Paul Cook had promised goals – but never in his wildest dreams would he have envisaged that they would be in the wrong net.
As managerial debuts go, Cook admitted this one was a hard one to take but the 44-year-old at least has seen the worst side of his new Stanley team – and has promised to work on eradicating the mistakes which made Saturday’s show such a disappointing start.
Former Sligo boss Cook didn’t shirk any questions to the media afterwards but his frustration that his new side hadn’t performed against struggling Plymouth was clear to see.
"We have no complaints," said Cook, who always had a tough task stepping into John Coleman’s shoes.
"They have had four attempts and scored four goals and we were punished for every mistake we made.
"Sometimes a transition of manager can be hard. The players are so used to hearing John and Jimmy (Bell’s) voice and we might be telling them to do things a bit differently.
"But we didn’t play well, they deserved the victory and now we need to analyse what we did wrong and move forward.
"All the goals were individual errors and we need to eradicate them and push on."
In their last home game against Gillingham, it was the Reds that made a flying start but this time Plymouth turned the tables.
Pilgrims boss Carl Fletcher admitted they had been spurred on by one of his own fans, in the Stanley programme, predicting Plymouth would lose.
He certainly had his team fired up and it was agony for ex-Burnley midfielder Cook that a current Clarets striker, on loan at Home Park, stole the early show.
Alex MacDonald had been someone who figured in Stanley’s plans over the last couple of weeks but Fletcher swooped first to snap up the Scottish Under 21 international.
And he is fast becoming a Pilgrim hero after he took the ball off Toto Nsiala’s foot, had a neat one-two with Nick Chadwick and finished well for the opener after just three minutes.
Cook admitted: "Goals affect your confidence, they affect the players’ and the keeper’s confidence and that hurt us."
It wasn’t long before number two came with stopper Ian Dunbavin not able to keep hold of Chadwick’s long-range effort and MacDonald pouncing to fire home his third in three games.
Stanley offered little up front in the first half, they couldn’t get their passing game going and were dispossessed all too easily when trying to go forward.
Reds’ loan man Michael Smith, a hat-trick hero on his last Crown Ground outing, wasn’t allowed a sniff at goal as former Birmingham and West Brom defender Darren Purse bossed proceedings for the visitors.
The Reds did have the wind advantage after the break and put on a better show with Peter Murphy not far off just after the break.
And Stanley’s new loan signing Jamie Devitt, from Hull, was the only positive Cook could find as the 21-year-old came on and tested keeper Romain Larrieu with a shot and hit the underside of the bar with a free kick.
The Reds did go on the attack but had left themselves too much to do and it was Plymouth who made their chances count.
Pilgrims left winger Ashley Hemmings hit the bar with a cross before the unmarked Purse added to Cook’s misery with a third on 72 minutes when he headed home Paul Wotton’s free kick.
Then sub Luke Daley had only been on for a matter of minutes before he slotted home in injury-time and, as he did, the rain swept down on the Crown Ground. The Plymouth fans, exposed to a drenching in the open away end, took their tops off and danced around.
The Stanley fans – the crowd swelled to more than 2,000 with the start of the new era – headed to the exit doors and Cook was left with a lot to think about.
"I promised goals but didn’t expect them to go in the other end," he said. "But it’s easy to be a good manager when things are going well.
"It’s hard, especially when you are getting to know a group and you get beaten at home.
"One thing is for sure, we can’t get beat at home like that again. We have got to be a lot stronger defensively and going forward."
Cook can take some comfort that Coleman’s successful 13-year Stanley reign didn’t begin with wins – he lost to Lincoln United away and then¿Trafford at home – but battled back to take the Reds up to the UniBond Premier Division in that same season.
There is plenty of time to get it right and Cook says he will.
"We are here to improve and the players need to listen to what we are saying.
"My job is to get the team playing how I want to play and keep believing. It will take time but we will get there."