REACTION: Practice Makes Perfect
Argyle manager Ryan Lowe was delighted with the training ground preparation that ultimately secured the Greens’ 2-1 victory over Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon.
Having gone into the interval with their noses in front thanks to Frank Nouble’s headed goal, the Pilgrims were pegged back through Ricky Korboa. With time running out, a set play goal from Kelland Watts secured back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League One.
Lowe said: “I’m pleased we scored from a set play, we’ve worked on it all week, of where we could nullify their zonal area marking. If you beat their zonal from the crosses, you can find yourself unopposed at the back stick, a bit like Kelland was.”
The Greens were forced to work hard for their third league win of the season, with a stubborn Cobblers side content to sit deep and prevent the Pilgrims from getting in behind.
Lowe said: “We knew it was going to be tough, we worked hard all week in terms of how we knew Northampton would be. They don’t make any apologies for it, they’re back to front early, it’s their way, and we just made sure we nullified their strengths.
“That’s why we have the stats on it, the scouts that go and watch these teams, and they come back with the reports. All the set plays and whatever else, we have to make sure that we’re ready. We did the work, made sure we got the tactics spot on, and we went out an provided ourselves three points.
“Credit to the lads, the build-up to the week has been tough, they’ve been putting a lot in their legs, and a lot of instructions, and the game plan we set out they’ve gone and achieved.”
Despite their dominance in possession and territory, the Greens were looking as though they would have to settle for a draw against Keith Curle’s men. However, Lowe always had faith in his side to generate a match-winning opportunity.
He said: “I always believe that we’ll get back in the game, at some point. I was disappointed with the goal, as I always am, but I thought it might give us a little bit of a rocket to go again – not that I want that all the time. The lads do everything they possibly can to win games of football.”
Midfielder Conor Grant, who is enjoying the best spell of his Home Park career, laid on an inch-perfect cross for Nouble’s opener, but did not emerge for the second-half, having pulled up slightly towards the end of the first period.
Lowe said: “He’s good, he’s played a lot of games of late, and we just felt he was a little bit fatigued in his right hamstring, or his quad, he just wasn’t feeling right.
“But the squad we’ve got is tremendous – I said that to the boys at the end, we could have three or four senior players sitting in the stands over the next few weeks when everyone’s back. Conor did fantastic first-half, and then ‘Reevesy’ comes on and gives us something different.
“If there’s any sort of niggles and we feel we can stop them going into a strain, pull, or tear, we’ll make sure we do that – he’ll be fine.”
The win elevates the newly promoted Pilgrims into sixth place in an emerging League One table – and Lowe wants his players to continue to believe that they can match any side in the division.
He said: “I expect us to be battling, I expect us to be performing, and I expect us to win games of football. That’s just the way it is, that’s the culture of me, my staff, and the football club, and the lads to be fair.
“We won’t get carried away, we’ll keep plodding away. That game’s gone, we have to put it aside, and we’ve got to move on to the next one.”