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Fletcher calls on support to provide a positive soundtrack for the season

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Plymouth Argyle's Conor Hourihane (right) battles for the ball with Bristol Rovers' Matthew Gill on a night when the young midfielder scored his first goal of the season picture: Dan Mullan/Pinnacle

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Manager Carl Fletcher has appealed for encouragement from Plymouth Argyle's fans as the players try to get on the winning track.

His comments came after the 1-1 draw with struggling Bristol Rovers at Home Park on Tuesday night.

The Pilgrims made a lacklustre start to the League Two contest against winless Rovers and some of the Green Army soon voiced their displeasure.

Argyle gradually got into the game and took the lead with a superb long-distance shot from midfielder Conor Hourihane in the 35th minute.

But the Pilgrims could not build on that goal, and Rovers were good value for their equaliser, which came from centre-back Tom Parkes in the 70th minute. The visitors then had chances after that to take maximum points back to Bristol with them.

After all of Argyle's struggles on the pitch over recent seasons, patience is starting to wear out among many supporters. So wasting an opportunity to beat Rovers and move up the table was frustrating for all concerned.

Fletcher heard the criticism from some sections of the Green Army, but insisted a "large majority" had stuck by Argyle. The Pilgrims are 19th in the League Two table, with six points from their first seven games.

Fletcher said: "We have got a lot of young players in the team and encouragement is the way forward. People getting on their backs isn't going to make them play any better. It's going to have a detrimental effect.

"We have got young players who are trying to do things the right way. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn't. Some patience is needed."

"I thought the fans in the Devonport End on Tuesday were great," he added. It was the second successive match at Home Park in which Argyle had taken a 1-0 lead into the interval but had not ended up winning.

The previous occasion was when the Pilgrims were beaten 3-1 by Port Vale last Saturday.

Fletcher thought that result had been on the minds of the players as they struggled to perform in the second half against Rovers.

He said: "We couldn't get that spark, and that bit of control, that we wanted in the second half.

"It just wasn't there for us, apart from little glimpses now again. In terms of performance, it wasn't what we wanted."

One positive for Fletcher was Hourihane's first goal of the season. The 21-year-old Irish midfielder had not scored in a competitive match at Home Park before, and it was one to remember.

Fletcher said: "I think Conor could probably have scored in every game we have played in this season. It was nice for him to get his goal. He has been desperate to get more goals from midfield."

On-loan Aldershot Town striker Guy Madjo made his first start for Argyle, after two substitute appearances, against Rovers. He almost opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a shot which hit the top of the crossbar.

Fletcher said: "He's always going to put defenders under pressure. I was pleased for him to get a run-out. He has been itching to get involved."

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  • Mr_Amazing  |  September 20 2012, 10:26AM

    Funny how so many have down-rated my comment without having a word to say about it. I suspect a plot. Mates of Chris Errington maybe. Or a co-ordinated attempt to sway public opinion by those who view the article as perfect ammunition with which to bash Carl Fletcher.

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  • Mr_Amazing  |  September 20 2012, 7:56AM

    If the paper had wanted to give a balanced view of things then mention might have been made of the fact that the attendance was up on Saturday. This was remarkable given that Real Madrid v Manchester City on terrestrial TV was a very attractive alternative, that Saturday's 2nd half display against Port Vale could reasonably have been expected to discourage many from returning and thirdly that few these days have the spare cash to go to two games in four days. But I guess the paper takes the view that it's better to put a negative slant on it. Whip up a bit of controversy and sell more copies. "patience is starting to wear out"? Give us a break Errington! The fans have been watching poor performances for nearly five years now and still they get behind the team in numbers that are the envy of almost all the other clubs in our division.

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