Flat Finish

JOHN Sheridan saw Argyle’s 2-1 defeat against Wimbledon as symptomatic of his team’s poor end to the season.

Although Pilgrims’ captain Conor Hourihane opened the scoring after seven minutes thanks to a beautiful left-footed shot from outside the area, they were unable to hold to the lead until half-time, with Jack Midson equalising for the visitors after 42 minutes.

Kwesi Appiah completed the turnaround for the Dons with half an hour to play, handing Argyle their third consecutive loss and ending any hope of making the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs.

The manager admitted that his side did not show any improvements from recent bad results, and believes some players may be looking too far into the future.

“Obviously the result is another poor one,” said John.

“We are just very flat, at the moment. Even today, we got off to a good start, with a great goal from Conor, but I just think one or two people are ready for their holidays. I said, in the dressing-room, that it could be a very long holiday for some people.

“I’ll apologise, because I thought we’d get in the play-offs, and thought we had good enough players to do it, but, for some reason, we haven’t, and that’s something I have got to look at. But we’re not really doing anything different to when everyone was praising us.”

Whilst the gaffer had no complaints about the end result, he felt his side had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the second half and thought the second goal was a poor one to concede.

Said Shez: “I’m arguing with the referee at the end of the game because it bothers me – we should have had a penalty, when Lewis [Alessandra] comes inside and shoots, it hits the player’s arm. I’m arguing after the game, because I have to get my point across, have to make him know that I’ve seen it.

“For the second goal, we were having a good passage of play, and probably on top of the game at that stage, so it just comes out of the blue. That’s just communication; people organising each other. It’s not a hard thing to do, but if you haven’t got it in your locker...

“We’ve had a really poor end to the season, so I’m really disappointed.”

With any arithmetical hope of getting out of the division now gone, the boss is already shifting his focus to next season, and knows that expectations will be high.

“The season’s over now,” he said. “It’s a very poor finish, and it’s hard to take because of the belief we all had. Not just me, but the players and everyone involved with the club were on a high. It’s gone really flat, and it’s a shame.

“I’ll get judged even more next year, because there’s only one way I can go: up or through the play-offs, but I’ll stand up to that, that’s not a problem to me. I’ve been brought in and we’ve done better than last season.

“It means nothing to me to finish 10th. It honestly doesn’t, because I expected to make the play-offs, but that’s not turned out to be the case."