PERHAPS because he was last through the in-door, but new Argyle left-back Andre Blackman......was the one of manager John Sheridan’s summer signings to get the most attention in the build-up to Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 campaign-starter at Southend.
“Andre is going to be a good player for us,” said John, in response to press enquiries about the ex Celtic defender.
“I was very pleased to get him. I have got one or two younger players who can fill that role but I don’t think they’re quite ready to start as a first-choice.
“He’s naturally fit, very sharp. He’s got that in his locker. He’s trained with us for ten days now and I like the look of him. It’s about game-time now.”
With Andre on board the good ship Pilgrim, John is content with his squad – although, like most managers, he would not mid the odd tweak here and there in the coming months.
He said: “I’m realistic – I know what my budget is. I feel as though I’ve got a good enough squad if I can get everyone fit: we’ve got [Guy] Branston, Andres [Gurrieri] and Maxi [Max Blanchard], who is suspended, who can come back and, all of sudden, it looks really strong.
“There are one or two players who I would like to bring in if I can work one or two things out, which will probably happen, but, at this moment in time, if we can keep everyone fit, I am quite optimistic we can start the season well.
“On paper, we have got some very hard games, so it is important we hit the ground running.”
One player who remains in John’s thoughts is 20-year-old Frenchman Jordan Gele, who has left the Westcountry after impressing in a midweek game at Clevedon.
“I would like to another look at him,” said John. “I thought he did alright at Clevedon, but, with a [first-team] game on Saturday and on Tuesday, it would be difficult to have a good look at him.
“We are arranging one or two reserve games, so he will probably figure in the next few weeks.”
Whoever wears the colours this season, they will be assured of the best support in the division; around 1,000 members of the Green Army are set to invade Roots Hall. ’Twas ever thus.
“They have supported us really strongly,” said John. “The away support has been unbelievable. I know they will be there in their numbers.
“We had a very good result there last season; if we can give the same sort of performance, we will have a good chance.”