JOHN Sheridan declared his 2014-15 Pilgrims are fit and ready to hit the ground running following the completion of their pre-season campaign.
A 2-1 win at Skrill Conference South side Weston-super-Mare, where Reuben Reid and Marvin Morgan were on target, completed Argyle’s build-up for the new Sky Bet League 2 campaign, that begins at Cambridge United next Saturday,
“It was a funny game,” said the Argyle manager. “I don't think we really got going, but we got a result and they were good goals.
“Pre-season results don't matter in my eyes – the main thing is we've got everyone fit for the first game of the season next Saturday.
“Everyone's fit and been working hard; now I'll be working throughout the week with my team that is going to start the first game. We've got another week's hard training. It will all be about how I want us to play and the team shape, and hopefully we can get off to a strong start.”
That start also sees home games against Leyton Orient, in the Capital One Cup, and Exeter City, in the league, during the first eight days of the season. Despite the difficult looking sequence, John is targeting – and confident of – a big improvement on 12 months ago, when Argyle were pointless and goal-less after their first two league games, and went out of the cup at Birmingham.
“I feel as though we are going to be ready,” he said. “We need to start a lot better than we did last season – that's the main thing in my eyes.”
Luke McCormick, Jason Banton, Deane Smalley and Dominic Blizzard missed the Weston match, but John says all will be in his plans for the visit to Cambridge.
He said: “[Jason] probably could have played but – he hasn't missed a day's training or missed a game. so he will be fit next week. Likewise with Smalley. He could have played today – and Dom. But I didn't want to risk them.
“Everyone will be available and that's the most important thing in my eyes – get everyone fit, and give them a bit of match-time. I would like Dom and Smalley to have a bit more, but they are doing all the running and joining in training.
“It's just about getting involved in a match now, and they both want to be playing.”
Despite the win at the Woodspring Stadium, John was less than impressed with his side’s overall performance.
He said: “With no disrespect to Weston-super-Mare, I would have liked us to have been a bit more in control of the game.
“I like us to pass [the ball]; take control of the game; and create more chances. I felt we didn’t do that today. [Weston-super-Mare] gave us a good run-out.
“We are the professional team, the so-called better team, and I expect us to dominate the game a lot more than we did.”