JOHN Sheridan hailed his team’s attitude and commitment after they fought back from a 2-0 deficit to remain in the FA Cup for at least another ten days.Having fallen two goals behind against the run of play, Argyle produced a stunning and comprehensive fightback to finish the game not only with a more-than-creditable draw and the prospect of a Home Park replay, but with the pride of knowing that they had outplayed a team nearly thirty places above them in the league structure.
Gavin Tomlin and Tom Pope had both scored headed goals before the half-time interval, but goals from Reuben Reid and teenage substitute Ben Purrington grab the draw they more-than-warranted.
“It’s down to the players,” said a proud Argyle gaffer, “A desire to win football matches and not get beaten, if you are having a bit of a sticky patch. The players dig in for each other and you could see their will to get back into the game.
“We have shown that a few times this season – we don’t give in. If you have got a will to win in your team and some fighting spirit, you have always got a chance.
“I am proud of the players, the way they responded in the second half. I thought we had a right go and we should have won the game.”
Good managers have a tendency to be happy, but never satisfied. It is a good thing that John carries this trait. He indicated that while he has pride in the performance and attitude, that doesn’t mean he will settle for anything less than a victory.
He said: “To get something out of the game – a draw and a replay – is well deserved but I am disappointed we didn’t win it. It was a great effort from the players.
“Full credit to the players. I was disappointed we were two down – we didn’t deserve to be two down.
“It’s a big pitch and they are a tough team to play against – they get the ball forward early and get you on the back foot, and are going well in the division above. You wouldn’t think that, the way we played today.
“I thought we played some good stuff, as well, and created opportunities. To get back to 2-2 was very pleasing and I think we were the team that was going to win it.”
On a date yet to be confirmed – though likely somewhere close to or on Tuesday, January 14 – Argyle will host Vale at Home Park. It is a game the Greens need not fear, but will not be complacent about, according to the manager.
“It will be as hard as it was today,” said John. “We’re at home; we have given ourselves an opportunity; and the attraction of a home tie is there for both teams. Port Vale will want it as much as we do, but we have done well to get them back to our place. We now have to perform like we did today and get the right result.
“Winning - or not losing - matches is good for the confidence and we are on a little bit of a run. I expect us to be confident that we can win the game.”