JOHN Sheridan opted to start Deane Smalley shortly after recovering from injury and the Argyle gaffer was pleased with the performance of the debutant during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Cambridge United.
Deane, 25, played on the right side of midfield, as seven of Sheridan’s available summer incomings started the Sky Bet League 2 opener. It was the hosts, however, who took home the spoils thanks to Josh Coulson netting the game’s only goal in the second half.
John declared himself satisfied with the newcomer’s efforts, so soon after recovering from a thigh problem that limited his pre-season game-time, though not off-field work.
“I thought he did okay, although probably a bit short of match fitness,” he said, “but he gives me that shape when he plays out on the wing.
“He has done all the running in training. He probably lacked a bit of work with the football, but he did all the fitness work.
“He has been up there with the rest of the players, so I started him, and I do not think he let himself down. I kept him on because he just gives me that balance and shape on the right-hand side.
“Hopefully he can get that little bit of sharpness back and take it into the next game.”