10th April 2014
ARGYLE manager John Sheridan believes that despite the poor run of form fellow promotion chasers Oxford United have been on......Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 match at Home Park against the U’s will be a tough test for the Pilgrims.
Oxford are currently eighth; one spot and one point short of the play-off places, and one place above Argyle. They visit Devon out of nick but still in touch.
After Saturday’s clash, which will kick off at 3.07pm as a commemoration of Hillsborough, Argyle will have four games remaining in which to try to cement a place in the top seven. The gaffer, though, will not look past this weekend for the time being.
“I’m not bothered about the other four games at this moment in time,” said John. “I’m just worried about Saturday.
“What I worry about is how we’re going to play at this stage of the season. I just want us to go in and relax but with a good work ethic and really have the desire to win the game.”
Sheridan saw his side beat Saturday’s opponents earlier on in the season when a brace of goals from top scorer Reuben Reid and a strike from former, on-loan striker Caolan Lavery saw the Pilgrims return from the Kassam Stadium with all three points.
When the sides previously met, on Boxing Day, the U’s were 2nd in the division and looking good for an automatic promotion place with Argyle back in 16th.
The win helped galvanise Sheridan’s side, who went to put together a string of good results that saw the Greens rise rapidly up the table.
“It was a good result. It was a good performance as well,” said Joh of the visit to Oxfordshire.
“That Christmas period was always important to try and get points, so to go there and perform like we did was a big boost and I think it showed in the results after that game.
“We showed on the day that we were good enough to compete with the teams in and around the top, Oxford were going really well at the time but we played really well on the day and it enabled us to go on a little run and pick points up.”
Oxford, who have lost their last three games in the league without scoring a goal, are managed by former Ireland international Gary Waddock. Shez, who was in a number of Irish squads with Waddock, feels that, despite losing in his first three games in charge, his former teammate will turn things around.
John said: “I know him really well, he's a good manager; done really well at Wycombe.
“He would have liked to have got off to a better start and he’ll be telling his players to still believe that they can still get into the play-offs.
“You look at them on paper - we've had them watched and I've watched them myself on DVD’s -and with the players they've got there, I thought they would be in and around the top. They're still in a good position.
“They've got good players there. I was just looking at the bench last week and they're really strong.”