ARGYLE’S golden goals might have made all the headlines at Cheltenham, but manager John Sheridan took as much pleasure in the performance of his reshaped defence.John recalled Guy Branston to partner Neal Trotman in the centre of the back four, played Curtis Nelson at right back, and switched Durrell Berry to the left.
With Luke McCormick also brought back to keep goal, the back line was breached only once in the splendid 3-1 win, from a deflected free-kick.
Guy had previously played only 45 minutes during an injury-hit pre-season campaign and John said: “I think the results we have had made me throw him in and he didn’t let himself down. We’d lost two games and hadn’t played well.
“It was similar to last year when I threw him in. He can talk for fun – we all know that – so he’s a presence. He does what he does – heads it, kicks it – and I though he did very well today.
“We know what he’s about. It’s a tight pitch and [Cheltenham] put you under pressure, but he and Neal are dominant players when the ball is in the air. You can see the presence they’ve got.
“They are both big, tall, strong, aggressive in the air. You won’t get many better at heading the ball. They are not Lawrenson and Hansen, but they did very well today as a partnership, the first time they had played together.
“I put Durrell at left-back because of [Jermaine] McGlashan. If he gets in a game, he can dictate but I thought we kept the two wingers very quiet – [Sam] Deering is a very good player as well.
“I played him at left-back in pre-season, against MK Dons, and he didn’t look out of place, and he has started the season really well, so I was very comfortable with the decision I made.
“Durrell did his job and I think Nelse did well at right-back, as well. We look solid, other than the first ten minutes.”