JOHN Sheridan sounded the optimistic note that every Green Army conscript wanted to hear on the eve of Argyle’s Sky Bet League 2 season-opener at Cambridge United.The Pilgrims’ manager declared himself content with how his hugely revamped squad – nine new signings and two apprentices promoted from the junior ranks during the summer – has shaped up over the summer.
“I’m happy at this moment in time,” he said. “I’m pleased with what we bought in – it takes time for new players to come in and adjust themselves with the surroundings, and with so many new players coming in and getting used to each other, as well.
“They’ve all fitted in really well, which is a big part of hopefully being part of a successful team, I’m very pleased with what we’ve got at the moment. Things are going okay.”
John’s memories of similar feelings this time last year, before a tepid, fruitless visit to Southend United have meant that every Argyle player knows the minimum that the manager expects from the visit to the Abbey Stadium.
“Last season, first game, I wasn’t happy one little bit with the way we played,” he said. “We worked really hard in pre-season, kept most of the team fit, and we were very, very flat, I remember it clearly.
“I’ve said to the players that I don’t want a repeat of that. We need to get off to a better start than we did last season. I just want to build the confidence into the players and into the club.”
Cambridge finished runners-up in the Skrill Conference last season and were promoted after beating Gateshead 2-1 in the Wembley play-off final and the excitement of being back in the Football League on top of a successful previous season makes them formidable opening-day opponents.
“It’s always hard to play against a team who have done well,” said John. “Teams who have just come up normally always come into a new programme confident, as they just got that promotion which means they were winning lots of games last season.
“I know it’s going to be a very tough game, but It doesn’t matter who you play in the first game – you don’t know what to expect. It’s just a case of us going there and performing and getting the result you’re after, which is three points.”