded again straight after the restart, when Tom Parkes headed in a free-kick. Randell Williams added a third after an unopposed run through the Pilgrim defence before Law completed the win with a goal on the rebound.
From an Argyle perspective, all four goals were avoidable but the bigger frustration for the gaffer was his players failing to display the mental attributes he demands.
“I can’t say too much on the penalty, we’ve seen it back and we’ll ask the referee to have a look at it,” said Ryan. “It was soft but the referee decided it was [a penalty] and we’re not making any excuses.
“Conceding a penalty just before half-time kills your momentum and there wasn’t enough willingness to fight, not enough desire and commitment, because that’s what my teams are about.
“At this moment in time, we’re very inconsistent. We come off the back of two good wins, scoring six goals and looking a good team. All of a sudden, we come away to Exeter and I didn’t think we got opened up for the goals really.
“It was a penalty, a silly free-kick, lost our man from a free-kick, then a player has run off the back of our shoulder and the fourth one is a shot from the edge of the box and no-one’s reacted. They’re goals you can avoid and that’s disappointing.
“It was an uphill task [after conceding two goals] and there are lessons to be learned. All we can do now is bounce back very quickly. We’ve bounced back before and we’ll now assess for the next game.
“It’s down to hard work and we’ll make sure we put it right.”
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