Competitive Spirit

THE arrival of Jamie Reckord and Hamza Bencherif at Home Park this week...

...has further strengthened Argyle manager John Sheridan’s selectoral hand

With Max Blanchard easing back through the gears following suspension and compassionate leave, and Paul Wotton training again after popping a rib in the opening game of the season, that hand can only get stronger.

 “I like competition for places,” said John, as he prepared Argyle for this Saturday’s visit of Bristol Rovers. “I don’t like anyone thinking they are going to be playing just because they are the only man who can play in that position.

“I’d rather they’d be looking over their shoulder and worried that someone else is going to take their place, because it will make them play a lot better.”

Jamie and Hamza both made successful debuts in Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph at Whaddon Road, where, for one reason or another, the likes of Marvin Morgan, Durrell Berry, Neal Trotman and Dominic Blizzard did not start.

“They gave me food for thought, and that’s what I want. That’s a difficult part of my job: if they are playing well, do I play them? 

“I’ve told every one of them ‘It’s going to be a squad game’. I’m not frightened of leaving anyone out. No-one is guaranteed a place. We’ve got a lot of players and they are all wanting to play, so it’s going to be a hard job to pick a team, but whatever team I pick will be the team that will hopefully get the result we want.”

John is not averse to making his selection headache even worse.

“If I need more, I’ll bring more in – if it’s going to make us stronger and I think there’s a department I think needed strengthening. I probably made about 13 when I was at Chesterfield when they won the league.

“If we had the money, I’d probably like to bring another striker in, but I still feel I have five strikers: Reuben [Reid]; Marvin; I think Lewi [Alessandra] can play up there; I think Rommy [Boco] can play up there; and obviously Tyler [Harvey] can play up there. 

“So I’m comfortable with my five. Is one of them prolific in-the-box sniffer? I’d probably say ‘no’. That’s something we might need – someone who’s going to be just standing around and never involved in the game but you give him a chance and he puts it away. 

“But you have to play a million and a half for them.”