FREE VIDEO: Taking It On The Chin

AFTER starting the Sky Bet League 2 season with two defeats and having yet to find the net, it is inevitable that criticism will follow John Sheridan’s Plymouth Argyle.

That will not shock anyone, least of all the Pilgrims’ experienced gaffer. He knows performances have been below par and he knows it needs to be fixed.

He also knows that fingers will be pointed in his general direction. And he is prepared for such an occurrence.

“I’m the manager, and it’s sometimes hard to find things to say on the reason why,” said John, of his side’s slow start, “I can look at it, and I’ll look at myself and say ‘Did I pick the right team?’

“I’ll say to myself that it was the same team that everyone was saying played so well at Birmingham, but we’ll just take it on the chin and take the criticism – which I expect because the two league games we have played have just not been good enough.

“I don’t have a go at my players in the Press – I have a go at them in the dressing-room. They’re the ones who will get us out of it: I have to keep them on my side. They know my feelings.

“I’m honest and I’ll tell them how I feel. I don’t get carried away by the Birmingham game, but I want us playing football that will get us out of this division. I keep saying we’ve got a good chance and I still believe that. But we haven’t started the way I expected us to.

“Listen, I’ll get judged. Last year, I was the hero – I kept everyone up. I’m not frightened of taking criticism. I expect it when we start the season poorly. No goals and we’ve lost two games. I’ll take that on the chin. I’m ready for it and it’s what football’s all about.

“I want to do really well and I’ve said we’ll do well this season. So I need to sort it out. And I will sort it out.

“I can keep talking, but the players need to stay focused, we need to stay on each other’s side, and we’ll get out of our poor start so far.”