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Fletcher has full support of players despite latest loss, says Hourihane

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher  at Valley Parade on Tuesday  picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher at Valley Parade on Tuesday picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

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Midfielder Conor Hourihane has thrown his support behind Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher.

The Pilgrims are only a couple of points clear of the npower League Two relegation zone after losing five of their past six games, and drawing the other one.

Fans are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of success on the pitch. Argyle have won only four of their 19 League fixtures this season, but Hourihane insisted the players did not want a change of manager. The Irishman said: "Definitely not. The gaffer is terrific with us and everyone is behind him."

Hourihane, 21, captained Argyle for the first time when they lost 1-0 away to Bradford City at Valley Parade on Tuesday. He took over as skipper because defender Darren Purse started a three-match suspension.

Hourihane was pleased to have been asked to lead out the Pilgrims but was frustrated by the result. He said: "It was a great honour for me when the gaffer told me I was going to be captain.

"I found out on Tuesday afternoon. I was delighted. I must be doing something right, so it was nice to get the armband. It was the first time I had been captain in a competitive game. Hopefully, there is more in the future.

"It was a great honour but it could have been any of the lads. I thought there were 11 leaders out there. There was lots of talking and lots of encouragement, which was good to see."

Hourihane added: "Looking at the game, we played very well. We put in a great shift and I thought we deserved to get something out of it.

"We had our chances but you don't always get what you deserve in football. We will keep going and I'm sure the results are around the corner. The performances are there, and we just have to keep at it."

Bradford's winning goal came from captain Gary Jones in the 21st minute after the ball dropped to him in the penalty area. Argyle midfielder Jamie Lowry almost equalised on the stroke of half-time, but home goalkeeper Matt Duke made a fine save.

On-loan Burnley attacker Alex MacDonald also shot wide from a good position early in the second half for the Pilgrims. Argyle continued to press forward, with 17-year-old striker Tyler Harvey sent on as a substitute for his senior debut, but an equaliser proved elusive.

Hourihane said: "I thought we were reasonably comfortable in the first half. They probably had more possession than us but we didn't feel under too much pressure.

"It was a scrappy goal and I thought we could have cleared it. We had a chance at the end of the first half and could have gone in at 1-1, and Macca had one at the start of the second half.

"At least people are getting in the right positions, and that's the main thing."

Argyle have not won in League Two since they beat Rochdale 3-1 at Home Park on October 20. On Saturday they host 12th-placed Chesterfield, who beat visiting Cheltenham Town 4-1 on Tuesday.

Hourihane said: "Hopefully, there will be a big crowd and everyone will get behind us. I'm sure if we put in another performance like we did at Bradford there will be no doubt that we will get something."

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