Plymouth boss surprised by results

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Head coach Paul Mariner was surprised to take two wins over the festive period after Plymouth had their biggest victory of the season as they thumped Reading 4-1 to ease their Coca-Cola Championship relegation fears.

Mariner fielded an unchanged side from the team that won 1-0 at Cardiff and was rewarded with their best performance of the campaign as they edged up a place to third from bottom as the Royals slipped a place to 20th.

Mariner said: "Can I believe it? This may sound a little strange but yes and no. The players at this club have been magnificent in every single aspect, professionalism, thirst for knowledge, learning new stuff and putting it into practice. They are joy to work with."

Alan Judge (2), Kari Arnason and Ashley Barnes netted in the romp, a good way to end a goal drought which had seen them score just once in their previous six games. Mariner also felt his players got rewarded for their hard work.

He added: "There's nobody on the planet that can tell you how it comes about. You go through barren spells, dry spells, and all you can do is keep working and the players have been terrific and they got some just desserts."

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