Lacklustre Loss

WHILST a 3-1 defeat to Northampton Town came in the midst of a busy start to Argyle’s campaign, manager Ryan Lowe is still intent on ensuring his team show full commitment at all times.

The Greens contested their eighth game in a month in Northamptonshire, and would fall short, as an Andy Williams brace and a Ryan Watson penalty nullified Joe Riley’s free-kick; all goals coming in the first half.

The hosts were able to win more possession and 50/50 balls than most sides have against the Pilgrims this season, and the boss was asked if his side’s heavy schedule recently played a part in the performance.

“We try and do the best for them and recover them. Is jaded the right word to say? Or tired? I’m not sure,” said Lowe. “Maybe it was just a bit of a lacklustre first-half performance.

“We’ve said to the lads in there: to be the best, you need to do both sides of the game, and just today [Saturday], especially in the first half, we weren’t at it.

“Maybe the eight games in so many days or weeks – maybe that’s catching up with us. But again, we kept a couple fresh. I’ll accept lack of ability sometimes, but I won’t accept lack of effort, and I think the first half was a bit of a lacklustre effort. I don’t think they did it on purpose; I just think overall, Northampton were more aggressive, more on the front foot, wanting the ball more, and we couldn’t get to grips with it.

“We kept giving the ball away, that’s why we maybe looked jaded, a little bit. We kept giving it away, so we had to work twice as hard.”

Northampton’s spot-kick looked dubious to many, as Callum McFadzean’s attempt to block a cross inside the area led to the penalty, despite him coming out of the incident with a bleeding nose. Lowe, however, was not interested in highlighting this as a key point in the game.

“I didn’t see it – I’ve watched it on the video,” said Ryan. “He [Callum] has said it’s hit his nose, not his arm. The ref’s taken a little while to give it.

“I’m just disappointed that they’ve got that far up the pitch in those areas and got the cross in. Fadz has turned and is it harsh? I don’t know – I don’t get involved with it. The ref’s made a decision and there’s nothing you can do. I don’t look for excuses – I just think before that we could do a bit better.

“It’s a loss. It’s not the end of the world. We move on. Apologies to the fans; they’ve come in their numbers. I think they’ve seen what we wanted to do in the second half, rather than the first. They should’ve turned up at quarter to four!

“I’ll always say we’ll keep working on it, we’ll keep getting better, and we’ve got to bounce back quickly.”