Anniversary Game

ALTHOUGH the focus at Home Park is firmly on the future... has been impossible to avoid a backwards glance during this week’s preparations for Sunday’s FA Cup with Budweiser third-round tie at Port Vale.

Exactly one year ago, managerless Argyle made the same journey – this time, for a Sky Bet League 2 fixture. John Sheridan watched from the grandstand. Two days later, after an ignominious 4-0 defeat, he was given responsibility for the Pilgrims’ progress.

“Those days are gone,” he said, when reminded of his anniversary. “We won’t be performing like that. I think we’re in a better place at this moment in time, without getting carried away.

“It was my first time that I had seen the team and you could see they were very flat, very down. They were playing against a good team that was flying at the time.

“It will be a different game this time. We’ll get a better result that the last time we played there. I think everything about the place is better.”

The brief jaunt down Memory Lane did allow John a little self-appraisal of his time in charge at Home Park, and the lot of a football manager generally.

“You are up and down,” he said. “You are like a yo-yo. It’s a lot easier when you’re a player. It’s very rewarding when you are winning and doing well.

“I think the most important thing is you stick to your beliefs, stay level-headed and what will be will be.”