Torquay United player-manager Kevin Nicholson looked past the result on Tuesday night and saw positives in a spirited performance from United as the Gulls fell to a 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

A first-half goal from Graham Carey and a late header from Joel Grant sealed victory for Derek Adams’ side.

“I’m not too worried about the result,” said Nicholson. “I thought the performance was excellent. We played some good football, pressed well as a team, dropped well as a team. They’ve got good lads all over the place and I thought my lads more than matched them. I’d said for the most part of the game we had the better of it but they were clinical.

“The only criticism I’ve got of the team is when they in and around the box, just commit. No one ever has a go a striker or a winger for trying something in the opposition’s box.

“I set them some targets before the game, both as individuals and as a team and they pretty much ticked every box. Disappointed to lose because you want to win every game and get into that habit, but I’m very happy with the lads as individuals and as a team.”

United have fixtures against Weymouth and Plymouth Parkway before their final pre-season fixture against Truro but Nicholson is keeping his eye firmly on the game against Tranmere on the opening day of the season.

“The whole point of pre-season is to get to 5th August fully fit and firing. As much as I wanted to beat Plymouth and have one of those nights here, I have to make sure that I look after the players and they’re fit for when it matters and we’re on course for that.

“All round a positive night, happy with the players, happy with development, the chemistry is building, it’s just disappointing to lose to Plymouth.

“I want them to be disappointed that they’ve lost, but I want them to take a huge amount of confidence away from how they are gelling, the fact that they are picking up the coaching and taking it on board and producing on the pitch.”