REACTION: Building Momentum
Argyle manager Ryan Lowe was delighted with the quality of the Pilgrims’ performance in their 2-2 draw against Charlton Athletic at the Valley.
Luke Jephcott struck twice in a first period full of attacking intent to send the Greens into the break 2-1 up, and it took a moment of magic from enigmatic midfielder Marcus Maddison to rescue a point for the play-off chasing Addicks.
Lowe said: “I thought we were excellent, start to finish. We did have to soak up a little bit of pressure, but that’s normal at the Valley against a good Charlton team.
“We went ahead twice, which was very good – the lads were on it, they were pressing in the right areas, they stuck to the game plan we put out. They’re a bit disappointed in there that we haven’t come away with the three points.”
While Lowe, too, admits to being disappointed not to claim the win, he is keen to bring the positives of the performance back to Devon.
Speaking on his players, Lowe said: “They deserved the three points, but for a moment of brilliance from a player of Maddison’s quality, a nutmeg and a strike, a thunderbolt, if you like. We are not too disappointed – to come here and get three points would’ve been brilliant, but to get a point and play ever so well is just as good.
“Four points out of the last two games, we’re trying to build our own little momentum now, and that’s another point in the right direction.”
As they did in the previous fixure, a 1-0 victory over Milton Keynes Dons at Home Park, Lowe’s side pressed from the front, with attacking duo Jephcott and Ryan Hardie running the channels to great effect.
Lowe said: “It’s what we did before we had a little bit of a blip, in terms of results. We were going on the front foot. We know we’ve got to get on the front foot, and we’ve got to pressure teams into mistakes, and that’s certainly what we’ve done.
“The game plan wasn’t for us to sit in – we came here to play, and we played some good football, and we had some good chances. Even there towards the end, we’re putting balls into the box – we want to go and win, that’s our aim.
“We’ve got to continue to do that - we’ve got a fresh squad, in terms of players who can come in and do that type of work, and that’s a given now. We’ve had our little blip - we’ve been on it of late, we’ve put game plans together to get high up the pitch and get into their faces.”
The performance, as well as the Boxing Day result, is another step in the right direction for Lowe’s Pilgrims, who remain 14th in the Sky Bet League One table.
“We have got an honest group, good set of lads, they listen and take on instructions great. The belief has got to be there, because we’ve got some good players. You don’t have the start that we had and become a bad team overnight. They have got that bit of belief back, but we won’t get carried away.”
Next up for the Greens is the visit of Oxford United, the team directly beneath Argyle in the league table, on Tuesday night.
Lowe said: “We know it’s going to be a tough ask, Oxford were play-off finalists last year, I know Karl very well, and it’s a game we’re looking forward to. We seem to be on the right track at the moment, and we’ll continue to keep moving in the right direction.”