Stop, Luke and Listen

JOHN Sheridan has hailed his midfield starlet Luke Young, after his substitute appearance pushed the Pilgrims towards a vital 1-0 win this weekend.

Once the 20-year-old came on in the 76th minute, the tempo of Argyle's play visibly quickened, and a slick passing move started by Young allowed Lewis Alessandra to tuck home the only goal of the game in the final minute of normal time. After Luke's effective cameo appearance, Shez had some high praise for Young.

"I don't think that in the league there's probably a better passer than him." said John.

"I know what he's got, and he can really get us going in a game. I think Youngy's come on and done well for us a few times now this season when he's come off the bench."

Young's contribution came after a dogged display from Argyle, which despite large amounts of possession and attacking intent, failed to carve open the Northampton Town defence through the middle of the park. Once Young came on, that all changed.

"You bring subs on sometimes to change the game, and Youngy got us passing the ball a little more," Sheridan said, "I thought the players throughout gave us 100 per cent and that's all you can ask for, but the pleasing thing is we created a lot more chances at home.

"I think Youngy's just played four or five passes when he came on which no-one really did in the whole game. He played an early ball in to the striker which Reuben likes, then Reuben's first touch, then Lewis - back of the net. Four touches, from three players, between them, and it's in the back of the net.”

It’s worth remembering that, in his playing days, John Sheridan was a high quality international midfield player. If anyone knows about how to encourage and cultivate a player like Luke Young, it’s the gaffer. And Youngy is clearly a project that John is eager to develop.

He said: “Youngy's still a young player, he's played a lot of games for his age, but in previous years he's been playing in a struggling team.

“Youngy's not someone who should be going round and getting in a battle, trying to win headers. I know what his strength is, he should know what his strength is, he's a two-touch, three-touch player who can make us play on his day. I was going to play him today because we're at home, because he's a player we need at home when he's on his game, and I think the system suits him, the (midfield) three gives him that bit of freedom.

“But he needs to be playing at a tempo. He should never be running with the ball - I keep telling him if he keeps passing it and controlling it, no-one will get near him, so he won't make many mistakes. He likes to play forward, the first option on his mind is 'Can I play it forward?' and that's what I like about him, and he did that when he came on.”