When You're Smiling

JOHN Sheridan remains convinced that Argyle will “come out smiling” this season despite the Pilgrims current slump.

The Argyle manager takes his team to Sky Bet League 2 new boys Mansfield on Saturday, seeking to end a winless run that has seen them pick up three points from the last 21 available.

After successive relegations between 2009-11, and the post-administration slump of 2011-13, hopes and expectations were reasonably high all round that the Pilgrims would be competitive at the right end of the table this season.

John believes those hopes remain live ones even though Tuesday’s 0-0 home draw against Newport left the Pilgrims three points ahead of the familiar environs of the relegation zone.

“I understand it’s hard for people,” he said. “We all want to do well. This club should never have been where it’s been of the last two or three years, and what they have had for the last two or three years is what they’re getting at the moment, and I don’t want that.

“Everyone wants the same thing: the supporters, the board – everyone wants us to do well. I take note of what people are thinking and I get on with it because I know results will change people’s attitude. That’s just football.

“I said I’d make sure that wouldn’t happen again and hopefully I’ll stick to my guns and get us out of the situation we’re in.

“I built us up during pre-season and I do believe that was the right thing to say. I still think we’ll get where we want to be, I really do. I have brought professional people in who do the best for the team at this level – I think that everything is spot on – and you could see the bit of belief [earlier in the season] when we were eighth or ninth.

“That’s probably put a bit of a downer on it because we are not doing what I expected and I think people did believe that were going to do really well.

“But there is still a long, long way to go and it could change at any time, and I am going to stick to my beliefs and I am sure we will come out smiling.”