DISAPPOINTED York City manager Gary Mills complained that Plymouth were “hungrier” than his players in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Home Park.
A Jamal Fyfield own goal and Nick Chadwick’s late header condemned the Minstermen to only their third league defeat on the road in 2012.
But Mills admitted that the better team won on the day as Argyle registered their first victory in ten matches.
The City chief said: “We were second best and they won all the second balls from start to finish. They thoroughly deserved the three points and we deserved what we got – absolutely nothing.
“We passed the ball very well in our last match at Rochdale but you need the ball first to enable you to play. They were in our faces from the word go and did not allow us to pass it.
“If that happens, you have to make sure you are first to the ball and just hook it up the pitch if you have to. They did that sometimes and our back four were under pressure from the first minute. Theirs were not.
“It’s a long way to come to perform like that and we have to learn from the game because you cannot play without the ball – you have to go and get it. Plymouth wanted it a bit more than we did.
“They were switched on and looked hungrier and that’s what hurts most.
“I counted that they put the ball in our box six times from free-kicks in the opening 20 minutes just because they had won the ball. We didn’t do that once until right at the end.”
Mills even switched to an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation when he gave Danny Blanchett a rare outing on the left side of midfield midway through the second half.
On that experiment, he explained: “I did a couple of things and I’ve not done that (played 3-4-3) before. They only had one up front and I wanted to push us further up the pitch.
“We decided to be more direct to try to get something out of the game that way.
“We needed to try something different to try to nick an equaliser, as poorly as we were playing, but we never got into a situation where we looked like we were going to score.” Mills will now decide whether to bolster his squad this week by recalling Lee Bullock or Jonathan Smith, or both, from their respective loan spells at Gateshead and Luton.
Former Swindon midfielder Smith was on target during Luton’s 3-0 home win over Alfreton on Saturday.
First-year pro Tom Platt could also be another option after bagging a brace for Harrogate Town in a 2-1 win at Colwyn Bay – taking his goal tally to five since joining the Blue Square Bet North outfit last month. Mills added: “I have to make decisions and we will see where that takes us.”
The Minstermen boss has also challenged his team to improve a home record that has reaped just two Bootham Crescent triumphs in League Two this term.
Bristol Rovers and Gillingham visit North Yorkshire on consecutive weekends for City’s next two matches and Mills said: “What happened (at Plymouth) doesn’t happen to this team every week and we’ve now got to go in front of our fans during the next two games and show the same desire that Plymouth did to win a game in front of theirs.”