ARGYLE manager John Sheridan was unequivocal in his praise of Pilgrims’ captain Conor Hourihane after bowing out honourably of the FA Cup with Budweiser.Conor, 22, produced a magnificent display and scored one of the all-time great Home Park goals to give Argyle a 2-1 lead over Port Vale in the third-round replay.
The Irish midfielder also won a late penalty after Vale had gone 3-2 ahead. Unfortunately, Reuben Reid’s spot-kick was saved and the Pilgrims exited the competition, but the disappointment did nothing to diminish John’s view of his skipper’s contribution.
“Conor Hourihane’s performance today is one of the best I’ve seen under my management in the last three or four years,” he said.
“I thought he was unbelievable. His all-round game was top-drawer: his passing, running, picking things up, driving into the box, running off the ball.
“He earned us a penalty, scored a great goal, put crosses into the box, and was driving us on like a captain should do.”
Conor is in his third season with the Pilgrims but it was not until the arrival, a year ago, of John – not too bad a central midfielder himself back in the day – that he truly started to blossom.
“When I came here, he had a knack of going back a lot,” said John. “So I told him that, as a midfielder, he needs to play forward. He knows I get angry when he doesn’t because he can really pass a ball.”