ARGYLE manager Ryan Lowe hailed the Pilgrims for a ‘gutsy’ 1-0 victory at Mansfield and was pleased to see another side to his players’ abilities.
A superb first-half strike from recalled midfielder Conor Grant was the highlight of a performance in which Argyle gave no quarter to opponents who cranked up the pressure as the game progressed.
“Not a good football performance, but a good gutsy performance,” was Ryan’s summation of the victory, the Pilgrims’ first in six matches.
“I’ve seen a different side to my team today – resilient; their guts out; bodies on the line; block tackles; George Cooper’s broken his nose, got a big black eye. That’s football; that’s League Two sometimes; that’s the way Mansfield did it.
“Mansfield were always going to put pressure on you, always going to get at you. The pleasing thing for me is I know I’ve got characters in there who put bodies on the line.
“They can do it, and they will do it. We’ve just been talking about one of the other games that we played and we lost because of the way they played. Not today. No-one was beating us today.
“In terms of the performance, they wanted to win,
“The football wasn’t that great, but we’ve footballed teams to death this season and haven’t got any points for it. You can play football, and we play football right the way through – we know that.
“The first half was a dominant display. We should have scored more but we know where we are with that.
“Conor pops up with a great strike. We’ve been asking him to shoot and I’m pleased for Conor. He’s been having to wait patiently, and he’s taken his chance, certainly.
“We did play some good football. The goal we scored was fantastic but we want more. If you go in 2-0 up, the first half becomes much better.
“I would have liked to have scored a couple more goals, but the other end was fantastic.”
The win moved Argyle up to 12th in the League Two table, three points outside the play-off zone, and reignited hopes among the Green Army that the Pilgrims can challenge for promotion.
“There’s a long way to go,” said Ryan. “We’ve said that all along. I don’t get carried away and obviously expectations are up and down at the moment. That’s fine. We are where we are and that’s probably where we deserve to be – possibly two or three or four points off – but we’re a work in progress.
“We’re doing a fantastic job behind the scenes; we’re working hard; everything’s going good. It pays off – it is a good week to come to Mansfield and take three points.”