Argyle manager Ryan Lowe rued the second-half lapses that cost his team a result against table-topping Peterborough United at Home Park on Tuesday night.
The Greens were more than a match for the Sky Bet League One promotion candidates in the opening 45 minutes, but a goal inside first minute of the second period changed the complexion of the game, with the visitors running out eventual 3-0 winners.
Lowe said: “I thought in the first half we were very good against the team who are at the top of the league and have got some good players.
“Second half we obviously were done by one ball over the top 40 seconds in, and that just can’t happen, we’ve gifted them a goal. Then the second one was a bit similar; we’ve been done by another sloppy ball down the side.
“The lads have been fantastic, but you can’t come back from two goals down against a good team, especially top of the league.
“I thought we were well in control, we were in the game, we had 51% possession in the first half, and we had a few chances, not so many clear-cut ones but I still thought we could trouble Peterborough. I’m disappointed with the goals, we could’ve definitely avoided them.”
Lowe utilised all five allotted substitutes in the second period in an attempt to find a way back into the game, including two changes of formation.
He said: “We swapped and changed, we tried everything but when you come up against a quality team like Peterborough, they aren’t going to gift you goals the way we gifted theirs.”
The defeat to Posh is the Greens’ first in 10 outings, and Lowe is keen to ensure that his players’ confidence levels remain high heading into the final third of the Sky Bet League One season.
“I can’t sit here and be critical because they’ve been fantastic, but what I will say is that I don’t like losing any games of football in that manner.
“We’ve been on a good run of late and I wanted that run to continue because it’s important that you’re winning games and keep building momentum and confidence.
“We’ve just got to get back to the drawing board. We’re a good team and we’ll keep working with the group and get as high as we possibly can.”
The Greens will look to bounce back quickly against another promotion-chasing outfit, Lincoln City, on Saturday.
Lowe said: “We will put the game plan together and hopefully they can go and take the game plan to Lincoln and we can get something from that.
“I feel like I want to keep a settled team. Maybe one or two have fatigued a little bit of late, the games have been thick and fast, but that’s my job to look at it and pick a team that I feel can go and win.”