ARGYLE open the home part of their 2013-14 campaign on Saturday buoyed by their midweek exploits at Birmingham City.The Pilgrims pushed their Championship hosts all the way in the Capital One Cup before going out of the competition 3-2 in extra-time, thanks to performance which was cheese to the chalk of the weekend’s 1-0 opening-day Sky Bet League 2 defeat at Southend.
Now comes their seasonal Home Park bow against Fleetwood Town, the newest team in the 125-year-old history of the Football League, and also one that is short-priced for success.
Argyle manager John Sheridan said: “They have got good players; have spent a bit of money for this league; and have brought one or two players in who know this league.
“They are one of the teams that are fancied by everyone, so I expect a very tough game, but we have got to concentrate on ourselves: if we go out with the mentality we did the other night, I know we’ve got a good team with good players.
“To perform like we did against Southend was a big letdown for me, but, full credit to the players, I thought they responded really well.
“We worked our socks off; there was plenty of effort; and we created a lot of problems for Birmingham, who are a really good team, in my eyes. It was a shame we didn’t get anything out of the game, but it was a good response from the players.
“That’s what I wanted, more than anything. I can accept getting beaten as long as we put our workload in and do things the way I know we can do them.
“If we can set that standard and keep that over six, seven, eight, nine, ten games consistently, we will win more games than we lose.”
It has been quite an opening week for the Pilgrims.
Problems with their team coach last weekend meant they did not return to Plymouth from Southend until 3am on Sunday.
Despite that, and 120 gruelling minutes at Birmingham on Tuesday, John is happy the players will be more than ready for Saturday’s showdown.
“I don’t look for any excuses,” he said. “I think [Tuesday] was a good test for us, good for our fitness.
“There were one or two tired legs, but we got through the game well. I thought we finished quite strongly.”