Blanchard: Two defeats will not get us down
DEFENDER Maxime Blanchard remains positive despite Plymouth Argyle suffering two successive defeats in League Two.
The Pilgrims have dropped from 15th to 18th position in the table after losing 2-1 to Cheltenham Town last Tuesday and 1-0 against Rotherham United on Saturday.
Those results came after Argyle had built up some momentum with three consecutive victories – two in League Two and one in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy – by playing some fluent passing football.
Blanchard is convinced that, overall, the Pilgrims are making progress but admitted they were nowhere near their best against Rotherham.
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They will get a chance to make amends for that below-par performance when playing away to Football Conference South club Dorchester Town in the FA Cup first round on Sunday.
Blanchard told Herald Sport: "We didn't get too high after those three victories.
"We have been saying from the beginning of the season that we want to keep improving our game.
"We have been looking to play another way and that's going to bring us more wins than defeats.
"We are not down because we have lost the last two games. We know what we are capable of.
"We have got another game (against Dorchester) and that's the brilliant thing about football, you can change the momentum."
Blanchard was Argyle's stand-in skipper against Rotherham because Darren Purse was ruled out by a toe injury.
Purse had an injection yesterday which it is hoped will allow the 35-year-old centre-back to resume playing without so much pain as before.
Even from the early stages of the game against Rotherham it was clear Argyle were going to be put under a lot of pressure.
Blanchard said: "It was very hard concentration-wise because the ball was always coming back at us.
"They are a big side with (Alex) Revell, (Ian) Sharps and (Kari) Arnason as well, so physically and mentally it was a really tiring game.
"We didn't impose our way to play. We followed the way they wanted to play. We didn't set our own tempo.
"Against Cheltenham, we were braver to take the ball and put it on the floor and keep it more up front as well, to allow the defence to relax a bit.
"We didn't manage to do that on Saturday," added Argyle's 2011/12 player-of-the-year.
The Pilgrims were spared a heavy defeat at Rotherham by some resolute defending and a fine display from Jake Cole between the posts.
Cole made some excellent saves, especially in the first half, as he demonstrated his shot-stopping abilities.
Blanchard said: "He (Cole) came for crosses as well, which was really important for us because Rotherham were bigger than us. Defensively, I think we did really well. We tried to set the line as high as possible, but when the ball keeps coming back then you can concede a goal."