A New Focus

TWO seasons ago, after securing his first win against Exeter, John Sheridan was unable to savour the sweetness of victory because the Pilgrims had a pressing engagement two days later at York.

This season, following Argyle’s comfortable 3-0 Sky Bet League 2 victory over their Devon divisional rivals, the Pilgrims’ manager again did not bask in the warmth of triumph, but this time, it was out of choice. His mind was immediately on the midweek first ever visit of Stevenage to Home Park, and how three more points will dissipate the sourness of an opening-day defeat at Cambridge.

“I’m thinking of Stevenage straight away,” he said. “I’m thinking ‘After a great result today, if we can get three points on Tuesday, it takes away a little bit of the defeat of the first game of the season.’ It puts you on two points a game from your first few games, which is promotion form.

“You have got to enjoy it when you’re winning, because a lot of people let you know when you are losing. It was a great result for us because we were playing our local rivals and it’s the biggest game for the fans, and I think the fans appreciated the way we played. I’m more disappointed that the score wasn’t more.

“We have got to focus on Stevenage now, but the result was very good, the performance was very good, and it was what everyone wanted. We enjoyed it. I thought we played really well and deserved to win.

“As a team, we went about our job really well on Saturday, so we have got to stay focused and not get carried away. We have got another home game now and I want us to take the game to Stevenage and see what the outcome is. If we play as well as we did on Saturday, we will have a good chance of winning the game.

“Stevenage have got different strengths and they play a bit different to Exeter but we have just got to carry on. They have made one or two changes in each of the last four games they’ve played so I don’t know what team they'll play, but it will be a hard game – they are always physical and strong at set-plays, so we have to be wary of that.

“I have always said that I want to concentrate on what we’re doing. Our performances have been okay this season – we have just got to keep that consistency in our game, because we have got some good players and match-winners.

“We have got a good group of players, and they have all got different strengths. It’s important I keep on at them, because they are all different types of players, but if they all knot together, we have got a decent team. That’s all I’m focusing on.”

John reported a clean bill of health following the Devon derby, and that midfielder Lee Cox, who missed the match with a tight thigh, trained on Monday morning with no ill effects.