Wotton’s return is key for Plymouth
PLYMOUTH Argyle boss John Sheridan admitted his side were galvanized by the return of club legend Paul Wotton as they continued their playoff charge with a win at Dagenham and Redbridge.
Lewis Alessandra’s first-half volley won the game following teammate Reuben Reid’s fifth minute rebound and a close-range equaliser by Dagenham winger Zavon Hines.
Sheridan switched to a back five after last week’s 4-0 loss to York which meant a first game for centre-back Wotton since October 5, 27 matches ago.
“He’s a talker, he sees the game on the pitch and I wish I had a few more like him. I thought he was excellent. He got a grip of people and he never shuts up, he keeps them on their toes,” said Sheridan.
“I was going to play three at the back and I think that suits him. He doesn’t have the legs he used to have, but we lack an organiser on the pitch and we’re very quiet as a team.
“I thought we played well first-half and two goals gives you something to fight for. The game got scrappy second-half and I would like us to believe in ourselves a little more and be positive to see the game out easier.”
Argyle went ahead early as Conor Hourihane’s right-wing free-kick crashed off the crossbar and Reid react- ed quickest for his 11th league goal of the season.
Hines equalised when he steered home Adabayo Azeez’s drilled cross, but just past the half-hour Alessandra volleyed home debutant Matthew Parsons’ centre.
Goalkeeper Jake Cole had to parry Dagenham striker Luke Norris’ longrange drive, but a deserved victory ensured the visitors overtook their opponents and sit seven points off the play-offs.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett replaced top scorer Rhys Murphy after an hour but was left to rue a fifth straight home match without a win.
“It wasn’t a lack of effort it was just a lack of quality. Decision making wasn’t good, we’re chasing the game and we haven’t done enough to get back into it,” said Burnett.
“I’m disappointed to say the least. It’s been a difficult week but that’s not an excuse, we just weren’t good. If people don’t do their jobs and know their roles and responsibilities then you are going to get beaten. “Murphy was ineffective, things were coming off of him, he wasn’t linking up players like he can do.
“He’s played a lot of games and is a good footballer but we decided to change it and unfortunately it didn’t work for us.”
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