Western Morning News
Hard work pays off as Argyle form improves
RYAN Lowe believes hard work, belief and determination have been the keys to Plymouth Argyle’s return to form in League One.
The Pilgrims have picked up 14 points from the last seven games following their 2-0 win away to John Sheridan’s Swindon Town.
Prior to that run of results, though, Argyle had suffered six successive defeats as they slid down the table to 19th. They are now up to 13th after goals from in-form duo Panutche Camara and Ryan Hardie secured victory over John Sheridan’s Swindon.
Lowe said: “I think it’s just hard work, and belief and determination. We are in a tougher league.
“Last year (in League Two) was easy for us really. We went away from home and we won a lot of games.
“We won a lot of games at home and were unbeaten for nearly a year because we were in a league where we felt we were better than most teams.
“We finished third so that proved that, but when you come to a better league - with better teams - you haven’t got no given right to go and win any game, away games especially.
“If you look at those (six) games we lost, we didn’t get carved open a lot. It was silly mistakes, giving goals away, lack of concentration, lack of organisation.
“The belief wasn’t there, and now they have got that back. We trusted them and we kept working with them. We showed them their mistakes, showed them how you get better and where you get better.
“The lads have to take a lot of credit for it. Yeah, there have been one or two changes in personnel but they have stuck to the plan.
“They have kept doing what I asked them to do and they have believed that we will win games of football if they keep doing the right things.
“The lads have been great. They have listened and learned - I think when you lose games you are always learning.
“At the moment, they are going in the right direction and in a good run of form.
“We can’t guarantee that we won’t lose games again because the league is that competitive and that good.
“We have just got to enjoy it while it lasts, and not get too high or not get too low, and just keep working hard on the training field and I think it will take us good places.”
Argyle limited Swindon to only one shot on target as they kept a clean sheet at the County Ground in what was a dominant display from them.
Lowe said: “I’m very pleased, but we had to work for it. We knew it was going to be a tough place to come, in terms of Swindon Town and how they go about it with John.
“There has been a mixed bag of results for them of late, but they have been picking up points as well.
“We had to stick to our game plan and do what we do best, and that’s playing out, passing through the thirds, getting in good areas and pressing at the right times.
“We kept our units tight I thought in possession and out of possession was probably one of the best we have been this season.
“That’s because we are learning every day. We are showing them stuff, we are organising - right from the front to back was solid and resolute.”
Argyle were playing their third away game in eight days, following their 2-1 league win against Sunderland and the 2-1 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Sheffield United.
Lowe said: “I think the application (from the players) was big for me tonight, and their attitude because of where we have just come from.
“We had the bright lights of the Premier League, the FA Cup and Sheffield United. Although we lost, it was good.
“It was a good game, nice pitch and nice surroundings. I said to the boys ‘If your attitude and application is right tonight, and you work the patterns of play, then you will be fine’.”
Lowe thought Argyle’s three successive away games had been mentally tiring for his players, as well as a physical challenge for them.
“The lads have been getting back at all hours and there has been a lack of sleep,” said the Pilgrims’ boss.
“We trained on Thursday night after Sunderland and then we travelled (to Sheffield United on Friday).
“We stay in nice hotels but we let the lads stay in their own beds last night (on Monday) and then came up today and had day beds, which was good.
“We try and do everything right by the boys so there is no excuses and credit goes to them because they have just got on with it.
“We have made sure we have recovered them right and we have given them a little bit of down time, and haven’t let them train them as much as they probably should.”