Shez: 'We Were Outstanding'

JOHN Sheridan is a man not often moved to unleash superlatives, so when he comes out with one, you know something special has just happened.

“I thought we were outstanding,” said the Argyle manager after the Pilgrims’ thorough dismantling of Sky Bet League 2 promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town on a bitter Tuesday night on the Fylde coast.

Reuben Reid opened the scoring midway through the first half, and Luke Young added one immediately after the break. A diving header following a corner form Max Blanchard, and a late direct free-kick from skipper Conor Hourihane completed the rout.

“We were a threat all night. In the first half, on the break, I thought we looked really threatening. You have got to work hard against [Fleetwood]; they do move the ball and have got one or two good players, and are having a good season and I expect them to be up there at the end of the season.

“But we got in and around them and we forced them to make mistakes. We didn’t let them settle and didn’t let them play. We were the team who was on the front foot and I thought we caused them problems all the time we were going forward.”

The victory was the first time that the Pilgrims had scored four times away from home since October 2012, when they beat Barnet 4-1 in a match in which Young and Blanchard also netted, as the players took on board their manager’s advice.

John said: “I can only keep saying ‘Have a bit of confidence in yourself as footballers and go out and got out on the pitch and be confident’ and I think we did that. I think we looked a really good team tonight.

“Obviously, to score four at Fleetwood is very good and the plus was we were working very hard to keep a clean sheet. At 3-0 and 4-0, I could see players running 60-70 yards to make sure we’re not going to concede. I like that. They want to fight for each other.

“To score four away from home and to keep a clean sheet is always pleasing, so full credit to all the players. The defenders worked hard to keep a clean sheet and we were still trying to score more when we were 3-0 and 4-0 up. I felt we were trying to score every time we went forward.”

Despite the emphatic win the first 4-0 away victory by the Pilgrims for more than two years (Accrington, February 18, 2012), there seems very little danger of any laurel-resting in the build-up to Saturday’s home clash with Morecambe

“Football is a funny old game,” said John. “We got beat 4-0 two weeks ago. I wasn’t getting praised anywhere. So, when you get praise, just accept it, and when you have a difficult result – we don’t mean to lose on purpose; we don’t mean to play badly on purpose – accept it and work hard.

“I like to set standards. If you are going to get anywhere you have got to work hard. I’ve said before, I don’t want players playing in this division; I don’t want to be managing in this division.  We’re alright, but we haven’t done anything. Where are we? Eighth. We’re just closer to the teams above us.”   

“The good thing is we have proved ourselves against a good team in this division. Whoever comes here normally gets outplayed and outpassed and usually gets beaten.

“It’s just another game. Three points and results have gone our way. We have just got to keep this little run going. ”