Shez's Cup Love

ARGYLE manager John Sheridan has experienced the ultimate FA Cup heartache, but that has not tarnished his love for the competition.

John, a beaten finalist with Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 when Arsenal won the trophy in the last minute of extra-time of a replayed tie, now has the task of ending the Pilgrims’ miserable run in the competition.

Not since 2008 have Argyle won a game in the competition, with the last two seasons seeing us knocked out by non-league opposition in front of the TV cameras. John is determined to avoid a hat-trick when Argyle travel to Skrill Premier League side Lincoln City on Saturday.

“The FA Cup is a brilliant competition,” said John, whose coach Gary Owers was also a losing finalist, with Sunderland in 1992. “In the last couple of years, non-league teams have knocked us out and I will be trying my damnedest for that not to happen again.

“Any first-round game is a big appetiser for non-league clubs to do well, and financially do well out of the competition.

“They will think it is a good tie for them, so we’ll go there expecting a really tough game. We’ll go there full-strength and try to get through the tie. It’s important we get through the tie.

“We have got to be realistic. We are never going to win it. But you have got to try to get as far as you can and you try to get through the early rounds and get a big team at home, financially get a bit of money in the bank.”

The last time Argyle won a game in the Cup was in January 2008, when they beat Hull City 3-2 in a third-round match at Home Park before going out at the home of the eventual competition winners Portsmouth in round four.

Since then, we have failed to negotiate the first hurdle five times, losing at Arsenal (1-3), at Newcastle (0-3, after a 0-0 draw) and at home to Swindon (0-4) before being dumped out at Stourbridge (0-2, after a 3-3 draw) and Dorchester (0-1).