AFTER Argyle’s 2-0 Sky Bet League 2 defeat to Newport County, John Sheridan knows that the team’s Sunday Home Park date with Oxford United is vital to their season’s ambitions.
Goals from Chris Zebroski and Mark Byrne, in the early and latter stages of the game respectively, were enough to hand the Pilgrims their first Boxing Day loss since 1997, but the squad will have little time to dwell on the result.
In the Greens’ quickest fixture turnaround of the season, Sheridan’s side face Oxford United at Home Park just two days after the trip to Wales, and the manager is extremely keen to get back to winning ways with another victory at the Theatre of Greens.
“We all want to win every game,” said John, “so this makes Sunday’s game even bigger now. It is vital that we get the three points on Sunday.”
On the subject of their upcoming opponents: “They are struggling and not getting results, but they are a team capable of going on a run, like any team in this league. We will be very wary of them, but our home form is very good.
“After today’s result, it is important that we bounce back with three points.”
The boss does not see the lack of time between games as a reason for any of the team to lessen their high performance levels, and even hopes midfielder Dominic Blizzard, currently sidelined through injury, will be available for selection.
Said John: “We will see in morning training tomorrow [Saturday] how everyone is, and do things that will try and get us a result against Oxford.
“It is not ideal, but we have just got to get on with it.”
“Dom will be available for Sunday, I think. I do not think Peter [Hartley] will be. We will see how everyone is from today.
Curtis Nelson, meanwhile, is unlikely to feature in Sunday’s game, as Sheridan and the rest of the backroom staff take every precaution in helping the club captain recover from a dislocated elbow.
“It is too early for him,” said the manager. “He is getting stronger each day, so we will just assess him, see what he is like on Sunday and I will make a decision.
“Knowing Curtis, I would not rule him out, because I know he wants to play. Obviously he is an athlete and he is as strong as anything, but we do not want him getting a reaction or re-occurrence of the injury.
“If he has to rest another week or two weeks even, then he has to do it, to enable him to come back and be 100%.”