Ian Foster says Plymouth dominated their draw at Blackburn

By Sports Desk March 09, 2024

Plymouth head coach Ian Foster felt his side ‘dominated from start to finish’ in their 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at 10-man Blackburn.

Rovers’ Sammie Szmodics took his league goal tally to 21 with a sublime curling opener in the seventh minute but the home side were second best thereafter.

Their task was made harder when Kyle McFadzean was sent off for a professional foul early in the second half and Plymouth deservedly equalised through Morgan Whittaker’s close range 74th-minute finish, taking his own league tally to 18.

The goals and dismissal barely tell the story. Despite Arnor Sigurdsson striking the post in the first half, it was Argyle who created the best chances with Ryan Hardie and Bali Mumba both missing when one-on-one, while Mickel Miller and Hardie again both went agonisingly close.

Foster felt the point was “the very least we deserved” although it is now just one win in seven matches for the Pilgrims, who are three points clear of danger.

He said: “A lot of people will look at the game, see the result, see the sending off and think we’ve only scored because they’ve been reduced to 10 men.

“Before their goal and after their goal, we’ve dominated the game, literally from start to finish.

“The whole 95 minutes we’ve been the team on top – 20 shots away from home, our xG is through the roof and the only disappointment that we go away with is that we haven’t converted all those chances, or some of them.

“I’m really proud of the players. We picked the team today to dominate the ball. We felt that we could here and we did that – 66 per cent I think in the first half.

“I’ve never witnessed a team 1-0 up at half-time getting booed off. (It’s a) quite unique thing to see and hear but that just shows you the dominance we had in the first 45 minutes.

“No halves are ever the same but the players continued to knock on the door and we eventually got what we deserved.

“We’re all that little bit disappointed to come away with just the one point.”

Blackburn remain level on points with Plymouth and are yet to win under John Eustace, who praised his team’s character after playing more than half an hour with 10 men.

Eustace said: “I thought we started the game really well, played some really good football, scored a fantastic goal, had a great chance to go 2-0 up which we didn’t take unfortunately.

“Plymouth then had a couple of good chances themselves. We came in at half-time, adjusted a couple of things, started the second half quite well and obviously going down to 10 men, it’s a different game.

“I thought the character the group showed, the togetherness, the fight not to lose the game was very evident for everyone to see.

“I think the way the boys defended, fought, scrapped, and stuck together against a good attacking team and limited them to hardly anything really second half – they had pressure but no real clear-cut chances, maybe one. But we still had a couple of half-chances ourselves.

“The big positives to take out of the game…the way the group really stuck together and fought. You can see the fight is there that we want to stay in this league.”

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