A Round-up of Argyle News
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Argyle's winning streak has come to a dramatic end with a 2-0 loss at home to play-off rivals Bury. The first half was goalless but Bury took the lead 20 minutes into the second half. They scored their second goal in the 89th minute. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, McHugh(Blizzard), Hartley, Talbot, O'Connor, Cox(Banton), Bobby Reid, Holmes-Dennis, Brunt(Mellor), Alessandra. Subs: Bitter, Purrington, Norburn, Harvey.
Peter Hartley is still delighted with Argyle's famous win over Exeter last week but has revealed he can remember very little of it! Hartley had a small re-occurrence of his previous hip injury in the warm up and had to take painkilling injections to get him through the match. The centre-back said: “We beat them; we did the double over them; we gave our fans the bragging rights – what more can we do? I’m sure, if we get a result this Saturday, it will be even better. We have just got to keep that momentum going. It was a massive game; a massive win. Reuben’s three goals was unbelievable – he is going to go down in history for that. But I can’t really remember much of the game because I felt my hip in warm-up and had a few painkillers before the game. I was fine, but when I was sat on the coach after, and actually thought about the game, I thought ‘I’ve just missed a derby’ because I couldn’t remember much of it. It’s not really going to improve but I’ve had it since October,” he said. “It’s fine. I feel good. Sometimes, I need a few painkillers; sometimes I get through the game and don’t feel it. It’s a massive game – a six-pointer – and we owe them because they beat us 2-1 at their place. We know what we need to do; we’ve worked on it this week. We know how they play and what they intend to do but, if we do what we do and we concentrate on what we are going to do to teams, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.”
Hartley also spoke positively about the last four games and the players who have newly come into the starting line-up for the winning streak, speaking first about his defensive partners Curtis Nelson, Carl McHugh and Anthony O'Connor: “If we get us four together and fit, we look quite a hard team to break down. We’ve proven that this season. We have just got to keep fresh and fit – and mentally fit, as well – for the last 14 games. We have just got to take it one game at a time now and try to have a week like we did with the Wycombe week, concentrate on ourselves, and keep winning. He’s brought fresh faces in and they have been different class. Brunty’s contribution on Saturday was unbelievable; Tareiq is a young boy who’s full of energy, very similar to Andy Kellett in my mind, although he’s more defensive minded because he’s more of a full-back than Andy. The gaffer can pick a player. He’s done really well in the loan market and we’ve brought some really good players in. The good thing is that they are down to earth and gelling in with the team really quickly. That helps us a lot because games come thick and fast.”
John Sheridan meanwhile, warned that tomorrow's opponents Bury had some good players but also stated that he believed Argyle's home advantage will shine through: “Bury are trying to do what we’re doing and we’re evenly matched - but we’re at home and I’m confident we’ll win the game. That’s what I’m going to tell the players and I hope the players are confident. There aren’t many teams who haven’t had an up-and-down, stop-start season. We’re identical, but we’re at home and we’re on a really good run and hopefully that’s what we’ll take into the game. We know the importance of trying to win the game to get ourselves in the mix and stay with the teams who are above us. I expect a tough game, but the run we’re on, we’ve got to go into the game confident. We’re on a good run and we’ve got ourselves back to where we should have been in the first place. We had a poor run and it’s down to the players who have come back and reacted really well. Obviously, winning last week’s game against our biggest rivals will hopefully boost the confidence. They’re all going to be tough games but we’ve got something to fight for, starting with Bury. They’re a team in and around us and if we get the result we want, we’ll stay in the top seven. They’ve got one or two decent players who are comfortable on the ball and can run around with the ball and they’ve been in and around the playoff area for most of the season. David Flitcroft has done a good job there so we’re very wary of them. We’ll give them a tough game and see how they respond to it. Again, just try and win the game and that’s what we’re after; the three points.”
Sheridan also reserved particular praise for Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Reuben Reid following their performances against Exeter last week: “I think he just fits into the way we play. He has got really good energy. He’s still learning and he will make mistakes. I thought he got caught ball-watching once or twice in the first half last week against Exeter. But I thought he played even better in the second half, and that’s a good sign for me. I whispered in his ear at half-time that he had to be more aware defensively and that’s what he did. He took it into his game. I thought he was excellent. He gets forward and he puts a right shift in. Wing-back is a difficult position but he suits it and does a good job for the team.
“Every player I sign, I try to bring them in to hopefully benefit us. I think some of them have done really well, and one or two haven’t, but that’s just part and parcel of football. Managers pay millions and millions for players and things don’t work out. It didn’t worry me when Reuben wasn’t scoring because I felt he had chances to score. When one isn’t doing it, the other one should be doing it and Lewi was doing that for us. Reuben has got a good record this season and hopefully the hat-trick will build his confidence even more. I thought his first goal was an excellent finish and he showed awareness and anticipation for the third one. He took a chance and, luckily for us, their defenders have made a mistake and he has finished it really well. He has made it look easy in the end.”
Finally, Sheridan spoke about the three Argyle youth prospects who are currently out on loan: Jamie Richards, Aaron Bentley and River Allen. He said: “I think the most important thing is the lads are playing and they are not sitting around on a Saturday. Aaron Bentley has got potential to be a decent player but he has got to grow up and that’s why I have sent him out on loan. They all need to be playing football, whether it’s here or not. I want them to be successful in their football career. We have found it difficult with our under-21 games getting called off all the time. The next step is to go out and play regular football somewhere and that’s what they are getting at this moment in time.”
John Sheridan confirmed that loanee midfielder Ollie Lee will remain an Argyle player until the end of the season. He also confirmed however that he will not be appealing the red card he received at Exeter. Therefore, he will be banned for Argyle's next three games. Sheridan said: “We’re going to keep Olly until the end of the season. I think you’ve just got to look at the results we’ve had with him in the team and you can’t question him. I feel as though we’ve got a lot of competition in midfield now and when things are going well, you don’t want to spoil anything. Olly wants to come back and, hopefully, carry on where he left off. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three games; someone might come in and play out of their skin. But he’s coming back and he’ll be a part of the squad and pushing to be in the team. Hopefully, whoever comes in for Saturday will perform and help us win the game. I’ve always said it’ll be about the squad. We’ve got lots of games now on Tuesday and Saturday and they’re all important games. It’s important we have plenty of bodies and plenty of people ready. I don’t think he’s really caught the lad, it’s not a bad tackle,” John said. “But that’s just the way the game has gone now. He has swung his leg out, but there’s no contact and I don’t think he’s tried to hurt anyone. Unfortunately, it probably looks a lot worse than it is but I don’t think it is worth appealing. I don’t think it’s one of those you can get away with.”
Argyle have confirmed that the free and open fans forum on Saturday will be broadcast live on the club's website commencing at 10.30am in an audio only version. The full, unedited visual version will be available some time after.
Skipper Curits Nelson has cautioned against Argyle getting carried away by their recent run of excellent results.He echoed the words of his manager about only celebrating once an actual achievement has been secured, saying: “It’s nowhere near time to start getting excited. We have got to make sure we are cemented in the play-offs, or even in an automatic position, before we start getting excited. We can get excited once the season has finished. We have hit form now and I think the most important thing is to maintain it. We have got to make sure we do the basics right and carry on doing what we are doing. It was absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t think of anything better to do on a Saturday afternoon. It was a big game and we got the result that we wanted. I think the team played really well, especially in the second half. It was always going to be tough when we went down to 10 men but I think we dealt with it quite well. Exeter did throw the kitchen sink at us but we got the three points.”
Argyle chairman James Brent has praised the 'passion and pride' of the Green Army following his decision to join the green army in the terraces against Exeter rather than watch from the directors box. The chairman and owner of the club said this about his experience: “It was brilliant. The fans were bouncing and the passion and pride is what it is all about. By the time the crowd surged for the third goal, I knew what to expect. It was one of my best Argyle experiences so far. The emotion and passion was palpable. It was not merely the winning but the way the team dominated play even when down to 10 men. “I was still smiling on Sunday evening. It is now onto Bury, which is another very important match for us. I think it’s also great to experience the fans’ view and the Exeter away end is notorious. The view was poor but the game seemed much faster than when watching from higher up. Standing the whole game and singing was a novelty. I returned home without a voice.”
Home Park will host an England under-20s game against the USA next month on Sunday, March 29, with a kick-off time of 3pm. It is the first time Home Park has hosted an England team in 25 years. This could mean a return home for two young England stars who began their careers with the club: Liverpool defender Lloyd Jones and Brighton goalkeeper Christian Walton have both been included in recent Under-20s squads. Tickets will be priced at £3 for adults and £1.50 for concessions with further details to be announced shortly. Chief Executive Martyn Starnes said: “We are delighted to be hosting this prestige friendly and that international football is returning to Plymouth. We are sure the Westcountry’s football fans will help make it an occasion to remember.”
Argyle will not contest the red card shown to midfielder Ollie Lee in Saturday's derby victory over Exeter. Sheridan did say however that he is interested in retaining the services of the loanee, complimenting him by saying: “He has come in and he’s a very good footballer. think he is getting better with each game he is playing, and getting used to the way we play, and first team football.
John Sheridan dedicated Argyle's memorable win against Exeter City yesterday to the dedicated visiting fans. He also gave a very positive account of Argyle's performance yesterday with the exception of the period leading up to half-time. He said: “I thought we were excellent for 35 minutes, and I had a go at them at half time for allowing Exeter back into the game. It is about just seeing how we are affecting the game and why we are getting a bit of joy. We switched off a little bit towards the end of the first half. They had one or two crosses going across the box and eventually one goes in the back of the net. So you go in really disappointed and angry, but at the same time, I was pleased with the way we were playing. I thought they responded really well, the players, so full credit to all of them.
“Most importantly, it is for the supporters. Derby games are always about the supporters and bragging rights. I hope they enjoyed their day. It was great support again and I know what it means to them. Exeter beat us twice last season, and we have beat them twice this year. It is a great achievement to get a double over your local rivals, and the fans are very pleased. I know what it means to them today. I think we fully deserved the victory as well. Again, the most important thing is three points and the result, obviously playing your nearest rivals. To win it the way we did, going down to ten men, you are a bit worried, but full respect to the players: they put a right shift in.I thought we looked a good team. We went about the game the way we wanted to, and you get the goal. Our shape and everything about us was very good. We used the wing backs a lot in the first half. It gets confidence into the players, more than anything. It is a great response from them after a poor run, to win their last four. I applaud them.”
He was determined however not to let concentration slip and not to over-celebrate until Argyle had actually achieved something: “It means a lot to me; any victory means a lot to me If people think I don’t care, they don’t even know me. Believe me. I know when the time is right to get pumped up and really enjoy things. At this moment in time, we are a long, long way from doing what we want to do, so I have got to stay focused. But I enjoyed that. The fans only two or three weeks ago against Hartlepool were disjointed - that's football. Listen, I enjoy these days better than at Hartlepool, put it that way! Hopefully we will have a few more of these. I want to do well with the club, that’s all I am looking at.
”I have told them in there that we have done nothing yet. We have got three very tough games coming up, starting with Bury. They are teams in and around us, so we have got to stay in there, compete with them, and just carry on what we are doing. If we keep winning games, everything takes care of itself. I will stay focused. I will stay on top of the players and make sure they do everything right.”
In spite of his message of caution however, Sheridan did still reserve some praise for Argyle's hat trick hero Reuben Reid. He complimented the forward by saying: “He came off as though he was in a bit of pain. I was about to take him off anyway. If he had got up, I probably still would have taken him off two or three minutes later. He will be a legend in Plymouth, scoring a hat-trick in the derby. If you do that, people will remember you. I thought he was a handful today. It was a team effort. Reuben will take the plaudits but it was a very good team effort, and it’s great to get three points against a good footballing side. They are two good players for this league, and they are always a threat. I am always confident that if they get chances, they will score goals. As a partnership, they are close to being the best in this division.”
Reid himself obviously enjoyed his contribution- but also echoed the warning of his manager John Sheridan against complacency and re-iterated the importance of retaining focus. The hat-trick scoring star said: “It’s nice to get a hat-trick – it’s contributed to a massive win for the club and the city. I think we can just enjoy it now. One of the lads said: ‘It looks good for you’, but it’s just nice to get the win. Probably when I wake up tomorrow, people will be telling me what a massive part I’ve played and all of a sudden, you’re flavour of the month. I am just happy to have contributed to a good performance all the way through barring ten minutes before the end of the first half, when Exeter scored. I thought it was a complete performance throughout, really, and we were dominating the game. I’m pretty much the same, no matter what. Obviously, it’s nice to get goals, but the three previous games I’ve played in a winning side and contributed without goals; I’ve contributed with other aspects of my play. The win, being the fixture that it is, was massive for us.
“I think the city is going to be alive for the next week, leading into the Bury game, and it’s massive for the fans who came to watch the game. But, for us, as a team, it’s just another three points to get us closer to where we want to be at the end of the season. The confidence has always been there. We didn’t get the rub of the green in our bad run, when we weren’t winning games, but thankfully, we’ve got what I would say, our normal team back. No disrespect to the other lads who have come in and played but, when we had our normal team we were a good force in the league. Thankfully, we’ve got that back – and no injuries now – going into the final stretch.”
Argyle have won 4 games in a row for the first time since February 2008- and a player of ours has scored a hat-trick in the league for the first time since February 2006. Reuben Reid scored all three goals in Argyle's 3-1 victory over Exeter in the Devon Expressway Derby today: a game that will live long in the memory for many reasons. Reid put the greens ahead during a cagey first half but Exeter levelled on the stroke of half-time. Lewis Alessandra was brought down inside the box shortly after the re-start and Reid duly converted the penalty to make it 2-1. A sending off for our Birmingham loanee Olly Lee took Argyle's number down to ten but that did not stop Reid capitalising on a defensive error to dispatch his and Argyle's total to three. The greens then proceeded to see out the game. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, McHugh, Hartley, Talbot, O'Connor, Lee, Bobby Reid(Blizzard), Reuben Reid(Brunt), Alessandra(Cox). Subs: Bittner, Purrington, Norburn.
John Sheridan has previewed the 100th Devon Derby tomorrow against Exeter City at St James's Park. He went over the previous encounters with the grecians under his own management and also stressed the importance of concentration ahead of the game, saying: “I think we’ve just got to go into the game and concentrate. It’s another game and it’s another game we want to try and win and get the three points from. Both teams are in and around the play-off area. It’s an important game, but we’ll go into it and concentrate on what we’ve been doing of late. We’ve had a really good response from the players - three clean sheets and nine points from nine, which is a good response from the run we’ve been on. We need to stay focused but, at the same time, we know the importance of the game.
“I thought we deserved the 3-0 result on the day this season, I thought we played very well. But I remember last season when we played Exeter, we were in a similar position and going for the playoffs. We were 1-0 up at home and we ended up losing the game. But Tisdale is a good manager, he’s been around. He’s young but very experienced. The good thing about is his teams play well; they’re attractive and good on the eye so we’ve got to make sure they don’t get a foothold in the game. They’ll try and pass it and try and move us around but we have our strengths so, hopefully, we can affect the game which won’t enable them to play their normal game. We’ve beat them once and we’re going to try and win this game. I’m not going to try and draw, or be happy with a point or whatever, I am really going to try and win the game. We’re going to try and get at them, but I totally respect them, they’re a good side on their day. Like any team in this division, you’ve got to be wary of them.”
Sheridan also confirmed he will have a bolstered squad to pick from following the return from injury of Tyler Harvey and Jason Banton: “Everyone’s fit. Jason Banton’s trained all week, Tyler Harvey’s trained all week and Dom Blizzard has trained all week. I’ve got a big, fit squad and I probably had 20, 21 players training this morning. It’s important that everyone’s fit; I want people pushing each other. Kelvin Mellor, even though he’s not been in the team, has trained excellently all week so I’m very pleased. I want them all to push each other because they’re all going to be involved and they’re all a part of it.”
Sheridan additionally revealed his hope that Lewis Alessandra will sign a new contract for Argyle at the end of this season because he sees him as part of his plans for the club. However he did also warn that Alessandra does have a young family in the north of England and in the meantime only wanted focus on promotion. The manager said: “I spoke to Lewi five months ago about a new contract. Lewi knows where I stand regarding him. It’s his decision. He has got a young one and a baby, and it all depends where we are I suppose as well. He’s very happy here and the lads really like him. He’s playing well and he’s comfortable being where he is. He knows where I stand with him. I have spoken to Lewi about a contract and he knows that I want him to stay. He’s an important player for us, and he’s playing really well at the moment, so I just want him to concentrate on that and carry on scoring goals. Hopefully, if we are where we want to be at the end of the season, I think there is a very good chance Lewi would stay with us, but it’s his decision at the end of the day.”
Club captain Luke McCormick also gave his thoughts ahead of the game: “It’s one of the ones you look for when the fixture list first comes out. It’s one of the biggest games of the season. I think we’re ready for it. The lads are really excited and can’t wait for the game to come. I remember the first home game of the season well. It was a great result for us, but I think they’ve changed a lot of a side in the time since. It will be, in no way shape or form, the case of us just turning up. They like to pass the ball, as do we. It will be a very evenly contested game, I imagine. But it’s one that we can’t wait to get our teeth stuck in to.”
McCormick went on to speak about his progress as a player in more general terms- believing that he has shown additional 'maturity' compared to his first spell at Argyle. He explained: "Since I've been lucky enough to come back to this football club I've just tried to let my football do the talking. I've kept a low profile and just concentrated on the pitch. Fortunately, and I don't say this half-heartedly either, I feel really, really grateful for the support that the Plymouth fans give me each and every week. Now I'm a little bit older and I'm playing with younger men I feel a responsibility to be more of a leader now, that's the difference I'm noticing second time round. I'm more mature, there's a dependency on me to help the younger lads through the game, be more vocal, be more of a leader on the pitch. That comes with maturity and having a few extra years and extra grey hairs on your head."
Aaron Bentley has joined Conference outfit Alfreton Town on a one month loan deal. He will be managed by former Pilgrim Nicky Law.
Olly Lee is not currently thinking beyond this week and the trip to Exeter City on Saturday. His loan expires after the Exeter game but all talk on extension will be left until after that match. Lee confirmed however that he is enjoying life at Argyle. The midfielder said:“The most important thing is the team, and Plymouth getting promoted. That’s all we’re bothered about. When it comes to the time, we’ll sit down and have a chat and see what happens. I’d be more than happy to stay – I’m really enjoying my time. It’s taken me awhile to really get into it and find my feet but, as each game goes on, I’m getting fitter and fitter, and every game, I think I’ve got better and better, so I am just looking forward to scoring few more goals and we’ll go from there. All I wanted when I came in was to be playing ever week. I’m loving it at the minute. It’s been really good and, obviously, if we can keep on winning, it will be even better.”
Ryan Brunt spoke of his 'strikers instinct' to follow Bobby Reid's shot into the net on Saturday, going on the speak of the general feel of revival present around the club this week. Brunt explained: “It’s a striker’s instinct, I guess, to follow the ball in. Bobby’s had a half-decent shot and it’s fallen to me. It’s one of those that’s easier to miss than score, but it hit the back of the net. I’m delighted. The boys have had a brilliant week, a really positive week, with three wins on the bounce. It’s looking good at the moment. Cambridge are a good team - they want to pass the ball; they want to dominate the possession – so it was tough. The lads up front have had a couple of tough games, and they’ve pushed them back and pushed them back, and fresh legs have come on and we’ve scored the goal. The players were a bit down, but now it’s certainly changed round. Players have come back and are getting fit, and we have got a big squad to choose from which is causing the manager problems, I guess, but that’s a healthy thing and it’s proved that today.”
Finally, John Sheridan has has played down speculation linking him with a move to Barnsley following the sacking of their manager Danny Wilson. Media outlets have linked Sheridan with a move to Oakwell but the manager quashed all rumours: "I haven't heard anything about Barnsley. Because I live in Leeds I'd be interested in Barnsley? I want to be very successful here and I believe we're going to be successful. There's plenty of hard work to do and I believe I've got a good group of players and we're going the right way at this moment in time. We've just got to carry on winning games and hopefully we'll be where we want to be."
John Sheridan was happy with Argyle's win against Cambridge yesterday as well as their performance, especially in the second half. He revealed that he told his team to 'step it up' at half-time, saying: “I don’t think Cambridge really hurt us too much but they did have two good chances. I thought we had good chances too. It could’ve been 2-2 or 3-2 either way. I said to them: ‘how many times did they try and get behind us in the first half?' They were playing a lot front of us, and they were picking their little passes. Cambridge had good possession but I said to them: ‘step up ten yards in the second half.’ I thought our second half performance was really good. We got in their faces a lot more, and they did not have as much time as they did in the first half. We got in and around them, we were winning balls in midfield areas and breaking on them. We were putting balls in the box, and when you’re doing that, you’ll get your breaks. I thought we persevered and really drove on. We looked a lot stronger than them in the second half. We kept going and going, and I thought the supporters could see that as well. We are really pushing forward, and you could see we were trying to win the game. I told them to just step up ten yards and just put a bit more pressure on the ball, and we did that and got our rewards. We worked really hard to get the three points, and they are fully deserved in my eyes.”
Sheridan also surmised a good week for Argyle in which the Pilgrims picked up 9 points out of a possible 9. He had one word to sum up the nature of Argyle's improvement and that was 'perseverance': "Bobby has hit a great strike for the keeper to save it, and Brunty’s in the right place and does what a striker does. He follows in and he’s finished. You can afford to take a chance. He could see that Bobby’s having a dig; it’s a good strike from Bobby and he’s made the goal himself by taking a chance. Lewi is a team player. For me, Reuben Reid and Lewi are two of the best strikers in the division. He works so hard for the team and he gets his reward. It is a great finish from him again.
“We’re not Real Madrid or Chelsea; we have got to be realistic. I wish people would understand sometimes that if players at this level were consistent the way I wanted them to be, they wouldn’t be playing at this level. We try and get as much as we can out of them to be consistent. We are going to have ups and downs, but they are working very hard. You can see the difference in the team with one or two players that have got back making a massive difference. I’ve seen all the results today, and you could say we are lucky we’ve got the three points, so it’s tight. Everyone is going to beat everyone, but we don’t worry about anyone else. It is a good response, obviously after the run. Three clean sheets, as well, is really pleasing. We have come back, but there is a long way to go. It is nine points from nine and we have just got to be grateful. I will just congratulate the players more than anyone. I think it’s down to them at the end of the day. We can talk a good game, but they’re the ones who go out on the pitch, and they’re the ones who have to perform. I tell you what: not many teams will live with us, with the way we played today. It is just the drive and the determination; you don’t have to play really attractive football all the time, but when you have got that desire to try and get something out of the game – and we went for the full 90 minutes – you get your reward.”
Argyle have made it three wins in a week with a second consecutive 2-0 victory- this time at home to Cambridge. The visitors held Argyle at bay for much of the game before a goal from substitute Ryan Brunt finally broke the deadlock after 81 minutes. Just three minutes later, Lewis Alessandra put the game beyond any doubt. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, McHugh, Hartley, Talbot, O'Connor, Lee (Cox), Bobby Reid, Holmes-Dennis(Purrington), Reuben Reid(Brunt), Alessandra. Subs: Bittner, Mellor, Norburn, Blizzard.
River Allen has joined Gosport on the Conference South on a month long loan. The 19 year old will be there until March 14th.
Drew Talbot says he is full of confidence following Argyle's two game winning run and only has promotion on his mind. The 28 year old went on to talk about his preferred positions to play in: “I wouldn’t have wanted to go to a team that would have been struggling. I don’t think it would have benefited me that much. It’s always nice be chasing. I have been here before. If we can get three or four wins, we’re right back in it, and other people will start to get nervous – at Chesterfield, we were 18 points clear and we only won the league by four points. When someone is chasing you, and they’re doing well, you do feel the pressure, so it’s up to us now to put that fear into people and let them know that we’re coming. We’re full of confidence from the last two games and hopefully we can continue that.
“We knew Wycombe were going to be a good team. We had a meeting beforehand and said that they were extremely fit and that they were going to give us a game for the full 90 minutes, and the minimum requirement was to match them. Luckily, we managed to get a couple of goals and they had maybe the better of the ball in the second half, but we never felt like we were under too much pressure, really. We saw out the game really well. They’re the results that you look back on if you’re up there at the end of the season and think that’s where you maybe you earned your chance to go up. All in all, it was a great performance and I’m just happy to be playing, so it’s great.“Right wing-back is the perfect position for me. I’m more comfortable where I played the other day or at right back, I think. The older I’ve got, I’ve had to settle down in a position. I can play either side. I was a bit rusty at left wing-back. People don’t think that it’s much different, but it really is. I’m going to give all I’ve got and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough - but you’ll get 100% effort."
Dom Blizzard is recovering well from the injury that kept him out over the Christmas period and will be in the squad to face Cambridge according to John Sheridan: “Before the Accrington game, Dom only trained two days. I bought him up with us to Adams Park on Tuesday just to make sure he was training with us and that he was back in and around the team. It’s a bit of fitness too, instead of just sitting here on his own and just going to the gym. I thought it would be better if I took him with us. With Tom Flanagan going back to MK Dons, Dom will be in the squad for Saturday.”
Sheridan finally stated that he believed that Kelvin Mellor would benefit from a rest from the first team given the arrivals of Talbot and Holmes-Dennis. He said of the young right-wing-back: “Kelvin has been one of my best players this season. I just think he needs a rest. Some time out won’t do him any harm at all. His game has gone off a little bit but Kelvin will be back. He’s a good trainer, he wants to play all the time and he’s a great kid as well. He took it on the chin and I expect him to fight for his place. Kelvin was a massive player for us when we were winning games earlier in the season, especially going forward. There is no harm in me thinking that he might need a little rest, and obviously Drew has come in and will push him. I would be very comfortable playing Tareiq on the left wing, and likewise with Drew, I would be very comfortable playing him on the right wing. Both can do that. I like competition for places, and I feel as though when we have got everyone fit we have got good competition. We put in a very good performance against Wycombe and we have had two clean sheets in a row. We have got to go into the game against Cambridge really believing that we are going to get three points. We created lots of chances against Accrington and could have scored four or five goals. I thought we had a lot of good chances the other night, against a Wycombe team who are going really well in the division. We had a clean sheet as well, so we are doing something right.”
John Sheridan once again gave very high praise to Peter Hartley and Anthony O'Connor following their re-emergence into the side which has coincided with Argyle's two game winning run. He said that it was not merely the things they did which were relevant but the things they helped their fellow players to do: “I think the biggest thing is I’ve got my team back and the characters within my team who are hopefully going to help us get better results. I’m a lot more confident now. I just look at my personnel and I know we’ve missed them. I haven’t gone on about it, but we’ve missed them. I expect us to get better results now and that’s how I’m going to look at it. Players who have come back, like Anto and Pete, have that desire to win and that will rub off. I don’t want it to sound bad, but you don’t have to be the best player in the team to have an influence. You don’t accept if someone’s not doing the little things like tracking back, not doing your job or not getting tight with people - Pete and Anto do that. Pete’s so pumped up before a game, probably a bit too much if anything. All players are different and you need those type of players in the squad. I was always vocal on the pitch but, before a game, I’d be very quiet. But Pete’s pumped up, it’s like you’re going out for a cup final every Saturday. We’ve been on a bad run and we’ve only just won the last two so I’m not getting carried away. We’ve got to get on a good run of games and try to pick points up and just get back in the mix if we can.”
Sheridan also said that he is not looking to focus on why his team have turned around their form for the better – he just wants to see it continue against Cambridge United on Saturday: “It’s just football. That’s the way football goes sometimes, and that’s why you beat yourself up a lot of times. I beat myself up, I want to win every game, like the fans do. Sometimes you don’t get the rub of the green and it doesn’t work, but tonight we played really well. Everyone thought Accrington would be a walkover, but no team in this league is a walkover. Anyone can beat anyone, and to come back with two results after a poor run – and two clean sheets – is full credit to the players. We have just got to look after ourselves,” said Sheridan. “We don’t look at who is playing who, we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves, and we have got a tough game against Cambridge. We have got to go and try and win it, and then we will see where it takes us. We have got to try and win games and win them quickly, and just stay in the mix, then you never know what happens. I think it’s a really tight league. Teams can take points off of each other, and the unexpected happens quite a lot in this division. There are a lot of draws, and sometimes you think a draw could be a good result, but if someone is winning they’re gaining two points on you. I am not bothered about anyone else, to tell you the truth. I know what we have got to try and do, and that’s win the next game which is Cambridge. It’s a cliché, and it’s the obvious answer to give to you, but I’m thinking about Cambridge now.”
Finally, Sheridan gave praise to the 'Premier League' movement of forward Lewis Alessandra, saying: “He’s a good player, Lewi. He works his socks off and you could see that again at Wycombe. There was a slight deflection for the goal, but he has got into some really good areas. He has got bags of talent and I try to tell him little things to get out of his game – possibly when he takes too many touches of the ball. But, I’m being serious when I say this, some of the things he can do are Premier League quality. His body movement is unbelievable.”
John Sheridan declared Argyle's shock win over Wycombe as a 'job well done'. The manager praised every facet of Argyle's performance and confirmed that they were working on the basis of the homework they had done through pre-match analysis. Sheridan said: “I thought the game plan went really well in the first half. I made the lads watch the DVD of Wycombe’s last home game against Portsmouth, and Portsmouth could’ve been 2-0 or 3-0 up. They were playing a high line, and I thought it worked a treat tonight. Lewis and Reuben were a real threat in the first half and causing them problems. At the break, I said to the players that if you could play forward quickly, they will play high and you will catch them. Even when Luke was distributing the ball, I wanted to play early, and play forward early. We caused them lots and lots of problems.
“We get the two goals, fully deserved as well. I thought we dominated the game in the first half, and you get the goals, and then that gives you something to hang on to. I thought we saw the game out very well. They had one or two free kicks in dangerous areas and you’re on edge a little bit, but I think we had the best two chances in the second half, and their keeper’s made two really good saves. Full credit to the players. I thought it was excellent performance against a really tough team, who are going really well in the division.”
Sheridan reserved particular praise for some of the players new to the team in Argyle's current winning run. He was happy with the ability of the returning Hartley and O'Connor to do the dirty work and the form of the new wing-backs, Drew Talbot and Tareiq Homes-Dennis: “You can see the difference in the team; you’ve just got that bit of aggression, with people who do the ugly things well. I think it rubs off on the other players. Pete and Anthony are physical in the way they play, and the way they go about things. They give us more balance and they know what their jobs are, and it makes us a stronger team – a better outfit. The good thing about Pete is that he is vocal. He has standards, and Anthony is the same, with the way they both play.
“Drew Talbot’s come in and looked as if he’s been here for two or three years, and he’s another one that trains properly every day. Drew’s had a really good career at this level; he has won this league twice. I thought Tareiq played really well. He has only been with us a short time but that position suits him. He’s calm in possession and he’s got great energy, and I thought he played really, really well. They have got something about them, they have standards, and what they do is they give you 7/10 most weeks. I’ve said before that I don’t want a nine one week and a four the following week. That’s no good to me. That’s inconsistency.”
Holmes-Dennis himself described the circumstance surrounding his move to Home Park and said that he could not ask for a better debut, saying: “It was good to come in last week and get a few sessions in with the boys, get to know everyone, how they work; it made it easier coming into the game today. Obviously things happen quickly. I left Oxford on the Friday; last Tuesday, I got the call about Argyle; Wednesday I was up here; and training Thursday. It all happened quickly. I’ve played at wing-back. I’m used to playing in a four at the back, as a left-back, more, but I have operated at wing-back with Oxford. I find it alright there. I like to get forward and defend, a bit of both. It was a good game. I just wanted to come in and get the three points, a clean sheet – I couldn’t really have asked for a much better debut. After the first 15 minutes, I was blowing. Then my second wind came in and I got through it. I haven’t played a match in three weeks and it felt good to get back out there. We could have got more goals. We created opportunities. We were solid at the back, which allowed us to go forward well and, obviously, the strikers are a threat. It’s a good result and shows what the team can do. We should be up there. Hopefully we are going to kick on now and keep on getting results. You can’t really look too far ahead; it’s just about taking each week as it comes.”
John Sheridan finally confirmed that Tom Flanagan will return to his parent club MK Dons after his loan spell at Argyle expired on Tuesday evening. Sheridan did not feel that the youngster had played badly but simply that he was too good to be on the bench for Argyle, stating: “I have had a chat with Tom, and obviously I don’t think it’s right. With what I’ve got now – Pete’s there and Aaron Bentley will be back next week and Anthony can play there – Tom’s too good a player to keep on the bench. I spoke to Tom today and I’ll speak with Karl Robinson. I told him that he hasn’t played poorly and he’s possibly playing out of position on the left of a three, because I know he likes to play on the right in a two. He has looked after himself and trained really well while he has been with us, but I wouldn’t like to keep him because he is not a player that needs to be on the bench. He is too good to be on the bench.”
Argyle have made it two wins in a row and their first away win in over two months with a stunning 2-0 victory over promotion candidates Wycombe. First half goals from Peter Hartley and Lewis Alessandra ensured Argyle came home from Buckinghamshire with their 4th away win of the season. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, McHugh, Hartley, Talbot, O'Connor, Lee(Cox), Bobby Reid(Norburn), Reuben Reid(Brunt), Alessandra. Subs: Bittner, Mellor, Purrington, Flanagan.
John Sheridan praised the second half performance of his Argyle side and re-iterated his belief that Argyle's season is far from finished: “For 25 minutes or half an hour in the second half, I thought we were excellent,” said John. “We could’ve seen the game out and gone 3-0 or 4-0 in front. We created chances to score goals but it didn’t go our way, and when it’s 1-0 the opposition always feel they have got a chance. We can possibly go on a winning streak, and I think we have got a really good game Tuesday. I am looking forward to the game. It is a tough game that no one expects us to win, but I sure feel that we can go and get something. We have got some tough games coming up, and you won’t get a harder game than on Tuesday, but I prefer these games.”
Also positive was Peter Hartley who returned to the side yesterday following a niggling hip injury. Hartley stated that getting the long-awaited win was the most important thing and that the performance warranted an even great winning margin. He also spoke about his own fitness upon his return from the aforementioned injury, saying:“I don’t think it really mattered how we got the win. It’s just good to get back to clean sheets and, obviously, three points to keep us in the mix for the play-offs and maybe beyond. I think we controlled the majority of the second half. We dictated the tempo and, when you are 1-0 up and you control the tempo, you are going to control the win. Accrington were always going to have a spell in the second half and I think it shone through how much today meant to us. As a group of boys, we really pulled together and worked hard for each other. Carl McHugh had a good header; Reuben's had a couple of chances; Lewi had a chance; I had a chance which the defender’s cleared off the line. I connected with the ball and I don’t think the boy knew it had hit him. He was just stood on the line and it bounced off his head and went back out for a corner. It was unlucky; I did everything right apart from finish. It was one of those things – we could have comfortably won the game maybe 4-0 or 5-0, but you don’t get any more points, and we’ve got a decent goal difference at the moment so it doesn’t matter how many we win by.
"I said to Lewi at half-time: ‘How did you score?’ and he said he sort of opened his body, gave the ’keeper the eyes and whipped into the top corner. It looked like the boy was just going to usher it out and made a bad decision. That’s what Lewi does – he puts defenders under pressure. It’s one of his strengths.
“I felt good for about 75 minutes and then, in the last 15, I could feel my hamstrings and quads going. It’s a niggly injury. It’s still there a little bit, so I’m monitoring it and trying to get back 100% fit. The longer I train with the boys – and play games – I’ll be back up to game-tempo in no time. I did the radio commentary against Morecambe and I think they lost the connection because I shouted that loudly; Morecambe scored, and I was biting my tongue to stop myself swearing. It’s frustrating because you can’t affect anything when you’re sat in the crowd. I need to be in the mix; I try to help people and pull people along. It was nice to be back out there today. The gaffer has given me a chance, a start, and I hope the boys have repaid him with a clean sheet and a win.”
He also reserved particular praise for Anthony O'Connor, saying that 'every team' needs somebody like him: “He helps us three central defenders along massively. He does the dirty work. I’m delighted people recognise how important he is. You need a player like that in teams. A lot of people appreciate the flair players but Anto is a big player for us. He’s a good character and it’s definitely good to have him back. You have Reuben, Lewi, Bobby Reid – and Drew Talbot, who was different class today. And then you have got Anto and the back three who just put their foot through things and see games out, which I thought we did decent today apart from a little spell. The gaffer mentioned before the game that Anto would do the dirty work and Bobby and Olly the licence to go and get in the box when we got the ball wide. I don’t think anyone had a bad game. We didn’t carry anyone and I’m just delighted with a win.”
Argyle's winless run has finally come to an end with a much needed 1-0 home victory over Accrington Stanley. Lewi Alessandra got Argyle's winner late on in a quiet first half. Argyle had chances to extend their lead in the second 45 minutes and endured a nervy end to the match but ultimately there were to be no further goals in the game. Other results saw the greens climb to 8th. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, McHugh, Hartley, Mellor, O'Connor, Lee(Cox), Bobby Reid, Talbot, Reuben Reid(Brunt), Alessandra. Subs: Bittner, Purrington, Norburn, Flanagan.
John Sheridan has spoken of his pleasure at having Anthony O'Connor back at his disposal and warned that tough decisions need to be made when he is selecting his starting line-up for Saturday's match. The manager said: “It’s been on and off, we would have liked to have him earlier than what we had. He’s been a big part of our season. Unfortunately for us our worst run and poor results have coincided with when he went back to Blackburn. He’s an important player, he can play in a few positions; as a holding player in midfield, he was really good in the way we wanted to play. We’ve missed him, so I am very pleased. I am happy with what we have got now. On paper we are strong, I think we are strong whatever formation we play, hopefully they are going to work. Hopefully the one or two new lads coming in, will give us a lift. We need a lift at this moment in time, starting with the game on Saturday.
Dominic Blizzard trained but is not fit for Saturday. Jason Banton is not fit, Tyler Harvey has a dead leg. Dead legs are funny - sometimes you can get over them in two days, sometimes two weeks, unfortunately he has had a bad one. Peter Hartley’s played and trained this week. Let’s see how he is. Drew Talbot is fine, he’s available. I will have to make some tough decisions, but that’s not a problem to me. Whatever team I put out, we will have a strong bench”. |date|5 Feb 2015
Argyle are set to sign Charlton Athletic teenager Tareiq Holmes-Dennis on a youth loan deal until he end of the regular season on May 2nd. Holmes-Dennis will join when the loan window re-opens on May. The left-wing-back spent 17 games on loan at Oxford earlier this season but did not return there when they signed a new permanent full-back in his absence. He will wear the number 30 during his time at Home Park.
John Sheridan is pleased that Argyle have found their replacement for Manchester-bound Andy Kellett so quickly and had a lot of positive stuff to say about Holmes-Dennis's ability and attitude: “Darren watched him, like Andy Kellett. He’s got pace about him; he’s young and very attack-minded. If we are going to play a 3-5-2, he will fit in that system. He can play left-back, left wing-back, and further up the pitch on the left side. He is a good addition. He’s similar to Andy Kellett – he’s comfortable on the ball; he plays simple when he has to; he’s got plenty of energy about him. He’s really positive in the way he plays, and he and Ben Purrington will be pushing for that place down the left-hand side; they are both young lads who are very willing and enthusiastic.
“Andy was on his way here, but, when a club like Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world, comes in... Obviously Man United have seen something in him; he will never have a better opportunity – it’s a really good move. I wish him all the luck in the world. It was late when it happened, but we had to get a replacement and Tareiq is the one that came to mind. Charlton felt that he was too good to be on the Oxford bench. We knew he was available. The lad’s said ‘I would like to train with you’ – he was straight in his car – but unfortunately we can’t get him for Saturday. Charlton have been very good with the way they have acted. I have brought him down to train with us and to get to know the new players. I think he will fit straight in. He’s trained and he will be involved in the game on Tuesday.”
John Sheridan is delighted that his long pursuit of Anthony O'Connor has finally paid off and hopes that he will pick up just where he left off as a Plymouth Argyle player. Sheridan gave his account of the on/off nature of the deal and explained why he rates the 22 year-old Irishman so highly as a player, saying: “I’m very pleased Anthony is back. Obviously, it has been on and off for the last month. There were times when we thought we weren’t going to get him, and then we got a little bit of hope.So finally getting him is very pleasing. Hopefully, he will come back and pick up from where he left off. The stuff Anthony did before wasn’t spectacular but it was very effective in my eyes. He had got good aerial ability in the middle of the park when he played there. He just did the ugly things and did them well. He won the ball back for us and got possession, and he reads things well as a defensive midfield player. He fills in areas which other people possibly don’t see. We have missed him.
“I felt there was always a chance of getting him back. It was just that there were other clubs chasing him and Blackburn wanted a little fee for him, and Anthony didn’t really want to go anywhere on a permanent deal. We kept in touch with Blackburn at all times and let them know that we were very interested in bringing him back. And Anthony always wanted to come back to us anyway. He’s very happy here and he enjoyed his football here, which was a plus for us. Eventually he made the decision and I’m just pleased to get him back.
“He will want to come in and show he’s a good player, and hopefully help us to try to get back up the table. I think that’s what he wants more than anything. If he plays well from now until the end of the season, hopefully it will help us get to where we want to be and the ball will be in Anthony’s court in the summer. But I just want him to concentrate on the games we have got remaining and help us to get one or two results.”
Additionally, Sheridan gave his opinion on Andy Kellett's shock move to Manchester United and confirmed he is trying to sign an alternative left-wing-back: “It was a bit late to try to react and do anything, but I’m looking to bring in a similar player to play that left wing-back role. I’m in the process of trying to talk to one or two people now and, hopefully I can get something done. It was disappointing on our part because the lad was on his way back to us. We hadn’t given up hope on him and the lad wanted to come back to Plymouth. I thought we had everything done, but when a club like Manchester United come in for you – which was probably a shock to Andy and to everyone really – it’s an unbelievable opportunity for the kid. Bolton were good about it and said we could have Andy, so there is no problem there, but when Manchester United are ringing up it’s an easy decision to make. I’m not sure what level of football he’s going to play there, but I think the lad will do alright. He suits the way they play. He’s technically very good. He’s comfortable on the ball and they must see something in him.
“I don’t think it’s a case of him going and playing in the first team. But if Manchester United are wanting to take you they must see something in you. He will go in there and play with even better players so good luck to the kid. I fully respect his decision and I hope he does really well.”
Former Argyle legend David Norris was released by Leeds United on deadline day yesterday but John Sheridan denied reports that he is set to bring the midfielder back to PAFC, saying: “It’s just speculation. He was a good player when he was at Plymouth. It’s a name that people know, but he’s not someone who I’m interested in.”
Argyle have confirmed that the latest Pilgrims Fans' Forum will take place before our home match against Bury later this month. The Forum, at which supporters will be able to question the club’s hierarchy on all matters Argyle, will be held in the Green Taverners' Suite at Home Park on Saturday, February 28, starting at 10.30am. The free Forum is open to all supporters.
Outgoing Marvin Morgan expressed his disappointment that his time at Argyle did not work out but gave the greens his best wishes for the future. The new Hartlepool signing said: “Obviously, I am disappointed it didn’t work out at Plymouth and I would like to wish them all the best. I could be back there if they do reach the play-offs so it could be a great season for me, stay in the league with Hartlepool and then go back to Plymouth and be involved with the play-offs. I just can’t wait for the first game now, I’m excited. I have played two reserve games lately and scored three goals. I know it is an under-21 league but it’s still a game and I can’t wait to get started with Hartlepool. It helps when you have got a manager who travels halfway round the country to come and watch you play football.I think every player from the lower levels to the higher levels wants to be wanted as a player and Ronnie made that very clear.”
An action-packed deadline day for Argyle was topped off with the shock news that former loanee Andy Kellett has joined Manchester United on a loan deal until the end of the season. Kellett, who John Sheridan had hopes of re-signing as recently as this weekend, joined United on a swap loan deal with another player going to Bolton in return. Bolton manager Neil Lennon admitted that Kellett was all set to join Argyle until the sudden plot twist. Lennon said: “He had not got a clue. He was on his way to Plymouth. He thought I was winding him up. It took a good five or 10 minutes. He would not believe us. We told him to ring his father and we would tell him, and once that happened I think it started to sink in. It’s a great story, but now he has got to knuckle down and learn. We were aware of the interest from Manchester United a week ago or so and then when we made the call about Saidy they asked would Andy go the other way. It’s great for the kid. It’s an opportunity for him regardless of what happens. He’s no bother, low maintenance, very level-headed and I just hope he takes it in his stride. We have been pleased with him since he came back from Plymouth. This was an opportunity that we could not stand in his way, so hopefully he will go and make the most of it.”
In more positive news, versatile defender Anthony O'Connor has re-joined Argyle on a permanent contract until the end of this season. O'Connor, who Argyle had been tracking ever since his initial loan expired on January the 10th, put pen to paper late on Deadline Day last night.
There were however, also two departures from Home Park. Marvin Morgan made his rumoured move to Hartlepool a reality by signing for them on a loan deal until the end of this season. Morgan leaves Argyle after having scored just one league goal this season....against Hartlepool. Finally, 20 year old winger Nathan Thomas was released from his contract at Argyle in order to allow him to focus on other opportunities. Thomas too has only one goal to his name this season, ironically in the same match against Hartlepool. The youngster went on to sign for Motherwell later on in the evening.
John Sheridan makes no bones about the fact that Argyle let down the travelling fans after the disappointing 3-2 loss which followed a long trip up north to Hartlepool yesterday. Sheridan noted some positives from the first half but on the whole he was once again left fuming with a disappointing performance with some poor goals conceded. The manager said: “To concede the manner of goals we did was shocking. We got the goal back and I thought we were the better team towards the end of the first half. We got ourselves back in the game and I said at half-time ‘We go out and try to win the game’. The second and third goals were atrocious. It gave Hartlepool the belief to go on and win the game. We huffed and puffed and got a late goal, but it wasn’t to be. It is a real poor result, poor goals, and we let the fans down. We let everyone down.
“I wanted to try something new. I put Brunt up there, a little bit of height and physical presence, with Reuben and I thought it went okay in the first half. We came to try to win; there was an opportunity there – Hartlepool are bottom of the league – but I knew they’d be fighting hard to try to get something form the game, full credit to them. It was a great goal and it got us right back in the game. For 20 minutes towards the end of the first half, we were getting on top of the game. At half-time, I was confident, the players were confident, that we’d go out and even win the game. We have just got to pick ourselves up. It is a very disappointing result and I accept it is not good enough.”
Nonetheless, Sheridan accepted criticism and promised not to walk away from the challenge of turning Argyle's fortunes around and vowed that he was still up to the task: “It is very frustrating and I don’t mind being criticised. It is about winning football matches and, at this moment in time, we are not winning matches. Everyone’s got an opinion and I accept that. I have got to be strong enough. Whoever know me, knows I won’t hide – I’ll go and work even harder to try to get back to winning ways. I won’t be walking away. No chance. I’ll fight and I still believe we’ll get in and around the play-offs. There still is a good chance we can be where we want to be. While I’m here, I’ll fight. I don’t worry about getting stick. I probably deserve it at this moment in time, so I’ll take it on the chin, just carry on and make sure we get back to winning ways. That’s all I’ll concentrate on. The fans are entitled to their opinion. I fully respect that. They travel all this way to support their team and we are not getting results. We were on a high just before Christmas, and we’re slowly dropping. I don’t like people shouting ‘Sheridan this’ and ‘Sheridan that’, but that’s part and parcel of football. I’ll accept it while we’re not winning games. Obviously it’s not a nice thing for me to hear, but that’s football. You look at the results and think ‘If only; if only we could have won there, won there’ but we have just got to crack on. I am here to try to get us back to winning football matches and pick a team that is going to win us a match, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Drew Talbot spoke philosophically about Argyle's defeat, putting it into perspective compared to his career-threatening injury from which he has only just come out the other side of. Talbot went on to speak about the circumstances behind his move to Argyle and expressed his optimistic belief that one win would turn the dire run around. The new boy said: “I had an injury which was so rare that the surgeon I had said there were literally two cases that he’d ever dealt with. I tore both adductors off my pubic bone, which is unheard of. It’s been tough. I was on the cusp of having to quit football, but the support of my family, and of everyone at Chesterfield, which I am grateful for, got me back.
“I heard about a week or ten days that there was something in the pipeline,” he said, after the game. “Chesterfield put a stop to that because we had a couple of injuries, and then, on Thursday night, I got a message saying there was a possibility of it happening. On Friday, there was another hitch about a recall that Chesterfield wanted which might have put it in jeopardy, but they finally sorted it out and I made it clear that wanted to come down and play games. Thankfully, Chesterfield made it happen. The lads at Chesterfield are doing great and my playing time was limited there so, as soon as I heard Plymouth were interested, it was something that I could maybe get away, get my head down and try to concentrate on getting back to where I was. It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours and it’s never easy coming and trying to play with lads you have never played with before. On a personal level, I am thrilled I got so many minutes but the result obviously puts a dampener on that. I’ve probably converted into a right-back and I like to play there,” he said, “but I can play further forward. I’m one of those that, regardless of where I play, you’ll get 100% from me, but, if you ask me where I’d like to play, it would be on the right-hand side. My contract’s up at the end of the year so I have the incentive of playing for my future, wherever that might be, Chesterfield or somewhere else. It’s something I am looking forward to because I miss playing, miss being able train week in, week out. I am grateful I have been given the opportunity to come here and play for the next three months.
“Even though the results have been disappointing, if you string a run of three or four good results together, you can go on a good run. I have been in this situation before, so I know how it works. Fingers crossed we can do that. If you get two or three results, it gets the confidence up. I remember speaking to a couple of lads who have played against Plymouth who said they were the best footballing team in the league, so that was a plus for me. It’s never easy when you are on a downward spiral a little bit, but there will be a spark somewhere which will re-ignite it. Hopefully, that can be next Saturday. I played under him for two-three years,” he said. “I know how he works; I know what he demands; and we had some successful times together. That was one of my reasons for coming here. Take the sloppy goals out and I think we played quite well,” he said. “I think we were in the ascendency more than Hartlepool, but they were more clinical than us today and that is something we have got to deal with. I feel part of the team already, which is nice because it has been such a whirlwind 24 hours and they have made me feel great. Hopefully, once I get training with them, I’ll get used to the way they play on the field. That’s a major thing. I played today but there were certain situations in the game that you don’t really know how players play. I’ve got three months at it and hopefully we can pick it up.”
John Sheridan is still trying to sign Andy Kellett and Anthony O'Connor on longer term loans but time is running out. The transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday and all deals must be concluded by then.
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