EFL

Kevin Nancekivell urges Plymouth to keep pushing in battle against relegation

By Sports Desk April 05, 2024

Plymouth caretaker boss Kevin Nancekivell has called for his side to keep up the good work for the final five games of the season after they picked up a valuable 1-0 Championship victory at Rotherham.

The defeat rubberstamped Rotherham’s return to League One after two seasons in the second tier, while Argyle had been heading towards the trapdoor themselves following a hapless run under former boss Ian Foster.

Nancekivell and Neil Dewsnip replaced him in the hotseat this week and got a much-needed win with Bali Mumba’s first-half strike seeing them move four points above the drop zone.

He said: “I am relieved – it’s been a traumatic week and to come and get three points is massive for us.

“We are really, really pleased. It’s only three points and there is a lot of work to do but we look forward to Tuesday against QPR.

“They are all huge games now. We know what we have got to do, recover and prepare properly and hopefully get a repeat performance. We are all in it together.

“There was a lot on the game. It was a high-pressurised game and when it is, you lose that little bit of quality.

“It’s always nervous at 1-0 and the longer it goes on you get a bit fearful but you can’t be too greedy.”

Mumba’s strike just after the half-hour mark proved decisive. He was picked out by Argyle’s star man Morgan Whittaker at the back post and managed to squeeze his shot beyond Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham then went out with a whimper and never really threatened to get back in the game.

It was the visitors pushing for a goal late in the game and they missed a host of chances with substitute Ben Waine striking the post and then being denied when clean through by Johansson.

Rotherham head coach Leam Richardson, who has only won twice since replacing Matt Taylor in December, said: “That doesn’t represent me. I am not hiding away from anything, I am at the front of it and I take the full blame.

“I also take responsibility for making Rotherham United a better football club. The biggest positive is that we know about it and we know the areas where we need to get better. I have never shied away from a challenge.

“We are in a competitive league and we can’t hide away from that.

“It was a poor game. They deserved to win. I thought we would be a better version of ourselves tonight.

“There’s a couple who can still hold their head up to a level.

“It’s not one game, it’s not the Plymouth game. It’s been 40 games.”

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