Carl Fletcher defends Argyle disciplinary record

Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane is one of three Argyle players who will miss the trip to Torquay

Plymouth Argyle boss Carl Fletcher has backed his players despite seeing two of them sent off in Saturday's .

Robbie Williams got a straight red card with nine minutes left, before Conor Hourihane went for a second yellow.

With Fletcher getting a fifth booking of the season, all three will now miss Saturday's Devon derby at Torquay.

"It's more enthusiasm, to try and do well and win the ball back," player-manager Fletcher told BBC Radio Devon.

"You never want to take that enthusiasm away from players.

"If players are shouting and swearing at the ref and getting sent off, then I'd have a problem.

"But, if you go in like today, when it's slippery towards the end and the ball's bobbling around and people are wanting to make a tackle, make a challenge or get a block in, it only takes it to be a little mis-timed and you get booked.

"It's just the way the game is. Every tackle seemed to be a booking, but that's the referee's decision."

Argyle have now had six players sent off this season. But Fletcher, an FA Cup final runner-up with West Ham in 2006, was proud of the way his squad came back with nine men to force next Tuesday night's replay with the Southern Premier League side (22 November, 1945 GMT).

"The main thing is the character," said Fletcher. "Coming back twice, the last time with nine men, just shows the fighting spirit of the lads.

"We prepared properly and we did everything we possibly could to be ready for the game. Sometimes it happens for you and sometimes it doesn't."

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