- Jethro wrote:
- Plymouth Argyle came from behind to draw 1-1 with Portsmouth in front a 12,000 sell-out at Home Park.
Graham Carey equalised with a stunning 70 minute free-kick after Ben Close had put Pompey into the lead earlier in the second half.
Argyle manager Derek Adams gave his post-match verdict to BBC Radio Devon’s match commentator Charlie Price, Ross Reid and Plymouth Live football editor Chris Errington.
Here is every question and every answer from that interview.
CP: Derek, first things first, your assessment of that game?
DA: I think that two very good sides were on show today. Both technically good teams that tried to find a way of winning the match.
Eventually Portsmouth were able to get a head-start. A ball into the box, a header away and a very good finish from Close from the edge of the box.
So we had to go and chase the game after that. We got a free-kick on the edge of the area and it was a magnificent strike from Graham Carey to put it into the top corner.
Then we went on and probably finished the stronger of the two teams and were probably unfortunate not to have got the winner.
But, in saying that, Portsmouth might have had the counter attack. That was always open to them because they have got (Jamal) Lowe and (Ronan) Curtis up the other end of the pitch and that can get away from anybody.
CP: You mentioned to me before the game that you wanted to get the first goal, as always is the case but especially against a side like Pompey to put them under pressure because of the run they were on. You didn’t, but how pleased are you with the way that you did respond?
DA: We have always shown very good character throughout the season and today was no different.
Portsmouth are at the top of the league for a reason. They are an accomplished football side and play really good football.
We had to be at it and stop them playing at times, and we did that. We had 60-odd per cent possession of the game, which is very good, and not one of the things you usually get against a Portsmouth team.
In the end, we have been able to take a point. We took three points last week against a top six team in Peterborough. Today again, we have taken one away from Portsmouth.
CP: Four points out of Peterborough and Portsmouth, going into a run of fixtures against sides down the bottom of the table, must be great for you?
DA: They are all important at this stage in the season. We have moved ourselves up another position in the league table to 15 so that is keeping us going in the right direction and all the rest of the results have gone with us today.
CP: I don’t want to use the cliché ‘a game of two halves’ but it was. It was a bit cagey in the first and then total free-flowing in the second. Did you say anything particularly at the break?
DA: We felt that we were one or two passes away from getting into a good area against Portsmouth.
We just had to get in behind their midfield. Close was sitting deeper of the two in the midfield and he was blocking a lot into our striker.
Then our number 10 has had to come in off the side and try and get it, or go wide. We got that better in the second half.
We moved the ball quicker, the game then became more open and when that happens we were able to find our space and find our passes easier.
CP: When the game is quite open and you are playing with confidence, it’s evident that (Ruben) Lameiras and Carey begin to flourish. Little bits of skill come off. They create different angles. And Carey, especially after getting that goal, really upped his game again didn’t he?
DA: He had a bit of outrageous skill on the by-line to flick it around the defender and get it the other side.
We did get ourselves in the penalty box but I would say that Portsmouth defended very well in that later stages of the game, where they had a lot of players inside the 18-yard box.
They got a nick on the ball, they got a block, they got corner kicks from it, but they are where they are for a reason.
CP: On Graham Carey, it has been a while since he has actually scored a goal, which is rare for him. Do you think this could be a bit of a release of pressure and he could start scoring more and more now?
DA: Yes, definitely. I think that he has been the talisman for a number of seasons since I have been at the football club.
Other people take over that mantle but Graham will get back to doing that. Today he has scored his first goal against Portsmouth on a very special occasion but it was a full capacity crowd here.
We have sent the home supporters home happy because they have seen a team with a wee bit of excitement, a bit of creativity, wanting to go and win the match against a team at the top of the table.
More to follow . . .
Guess theres the Errington bit to follow unless Derek's chinned him for asking too many of the wrong type of question,
RR: You must now feel that you can go up against anyone?
DA: We have got a number of players that can score goals in the side now and I think that is obviously vital for us going forward.
We can pass the ball and move it, which we did today. In the first half it was difficult to open up Portsmouth but in the second half, as the game became stretched, then it enabled us to get into good areas.
RR: Would you mind if it was gloves off, and just attack and attach each other? Or is that too cavalier?
DA: I think that we have scored a lot in the last 30 minutes of games because of our workrate and our fitness.
We all know that we can keep on going and keep on going. We started the game well today, on the front foot, and we had to because we didn’t want Portsmouth to get into the game because they have not won in a while.
We knew that if we could push them back then they would become nervous.
CE: What happened with Antoni Sarcevic in the first half because he looked in quite a lot of pain from what I could see?
DA: He twisted his knee. He was obviously able to resume and come back onto the pitch.
I thought he had a very good game today. He was up and down the pitch. He made tackles and supported Freddie Ladapo from the midfield.
CE: The club doctor came on. Were you preparing a substitute to come on for Sarcevic?
DA: No I wasn’t. I was waiting to see what Sarce was like first before I made that decision.
CE: You said you had 60 per cent possession. I thought you were able to get David Fox on the ball a lot and he could just sit there and spread passes around. Was that an important feature of the game for you?
DA: Yes, we had (Yann) Songo’o and Fox that came off the game for us and were trying to get the space the (Portsmouth) midfield and defence to become bigger.
That did happen as the game went on. In the early stages of the game, the two central midfield players from Portsmouth didn’t push on to Fox or Songo’o, which enabled them to have a lot of the ball but we still found it difficult to find the striker or the two number 10s.
As the game went on, they (Portsmouth) started to come out of their pockets, so to speak, and allowed us to play in a better fashion.
CE: Was it an obvious decision to bring Yann back for Ryan Taylor because of the way Portsmouth were going to line up?
DA: Yes, I mean we couldn’t go with a diamond against Portsmouth. They have got full-backs thjat get forward and wide players that are very dangerous.
I don’t think that it would be the brightest idea to go with a diamond against them.
CE: Graham has gone a long time without scoring – the end of September it was. In training has he been scoring goals like that? Are you surprised he has got a goal like that today?
DA: I’m not surprised. I’m surprised he hasn’t got as many goals as I think he should have.
He’s one that is capable of scoring a lot of goals, and he has done in previous seasons. You saw after he scored the goal today the confidence that he had after that.
CE: It was amazing, the difference. It was like flicking a switch. He was a different player wasn’t he? That must be a good sign for the rest of the season for you?
DA: When you are in confident mood you try things that sometimes you wouldn’t do when you are not so confident.
When he flicked the ball round the defender and got it the other side, it was outrageous what he tried to do and he completed the task.
CE: It was a great finish from Graham. Was there anything the ‘keeper could have done about it?
DA: There is nothing the goalkeeper can do about it because it goes over the wall and the pace that was on the ball was going to cause him a problem.
CE: And for it to come in the Dockyard Derby, in front of a full house, makes it even more special don’t you think?
DA: I do think that the games against Portsmouth are very good because they are two sides that like to go and play football.
Both sets of supporters support their sides week in week out all over the country. I thought it was a very good spectacle for League One football today.
CE: What led to you getting a yellow card during the game?
DA: Well, (Gareth) Evans kicked a ball away after he was booked. He has launched it 50 yards out of play and the referee has not booked him.
He should have been sent-off from that, but the referee (Ben Toner) chose to give me a yellow card because I protested that he had kicked the ball away after the referee had blown the whistle.
If that is the case, I don’t think the referee is correct in his judgment.
Evans should have been red-carded. He has launched the ball 50 yards – it wasn’t a pass. It was an act of petulance and the referee has got that wrong in my view.
He said to me, the referee, that Evans kicked the ball 50 yards out of play as soon as the whistle went.
I will have to look that back on the video and slow it down. If that’s the case then I will apologise to the referee.
If it’s not the case, I expect the referee to apologise to me and he has made a mistake, and to say to me that Evans should have been red-carded for the incident.
CE: You are up to 15th in the table, another place up the league, that’s what you want to keep doing isn’t it? Just keep building more of a gap between you and the bottom four.
DA: No, we work the other way. We are trying to close the gap between ourselves and the top.
We are a football club that looks forward. We are not a football club that looks down.
The positive mentality is always involved in my management throughout this football club, and that’s why we have had success.
I’m a positive manager. I’m not a negative manager, and I look to do things on a yearly basis under the financial constraints we have at this football club.
It has show today, Portsmouth don’t even take (James) Vaughan onto the pitch and leave (Brett) Pitman out of the 18. What a squad they have got.
CE: Anything on Joe Mason?
CE: You haven’t heard back?
CE: And the deadline is tomorrow?
CE: What happens if there is no answer before the deadline?
DA: There is not an agreement is there?
CE: So would you knock it on the head completely then?
DA: We will have to discuss that before the deadline finishes. We are not going to hang about. We move on.
We would like him to come to the football club. Discussions just now are between myself and the agent.
We need to obviously speak to Joe to see if he wants to come to the football club. He might want to go somewhere else.
CE: Do you know if there is any interest from other clubs?
DA: Yes, there is.
CE: Which is hardly surprising is it really, a player of his pedigree?
DA: That is correct.