Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan takes positives from defeat
MANAGER John Sheridan has explained why he did not shake up his side for Plymouth Argyle's trip to Scunthorpe United.
The Pilgrims were coming off a dismal 3-0 defeat by Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park the previous Saturday.
But Sheridan decided after much deliberation to give the same set of players the chance to make amends for that result and poor performance.
They produced an improved display but still ended up being beaten 1-0 at Glanford Park.
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One defensive lapse in the 62nd minute, after a cross from Scunthorpe's Sam Winnall was blocked by Argyle centre-back Neal Trotman, led to Etienne Esajas grabbing the decisive goal.
Sheridan said: "The performance was there. Everything was there apart from any goals.
"I decided to stick with the same side. They were the ones who didn't play well (against Wycombe) last week and I thought it was down to them to go out and get a result.
"The display was a massive pick up from last week. We have created lots of chances and we have had balls in the box.
"We just didn't get that break, and they got a break for their goal, but I think it was down to the lad (Esajas) because he has reacted.
"When balls are bouncing around in the opposition's penalty box, I expect people to react.
"You have got to react quickly and it might be a little tap-in that wins you the game," added the Pilgrims boss. "Listen, performance-wise it was very good but we have lost and I have got to accept that."
Sheridan started the game with Rommy Boco playing behind striker Reuben Reid in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
That meant Marvin Morgan played out wide on the left and the tactics had some success in the first half.
Reid and Boco linked up well at times, with the latter getting into some good shooting positions.
However, after Scunthorpe substituted centre-back Niall Canavan in the 53rd minute because of injury, Sheridan tried to exploit that.
Cliff Byrne replaced Canavan and the Argyle manager swapped Boco and Morgan around.
Morgan went up front with Reid in a 4-4-2, but Boco became less effective after he moved out to the left.
Sheridan said: "I just thought with Byrne coming on, and the lack of height, Marvin would cause them a problem in the air.
"The system and the shape, and the way we played, was very good mostly throughout the game."
Argyle dropped to 17th position in League Two after their second successive defeat.
They will hope to return to winning ways when they take on bottom-of-the-table Accrington Stanley at Home Park this Saturday.
Sheridan said: "There was a big improvement performance-wise (against Scunthorpe) and we have got to take that into the game next week.
"But it's another defeat and we need to win games if we want to be the other end of the table."
He added: "We have got to stick together. I can take heart from the performance but the result is hard to take.
"It's back to the drawing board. We need to score goals to win football matches.
"We haven't scored any, but we have had chances. To come away with nothing is soul destroying."
Referee Graham Scott showed four yellow cards during the game, including to Reid and Argyle right-back Durrell Berry.
His performance puzzled Sheridan, who said: "I don't think there was a bad tackle anywhere. I don't know why he was booking people.
"We have had some good opportunities to score goals, but we haven't, so it's a waste of time to keep talking about it."