Doing Things By Halves

JOHN Sheridan has found a solution to deal with...

...the Pilgrims’ recent tendency to follow up first-half dominance in the second 45 minutes of matches.

 “Just don’t have half-time,” said the Argyle manager in discussions about Saturday’s visit of Bristol Rovers to Home Park. “We’ll stay on and just keep running around. 

“We’re going to stay on the pitch on Saturday – I’ve got the youth team coming out to have a practice match against us.”

Well, maybe. “Seriously,” he continued, “for some reason, we’re just switching off. We’re coming in at half-time and everyone is talking a good game, all saying the right things. Hopefully, it’s something we can sort out. 

“I don’t think it’s a problem – just sometimes we go out and the players try something different or switch off, and do little things that get the opposition on the front foot: a cheap corner early in the second half; a cheap throw-in in a deep area; a miskick; a misclearance. For some reason, we carry it on for about 10 minutes and the opposition gets a bit of momentum and get back in the game.

“It’s little things which we need to nullify and get out of our game. There’s no reason and it shouldn’t happen. I’ve got to try and get it in to their heads to go out and start properly.”

Rovers arrive at Home Park a point ahead of the Pilgrims after the first month of the League 2 season, and having narrowly lost to Bristol’s other club, City, in Wednesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie.

“It’ll be a tough game,” said John. “They have got good players. I watched the game and thought they did really well, especially in the second half, and were a match for Bristol City. John Ward is a very experienced manager. He knows this league. 

“But we’re at home and I have just got to concentrate on my players and my team.

“I am not really bothered about any opposition. I have got to try to get us to play well on a consistent basis because I know we can match any team in the league – that’s something I’ve got to get out of the team.”

Durrell Berry missed Argyle’s JPT success at Cheltenham on Tuesday with a knee injury, while Marvin Morgan, Dominic Blizzard and Neal Trotman were also rested from the team that lost 2-1 at Morecambe last week.

“I’m hoping Durrell will be fit,” said John. “He’s improving day by day. I’ve had problems with my knees and sometimes a little rest will give you that relief.”