Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe said he was impressed as much with his team’s resilience and steadfastness as their attacking display as Argyle came from behind to win 3-1 at Oxford and stay top of League One.
Panutche Camara struck twice, in the 38th and 84th minutes, after Jordon Garrick had cancelled out Matty Taylor’s early opener for Oxford.
It took Argyle’s unbeaten league run to 12 games and came despite the absence of top scorer Ryan Hardie, who was only among the substitutes due to a stomach bug.
Lowe said: “It was a great win. Out of possession we were fantastic. Everything we asked of the group we got.
“We had to ride the storm a bit, in the first 15 minutes we were under the cosh. But once we got a foothold in the game, and our second goal came at a great time just before half-time, we looked very good.
“To score three goals away at Oxford is fantastic. We were under a lot of pressure in the second half too and the way we withstood that pressure was very impressive.
“We showed a lot of character to come from a goal down early on. We were very cool, calm and collected. But I don’t want any panic in the team.
“We’re not going to win every game this season, but we’ve played 14 teams now and we know what we are up against.”
Camara’s double was his first league goals of the season, having only previously netted this term in the Carabao Cup win over Peterborough in August.
Lowe felt he could have scored even more, saying: “Camara had more licence to get forward because Oxford rotate a lot
“I said to the boys before the game that it was a communication day for everyone today, it was vital that they talked to each other out there because Oxford rotate a lot and each player had to know who to pick up.
“Camara could, and probably should, have had a hat-trick.
“And Jordon Garrick had his best game in a Plymouth or Swansea shirt for a long time, I think.
“He’s a lovely lad and he can obviously play at wingback, but with his pace he can also play anywhere along the front line. He was excellent today.
“There would have been a lot of raised eyebrows that our leading scorer Ryan Hardie was on the bench, but both he and his missus had a bad vomiting and diarrhoea bug, so he travelled up separate to the rest of the squad, in case it was a contagious bug.
“So because of that we played Jordon Garrick up top and I thought he was superb.”
Oxford boss Karl Robinson reflected on a rare league defeat at the Kassam Stadium for his team.
Robinson said: “First of all it was a battle between two good teams. In the first 15-20 minutes we were very good.
“But it’s frustrating that we kept letting the opposition players come back inside to send crosses over. It happened with all three goals.
“And the biggest frustration for us is not taking the chances. We missed a mass of chances and then we got ragged, that’s when they got their third goal.
“But it’s our first league defeat at home in nearly 12 months, and we are still just a point off the play-offs.
“If you score from those chances and then there’s the roar of the crowd, and it’s a different game. You can’t miss so many chances in big games.
“There were some good performances in there from us today and more positives than negatives. The problem is that the negatives were in the key moments of the game.”
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