Exorcising a Chelsea Ghost

YOUNG Argyle keeper Michael Cooper was disappointed to concede with virtually the last kick of the ball in the Leasing.com Trophy defeat to a young Chelsea side at Home Park on Tuesday night.

Jon Russell fired home a last-gasp winner and, although Coops is frustrated that we didn’t secure our safe passage to the next round of the competition, he feels there are lessons to be learned from every game.

Top of the list for Coops and his fellow Pilgrim custodian Alex Palmer is to continually work on distribution as part of the playing style preferred by manager Ryan Lowe.

“I have made a few saves but that’s what I’m there to do. The added bits need to be better,” said Coops. “You see from Alex on a weekend he is able to pick up from the full-backs and pick out space in behind when you need it, it’s a big part of how we play and I’m very disappointed with that side of the game.”

Tuesday night’s game represents the third time the Stamford Bridge side have played at Home Park in this competition and Michael says he can even draw positives from the humbling 5-0 defeat last time out.

“That game sits in my head in a positive way,” he said. “In the long run, it has helped me massively because, if you have a bad game, it is not the be all and end all. You make sure you put it right in the next few games. When you get a few clean sheets, it brings your confidence back up. That game was a massive learning curve for me.”

 “It was like a baptism of fire, 5-0 in my first game as a pro, seeing the standard of the Chelsea players, that’s what you aspire to be, then you get beat 5-0. That was a massive shock to me.

“The way I reacted at the time as a first-year pro, it wasn’t the way you should react. I should have just got on with it, dusted myself down and trained harder.”