Home Park Hoodoo

ARGYLE’S 1-0 defeat at home to Oxford United marked the third game in succession where the Pilgrims failed to register on the scoresheet at Home Park.

After winning in John Sheridan’s first game in charge as manager – a 2-1 victory at home to Morecambe – Argyle have found playing on their own patch more than a little tricky. Goalless draws against Accrington and Dagenham preceded this loss, with a win on the road at Aldershot in between.

Argyle’s next two fixtures are away from home, at Northampton and Wimbledon, but the gaffer is aware that his side’s lack of fluency when in PL2 is cause for concern.

“We have to play a lot, lot better – especially at home,” said John. “I don’t know what it is – they just don’t seem to have the confidence. I saw little things last week where they looked confident, and it was a battling performance we got. For some reason, instead of going forwards they’ll go back. We’ve got to be brave.

“We do passing drills and touch in training. They do it well, to be fair to them, and they look bright. Then it comes to match-day on the Saturday and I see it bouncing off people and they’re passing it the wrong side of people.

“Our biggest problem since I’ve been here is that we don’t keep the ball long enough. The opposition, if you don’t keep it, are going to put you under pressure. I’ve put in their heads that we need to keep it longer.

“But it’s our biggest downfall. It keeps happening, and changes are going to have to be made.

“I don’t want a team like that. People say that my teams play football; we haven’t played much football since I’ve been here. I think we’ve got to try and get some confidence.

“At home – and I don’t know why – we don’t get going. We need to get going from the first whistle and get the crowd behind us – and they will get behind us – but we’re not giving them much to cheer about at home.

“I thought, second half, we had a go. We had one or two opportunities. But if we’d started the game like that and got the crowd going, we would have been in the game a lot better. We had nothing all over the pitch.”