Feeling at Home
THE best current away side in Sky Bet League 2 returns home, after what a previous Argyle manager might well have described as the Week from Heaven......looking to bring their sparkling road-trip form with them.
Two wins, six goals and 1,155 miles inside four days has lifted the Pilgrims up to a seasonal-high eighth place in the division, and the whiff of promotion through the end-of-season play-offs is in the Westcountry air again.
Argyle manager John Sheridan knows that making the top seven will require his team to pep up results at Home Park, where Morecambe are the visitors this Saturday, after three wins and a defeat in their last four home matches.
“I’d like more points,” he said, “but we haven’t given in. In a couple of games, we could have lost, but we didn’t – we got something out of them. That what I look at – good signs. You can’t play well all the time and you can’t win every game, but you can go out and give your best. That’s what we have got to try to do – keep giving our best.”
Argyle’s best – of the season – was seen at Fleetwood on Tuesday night, when one of the division’s best sides was swatted away in a 4-0 drubbing. That followed Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge. In each game, the Pilgrims got off to a flyer, something they have been unable to do in recent home matches.
“I want the players to be brave, know what’s at stake, and try to win the game,” said John. “We have got to start a little bit better earlier on in the game. Don’t leave it until the last 15-20 minutes.
“If we can get that advantage which we have shown in the last two games – when you score that first goal, you are more on the front foot; you prepare a little bit better because there’s something there and something to go for.
“Be brave and get on with it because, if you give your all [the fans] will get behind you.”
The Green Army might be the best fans in the country, but, at Home Park especially, they are not slow in letting the players know when they fall short of their exacting standards.
“Don’t be frightened of making mistakes,” is John’s advice to his team. “If you hear the crowd grumbling – in one ear and out the other; get on with it. As I long as I see you are making the right decisions, that’s all I’m worried about.
“It does affect you, as a player, when you hear one or two moaning, but you have got to brave at home. It’s a different ball game at home. There is a bigger crowd watching you and mostly all supporting Plymouth. They just want us to win.
“We all think we can do better but those lads are out on the pitch – it’s a totally different game. It’s so easy watching.
“I know what the fans want; I know what everyone at the club wants – I’m not stupid or naive. I want it myself, and the players want it more than anyone. So we all want the same thing.”