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Argyle manager is disappointed with defeat after battling display

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

Argyle loan signing Alex MacDonald drew praise from manager Carl Fletcher for his play at Bradford

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Manager Carl Fletcher thought Plymouth Argyle did not deserve their 1-0 defeat at Bradford City on Tuesday.

The Pilgrims were beaten by a 21st-minute goal from Bradford captain Gary Jones, leaving them only two points clear of the npower League Two relegation zone.

Argyle have lost five of their last six League games, with a 2-2 draw at home to Gillingham being the exception. They had chances after half-time against Bradford to have equalised but could not take any of them.

Fletcher said: "I'm disappointed we didn't get anything out of the game. We knew [Bradford] were going to come at us in the first half but we stuck to our task.

"With their goal, the ball was bobbling around a little bit and their fella stuck it in the corner. We were a lot better in the second half and were on the front foot, so it's really disappointing not to get anything out of the game."

Argyle started with a 4-4-1-1 formation, as Andres Gurrieri played behind lone striker.

Gurrieri did not get on the ball as much as Fletcher had hoped, so after half an hour the Pilgrims' boss made a switch. Alex MacDonald moved into that role as he swapped positions with Gurrieri.

The loan signing from Burnley was much more of a factor in the match, and almost equalised early in the second half. He broke clear inside the Bradford penalty area but fired wide across the face of goal.

Fletcher said: "Macca's energy and work-rate really helped us. Andres wasn't getting on the ball enough for us in the first half. We are lucky we have got personnel where we can change it without having to make a substitution."

Fletcher was pleased with the way the Pilgrims coped with the attacking threat of Bradford's 13-goal top-scorer Nakhi Wells and 6ft 4in target man James Hanson.

Wells was well contained by Argyle and was eventually substituted near the end of the game.

Fletcher said: "The lads worked their socks off and dug in. We knew it was going to be a real tough test.

"They have got Hanson and Wells up front, who are arguably the best strikeforce in the division.

"Hanson is 6ft 4in and the other guy is like a whippet. They have got some good experienced players who have performed at a high level.

"My lads worked so hard for one another and really put a shift in. It's disappointing they didn't get anything out of the game."

He added: "We got the ball down a little bit in the second half and had more controlled possession. On another day we could have got an equaliser.

"That's football. You work your socks off to get the chances and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't."

Fletcher explained midfielder Luke Young had been ruled out of the game against Bradford by a shoulder injury. The 19-year-old had been hurt during the 3-0 defeat away to Fleetwood Town last Saturday.

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