ARGYLE manager John Sheridan called for his players to show hunger and be brave as they attempt to get their Sky Bet League 2 play-off push back on track at Newport on Tuesday.Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Burton Albion left the Pilgrims five points outside the play-off zone, following a draw and a defeat in their previous two games.
The visit to Wales in midweek is a game in hand on all their play-off rivals for Argyle, who would be right back in the mix with a three-point haul from the Principality – a message that John drove home to his players in a lengthy post-match dressing-room inquest at Burton.
“I’ve said to them: ‘Are you hungry to think you can get in the play-offs?’,” he said. “It’s down to the players. They are the ones that go out on to the pitch. I wish they could just go out and think, for two hours, ‘I want to be a winner – I want to go out and win’.
“I have got to stick with them and get the best out of them because we are letting a good opportunity slip away.”
Callum McFadzean scored the only goal of the game at Burton after the Pilgrims’ three-man back-line made a mess of bringing the ball out of defence.
“It’s comical, isn’t it?” said a clearly exasperated John. “If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
“I like players to be brave. We play 3-5-2. You have got to pass the ball in a 3-5-2. I just don’t think we were brave enough to get in areas and cause [Burton] a problem –all over the pitch. The one time we tried to play out of the back...geez.
“No-one can tell me anything about system and players – every time we’ve won away from home, I’ve played that system; every time we’ve had a good performance. Everyone knows how to play it.
“I’ll always stick up for my players – they know that – but I said to them ‘I’ve got to go out there and explain. What do you think I should say to the Press?’ I didn’t get an answer off anyone.”