Sturrock blasts 'zany' defending
And under-pressure Sturrock revealed that Paul Mariner, in the Plymouth dugout for the first time on Tuesday night, will begin his duties as a new club coach at training on Thursday. Sturrock was left frustrated and disappointed at seeing his side concede three goals in the space of six second-half minutes after they looked set to take a precious point. Argyle also scored in that frantic period, but it was a case of deja vu for their boss. "We keep having these zany moments and it's unlike any team I have been involved with in the past," said Sturrock. "There were a lot of good performances tonight, yet we end up 3-1 losers. Saturday's game with Ipswich is now absolutely huge for us." Danny Haynes opened the floodgates in what had previously been an uninspiring derby by volleying in Jamie McAllister's left-wing cross after 73 minutes. Plymouth responded immediately with Jamie Mackie eluding his marker to smash home a right-footed thunderbolt from just inside the box. But before the cheers of visiting fans had died down, City worked a short corner on the left and another McAllister cross was headed home by centre-back Jamie McCombe. City's top scorer Nicky Maynard put the result beyond doubt with a crisp left-footed strike from the edge of the area which flew past Romain Larrieu and into the roof of the net. The victory kept City close on the heels of the Championship front-runners and delighted manager Gary Johnson, who twice altered his formation in an effort to break down the stubborn visitors, said: "It was a great night for us. "I didn't think we did enough in the first half to deserve to be in front, but the lads kept going and it became a bit of a chess match with us changing our playing pattern to try to outwit them. "Jamie McCombe was so upset with himself about losing Mackie for Plymouth's goal that he attacked the cross moments later with extra vigour. "We are keeping ourselves on the coat-tails of the leaders and I still believe we have the squad to maintain a challenge." Sturrock is the manager with all the problems as his side look to get away from the Championship relegation zone. "I keep feeling sorry for my players because they put in a lot of effort, but we can't keep on losing concentration when it comes to picking up opponents at crosses," Sturrock said. "Some of our attacking play was bright and I was pleased with a lot of individual performances. It was 100 miles better than the display at Blackpool last Saturday."
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