Butcher's Shrewsbury Reaction
Argyle’s 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town at Home Park was not the Pilgrims’ first come-from behind victory of the season, but it came in a game rather different to previous examples.
Wins against Derby County and Ipswich Town came in flowing, open contests in which Argyle roared back against their opposition, who continue to play expansive football.
Shrewsbury were a different beast. To be fair to Steve Cotterill’s side, they twice hit the woodwork before going in front through Jordan Shipley’s first-half goal, but their tactic throughout was to retreat deep and let Argyle play in front of them, whilst trying to play on the counter.
It was looking like a very successful ploy until the 70th minute, when Niall Ennis equalised for Argyle, and the turnaround was completed by a Morgan Whittaker winning with seven minutes to go.
After the game Matt Butcher, who was employed as a left-sided centre-back at the game’s outset, spoke about the challenge the Pilgrims faced, which was far from unexpected.
“It was a tough game,” he said. “Teams are going to come here, sit off us and let us have the ball, to make us break them down. They played for the counter-attack and were getting what they wanted out of the game. Luckily, we stayed with it, moved the ball quickly and stuck to the game plan, which paid off in the second half.
“The second their goal went in, we knew they would go deeper and would make it more difficult for us. It’s just about staying balanced in the mentality and doing the same things. You can get caught up in chasing the game and making poor decisions.
“This season, we have won in very different ways. It’s about recognising what type of game it is, and to be fair the gaffer and the coaching staff got it spot on. They knew what type of game it was before we even kicked off.”
It was the second time in recent games that Butcher has begun a game on the left of a back three, after playing there against MK Dons. He has also played at left wing-back, at Wycombe Wanderers, on top of his more traditional role in the middle of midfield.
The versatile 25-year-old said: “I played there a little bit when I was younger. On the ball, it is probably easier for me than off the ball, but I’m getting to grips with it.
“When we have a lot of the ball it is obviously nice to have the balance with a left-footer who can step forward and join in with the midfield. Today, I was getting the ball almost as a left-back or a left wing-back.”
The victory made it eight wins from eight games for Argyle thus far at Home Park, and once again saw the home sections of the stadium sell out in advance of the fixture.
Butcher paid tribute to the support from the Green Army, saying: “You can’t ask for much more from the fans, really. We come to play on a wet Tuesday night and whatever the conditions they have been absolutely superb.
“I’m just happy we can keep that run going and keep everyone happy, because this is some place when we’re winning.”