Three Tests

JOHN Sheridan will give himself another three games – starting with Saturday’s visit to Bury – before his first considered assessment of Argyle’s start to the new Sky Bet League 2 season.

After an initial mixed bag of results – an away defeat at new-boys Cambridge; a Home Park derby win over Exeter City; and a home draw with Stevenage, who were relegated last season – the Pilgrims are handily placed before going into a run of matches against sides who are short-priced to be towards the top of the division in 43 games’ time.

“It’s a long old season,” said John. “We’re three games into the season, and even now I’d like a couple more points, but we’ve started okay.

“We’ve got three very tough games [coming up]: Bury, Southend and Luton – three well-fancied teams by everyone in this division. We’ll see where we stand after these three games.

“Usually it’s five or six games – even eight games – before the league starts to pan out a little bit. I said, before anyone kicked a ball, that there will be 12-14 teams that really think they can get out of the division, if not more. If you’ve got a bit of consistency and confidence, you will be up there.”

Last year’s Good Friday gig at Bury produced a bad outcome, with Bury running out 4-0 winners and effectively killing any lingering hopes the Pilgrims had of reaching the play-offs.

“The end result wasn’t nice. We could have easily been 3-1 up at half-time if I remember the chances we had, but it didn’t go our way and the game didn’t finish well,” said John, who expects his Bury counterpart to be similarly well prepared this weekend.

“Dave Flitcroft has his teams playing nice football and he’s got some good, confident, players on the ball,” he said. “He’s brought some good players in, so I am expecting a really tough game, but I know we can beat anyone on our day.”

Midweek absentees Ollie Norburn and Nathan Thomas have been added to a Pilgrims’ party in which “everyone is fit…and everyone is fighting for a place.” That squad may be added to before the close of the August transfer-window.

John said: “I’m after a winger; a right-sided player is something I’m talking to one or two clubs about. So I’m trying to work on that, to bring someone it, [and] possibly even another player. I know what my budget is, what we can afford and what we are allowed to bring in.”