Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy claimed striker Jake Beesley was “going to be okay” after a head injury and felt the positive news spurred his side on in their 4-0 win at Plymouth.
Dale claimed their first Sky Bet League One victory in six games by ending Argyle’s unbeaten home record.
Beesley opened the scoring but went off injured later in the first half following a collision.
Aaron Morley smashed in Dale’s second and Jimmy Keohane’s header made it 3-0 by half-time, with striker Stephen Humphrys adding gloss to the victory with a second-half header.
Barry-Murphy said: “We started like a house on fire. We should have scored earlier in the game.
“I think the injury for Jake threw the lads and us on the side, that is normal.
“Plymouth should have scored straight after, Matty Lund cleared one off the line which was probably a turning point in terms of the overall result.
“Even at half-time emotionally the guys were quite distant and focused on Jake, so it was a huge lift for us to get the medical news that he was going to be okay.
“That probably reflected in our performance in the second half when we looked more controlled.
“We have played really well in periods recently and haven’t always scored the goals that we feel our players deserved. This was great reward for the lads tonight.
“Not wanting to play us down, I didn’t think we were particularly great without the ball in the first half.
“Defensively we struggled at times to contain Plymouth’s movement and we didn’t defend or control the game without the ball well at all.
“Our attacking play looked really potent and second half I was really happy with the way we defended as a team. It was rewarding to get the clean sheet in the end.”
Argyle boss Ryan Lowe said: “We are disappointed because we feel, as a whole, the lads haven’t done what they set out to do and the game plan goes out the window after seven minutes.
“To concede two minutes in is not ideal and to concede two early on leaves you a mountain to climb.
“We had 18 shots on target and didn’t score. I don’t know how many shots they had but they scored four goals and four preventable goals from our point of view.
“Obviously we are not happy with the game, especially conceding two goals so early on.
“The goals we have conceded tonight are absolutely terrible. I won’t slag off the boys but they have to take responsibility for that performance.
“We are 14 games into this league and we have conceded five away (at Fleetwood) and now four. I wouldn’t say it’s a massive worry, we just have to put it right.
“What is a worry is we need to be more competitive.
“I cannot legislate for the goals we concede. I could not see my team, the team that we have built, especially in the first half. That just isn’t what we are about.
“What we have to do is put it to bed quickly, so we will be in tomorrow to analyse it because we’ve got a good group but they need to learn fast because if you don’t you could end up on a slippery slope.”
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