Way's Cheltenham Reaction
Argyle’s Under-18s gained passage to the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-0 victory over Cheltenham Town at Home Park – but manager Darren Way still saw plenty of room for improvement to come from his young Pilgrims.
Two first-half goals from Will Jenkins Davies set Argyle on their way, with Joe Hatch adding a third on the hour mark after Cheltenham had come out fighting after the break.
Way was naturally pleased with the result, but highlighted areas where he would like to see his charges improve.
“We are really positive in terms of being in the next round,” he said, “but we felt we could have been more efficient on the ball. We felt we could have passed the ball a lot quicker and created better chances.
“We worked the goals really well. At 2-0 up, you can get a little bit complacent, so we asked the players to keep creating chances and to get the ball in the right area, but I felt our tempo and our energy just stopped.
“At 2-0 up I thought there was some really good play, but what we want is to maintain that for a 90-minute period.
“That’s the standards we have set. If you’ve watched a lot of our games – for example, the Exeter game, where we won 5-0, we were relentless. We want to make sure we maintain that. I know the opposition are going to make it difficult for us and they are going to get numbers behind the ball, but we have to find solutions to work that out.
“I think if we got that mindset, collectively, we are all going to become better people.”
The win means Argyle face a trip Gillingham in Round Two, at a date yet to be named. Way is hoping that knowledge of the Gills having met them last season, combined with the experience of the Cheltenham game, will stead them in good stead.
“We played Gillingham last year and it was a really tough ask,” said Darren. “I thought the lads stood up to the physical game. They had a lot of speed in attack and were physical in 50/50s. We’ll make sure the experience the younger players got in this game will ensure they are ready for the next round.”