Going Up A Notch

ARGYLE will crank up the pre-season preparations for their two home games against Football League opposition following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Bath City.

With fitness having been top of manager John Sheridan’s agenda in the wins at Elburton (3-0) and Tiverton (1-0), the emphasis has been on the whole squad getting a run-out.

That will give way to more concentrated  planning for the visits of League 1 Milton Keynes Dons, on Sunday, and Championship new boys Yeovil Town the following Saturday.

“People will be playing longer,” said John. “We haven’t worked on team-shape and we’re going to start being more focused now because the quality of teams we are playing now is a lot better than what we have.

“We don’t get punished for the silly things we do, and that’s no disrespect to the three teams we’ve played. If we’re doing them next week against MK Dons and against Yeovil, we’ll get found out, so it’s important we try to get [the players] into the system and the shape we are going to play and get it sorted out properly.”

Bath presented a greater threat to the Pilgrims than the teams in their previous two matches, and goalkeepers Jake Cole and Luke McCormick – who played a half each – both showed their mettle.

“It was a good workout for us, again,” said John. “That’s what it’s all about at this stage.

“Obviously we’d like to win games and score more goals – I think we should be scoring more goals in the three games we’ve had, but, on the opposite side, you can look at the three clean sheets.

“Again, the pitch wasn’t great, but Bath gave us a good test and that’s what I wanted more than anything. Fitnesswise, eveyone’s got through the game.

“It’s still early days and no-one’s going to tell me we should be ready at this stage of the season. We’re still getting rustiness. Everyone thinks they’re ready, but they’re not: I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it, once that ball comes out, it’s a different game.

 “We know now our tempo’s got to pick up. We’ve had three good tests. Every game’s been very warm, so we’ve got a lot of fitness out of it.”