ARGYLE manager John Sheridan declared himself pleased with the way his players sweated their way through Saturday’s 1-0 win at Tiverton.Out-of-contract striker Warren Feeney’s 51st-minute goal was the difference between the two sides as the Pilgrims continued their prep work towards their League 2 opener at Southend on August 3.
“Conditions were very hard to play in,” said John. “It was ridiculously hot. A lot of the lads have got blisters, as well, because the ground is rock hard.
“Full credit to the lads – they all put a shift in.
“It was a good work-out for us in the end, and all the players came through okay. It’s been a hard pre-season and they all put a shift in.”
There will be no let-up, either, with a visit to Conference South Bath on Tuesday before League 1 Milton Keynes visit Home Park next Sunday. A home game against Championship new boys Yeovil Town the following Saturday will complete the close-season build-up.
“It’s about giving the players game-time at the moment,” said John. “I was always going to do that for these two games, and the Bath game will be the same.
“Then, against Milton Keynes and Yeovil, I will be looking at how we are going to play as a team. I haven’t given the team any instructions yet. I just want to get plenty of work-ethic in the games, to keep the fitness ticking over.
“It’s easy when you’re running up hill and around the park – I think it’s easy anyway – but it’s totally different when you are in a match situation.
“Some players look totally different when there’s a ball out there and they have got to get used to that. That’s why we have these games.”
John’s critical eye also spotted a few things he will be taking back on to the training-gorund as the sessions become more pattern oriented.
He said: “I know it’s about fitness and everything - and no disrespect to Tiverton - but when you do the wrong things in these games, you don’t get punished.
“We were lucky today in one or two situations because better teams would have punished us.
They are the sort of things I take out of the game – we don’t want to be doing them against better opposition.”
Photos by Dave Rowntree, sponsored by the 50-50 Lottery