No Stranger To A Grudge Match

JOHN Sheridan has played in a Steel City Derby. An FA Cup semi-final Steel City Derby. At Wembley.

You might think that Devon’s little local spat this weekend is small potatoes compared to that, but John knows different.

“It doesn’t matter if there are 6,000 there or 50,000 – a derby’s a derby,” said the Argyle manager.

“With it being my first, I’d love it to be a winning start. I’ve heard lots of people talking about it and I’m looking forward to the experience.

“It’ll be a good game to play in – I wish I was playing in it. These are the type of games, when you’re a player, that you want to play in.”

A healthy five-figure crowd is expected for the 96th engagement between the Pilgrims and Exeter City, which means some players on either side will be playing in front of the biggest house of their career when the game kicks off at 1pm.

“If it was me, I’d be really looking forward to it,” said John. “I wouldn’t be going in worrying about it because it’s a big crowd. I’d be going in thinking: ‘What a great game to play in’. That’s what I want my players to do.

“There’s going to be a good atmosphere. It’s down to the players, at the end of the day. I’ve done all my talking. I want us to go and be positive and take the game to Exeter.”

John will also be looking at the Pilgrims’ No. 12 to try to have a say on the destination of the points.

He said: “I know the fans are going to get behind us, anyway, but we have got to get them from the first whistle, give them something cheer about, get on the front foot; if we do that, we’ll be in the game.”