PLYMOUTH Argyle manager Ryan Lowe urged his side to get "back on the bike" after seeing their promotion push suffer a puncture at Colchester United.

The high-flying Pilgrims went into the match on the back of five wins in six games and seven victories from their previous nine outings.

They had also won their last four away matches but endured a miserable day in north Essex.

“We weren’t at it in the first half," said Lowe, who takes his side to Salford City on Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed with the goals and it was tough to see them go in but we also need to give Colchester credit.

“They're a good team and they’ve only lost twice here all season.

“John McGreal’s got them well-organised and they do the right things but we fell short. We were poor.

“We haven’t had many games like that, though, and my lads have been terrific.

"I'm not going to stand here and criticise them because we've had a very good season up to this point.

“There were a few home truths afterwards but we need to make sure we get back on that bike, because on this occasion we fell off it.

“It won’t define our season, though. No chance.

“It’s a blip – one loss – and we conceded three stupid goals.

“But the lads know that and that’s football."

Lowe insists he and his players will put the setback behind them and move on.

"We'll look at it and learn from it but not dwell on it," said the Plymouth boss.

"It's a squad effort and from the front to the back, we didn't do enough.

"Sometimes that happens but we'll learn from some aspects and take those lessons through to the rest of the season.

“The second half was a lot better and we were more solid, but sometimes you have off-days like that. We had an off 45 minutes.

"We made some changes and I think it impacted the game.

"We improved and I still believed we could get back in it.

"We got further forward and into some good positions but it didn't quite work for us.

"The fans kept signing and they were terrific. What disappoints us is that we didn't get a result for the Green Army.

"But I think they understand us and know where we're at.

"You always learn when you lose.

"You have to work your socks off to achieve things at this level - and the boys know that.

"The lads know that they can't afford many days like these.

"It's a blip but we have two opportunities in the next week to get back to winning ways."