WITH two wins and two draws in an undefeated start to his Plymouth Argyle managerial career, you might think John Sheridan would be fairly content.Not so. The new gaffer, we notice, is somewhat of a perfectionist, and despite eight points from a possible 12 – statistically Argyle’s best consecutive four games of the season – he insists he is looking for more from his side.
“Results-wise, it’s good; performance-wise – I want a lot better,” said John, minutes after Argyle’s 2-1 win over bottom-of-the-table rivals Aldershot.
“Aldershot are one of the teams around us, so it was a massive win for us. It was a great effort from the players. I don’t think we played great, but we didn’t half battle. They’re working very hard for each other.
“That’s what they’ve done in the last four games; I don’t think we’ve played well in any of them. But two wins and two draws – we’ll take that day.
“I’d like us to retain the ball more. I think we could have done that better today. We could have caused them a lot more problems if we’d looked after it. I’d like us to use it – and know when to use it. We’ve got to keep the ball more.
“But to come away and get a result against a team who is near the bottom is a great boost for us.
“We’re four unbeaten. For a team in the bottom two or three, it’s a good little run we’re on.
“It’s a great result, and one or two results have gone our way. It looks better, and I told the lads to enjoy the result.”
Notable amongst the Argyle line-up was the return of stalwart Paul Wotton, who John recalled to add some presence to the Pilgrims’ midfield. It worked. In a scrappy affair, Wottsy’s physical presence was key to Argyle’s win.
“I felt we were lacking a bit of height, so I threw Wottsy in there” said John. “I know what [Aldershot] are good at, but I thought Wottsy came in and shielded the back four.
“He reads the game. That’s why he’s played for so long and he’s been a good player. He’s experienced, and the biggest thing for me is that he talks. I think we are quite a quiet team, and I know he’d be vocal and help the younger players.
“[Aldershot] get balls in the box; they are a handful. You have to defend the second-balls and scraps.
“And I think there were one or two penalty decisions that did go our way, but sometimes you need a bit of luck. We’ll take that. I’ve seen them given – today was our day. We’ll take the three points.”
As this was the first time John has stewarded the Argyle team away from Home Park, it was the first time he had been backed by the mighty Green Army. Even someone like he, who has pretty much seen it all in football, was taken aback.
“I thought the fans were brilliant,” said John, slightly wide-eyed. ” I know it’s one of the closer games for them – four hours!
“I thought they were absolutely tremendous, and that’s not just me trying to get on their side. To come to Aldershot, and you’re a team in the bottom three, to have that support…I’m just pleased we got the result for them.”