Matt Butcher

Butcher's Cambridge Reaction

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The clean sheet that Argyle kept against Cambridge United on Saturday could be ‘massive’, according to Matt Butcher.

A scrappy game at the Abbey Stadium finished 0-0, and while the Pilgrims came under pressure from time to time, they defended well to see out their hosts, on a bitterly cold day in East Anglia.

Argyle had not kept a clean sheet in their previous seven league games, and although they did not score on this occasion, it was only the second time this season they have failed to notch, and Butcher says there is confidence that keeping more clean sheets will facilitate victories.

“I think we knew coming into the game they were going to be difficult to play against, and break down,” said Butcher. They were going to want to make it a fight, and the conditions played into that as well.

“I thought we did well at that after the first 15 or 20 minutes, I thought we grew into the game and stood up to that challenge. In the last few weeks we’ve probably come off it a tad, in terms of that fight aspect of the game. Getting a clean sheet was massive for hopefully putting another nice run together.

“At the start of the season, when we were on a winning run, we were basing our form off clean sheets, and letting flair players do the talking at the other end. If we are not keeping clean sheets it makes it harder to win games. If we can go back to that being the basic, go back to putting in performances like that, we know we have the quality to score goals.”

Butcher played the game at left back, in a back four. The versatile 25-year-old has played in wing back, central midfield and at centre back this season, and continues to display his valuable adaptability.

Butcher was one of five Argyle players booked on the day, with his yellow card coming in the opening two minutes of the game, meaning he had to walk a bit of tightrope from there.

“I didn’t need that, to be honest,” he said. “It made the game a lot longer for me. You can’t get quite as tight, and you can’t gamble on as many things, but you just have to adapt a little bit and not do anything silly.

“It’s another different position. I spoke to the gaffer in the week about playing different positions, and like anyone, I’ll play anywhere to be in the team and help win games. I’ve played there in the past – a long time ago – and I’m happy to do that to help the team.”

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