Plymouth Argyle has had a run of bad luck, says manager Carl Fletcher
MANAGER Carl Fletcher believes Plymouth Argyle have not been getting 'the rub of the green' in recent matches.
It is five games without a win in League Two for the Pilgrims, who are away to Bradford City at Valley Parade tonight (7.45pm).
Argyle have picked up only one point out of a possible 15 since beating Rochdale 3-1 at Home Park on October 20.
That came from a 2-2 draw against table-toppers Gillingham, with the visitors from Kent grabbing a late equaliser.
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All of Argyle's last six games have been against clubs who are currently in the top eight of League Two.
That trend continues with the trip to seventh-placed Bradford, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Exeter City on Saturday.
Argyle lost 3-0 away to Fleetwood Town on the same afternoon, with captain Darren Purse sent-off in the closing stages after an off-the-ball incident.
Reflecting on the recent run of poor results, manager Carl Fletcher told Herald Sport: "We haven't been turned over by anyone.
"Yes, we lost 3-0 on Saturday but we conceded two late goals after we went down to 10 men.
"We have been competitive in each and every game we have played in. We should have beaten Gillingham. We are just not getting the rub of the green.
"Towards the end of last season, when we were keeping a lot of clean sheets our goal led a charmed life at times.
"The ball would hit the post or crossbar, or be cleared off the line. That was the way it was going for us then.
"It's not going that way for us now. We have just got to keep working hard, dig in and do the ugly side of football, and get the win that we know we probably deserve."
That will not be easy to achieve against Bradford, who are much improved compared to last season, when they finished 18th.
Their top scorer is Bermuda international striker Nakhi Wells with 13 goals in all competitions, while City's squad also includes former Argyle loanee Will Atkinson.
The midfielder made 25 appearances for the Pilgrims last term and scored four goals while he was still on the books of Hull City.
Atkinson, 24, completed a permanent move to Bradford in July after a loan spell with them at the end of 2011/12.
Fletcher admitted City boasted a potent strikeforce in 6ft 4in James Hanson and Wells.
The Pilgrims' boss said: "He (Wells) was kind of in and out last season but has really come to the fore this year. He works well off big James Hanson, but they have got quite a few good players. Will Atkinson is one of them. We know him from his time with us last season."
Valley Parade is the biggest and the best stadium in League Two, and was the setting for a 1-1 draw when Argyle last visited there in December 2011. Midfielder Simon Walton gave the Pilgrims a 59th minute lead, only for Hanson to equalise late on.
Fletcher said: "It's really nice there (at Valley Parade), and not too dissimilar to our ground.
"We had a good game there last season. It was proper football with blood and guts and lots of tackles flying in.
"They like to get the ball down and play, and so do we, so it should be a good game tonight."
Bradford will be playing for the 15th time in only 53 days after a busy schedule of league and cup action.
They are still in the Capital One Cup, the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and the FA Cup.
City won on penalties away to Wigan Athletic to set up a home quarter-final against Arsenal on December 11.