1st January 2014
ARGYLE manager John Sheridan has seen Torquay United close up and from afar this season, so he knows what he is going to get in Wednesday’s Home Park Devon Derby.The match is the first of the Pilgrims’ reverse fixtures of the 2013-14 Sky Bet League 2 campaign, with the pair having already played out a 1-1 draw at Plainmoor in late November.
“It was a very tough game,” John remembered, on the eve of the 56th encounter between the two sides. “They put us under a lot of pressure. I thought we finished the game quite well and we deserved a point in the end, but [Torquay] had a go.
“That’s what I expect tomorrow. It’s a derby game, when you usually don’t get great spectacles. Usually they are quite tight games. That will possibly be the case.”
Argyle go into the match eight points ahead of their neighbours, who occupy one of the two League 2 relegation slots after losing 3-1 at home to Exeter City on Sunday, but that is no reason for complacency in the home dressing-room.
“We will be wary of them,” said John. “We had them watched [against Exeter] and they were unfortunate even though they lost the game. I know what to expect. They had a good result against Southend not so long ago, and Bristol Rovers, so they are playing with a bit of form.
“They know the importance of the game and will make it tough for us, but we are on a good run ourselves; we are playing quite well. It will be a good atmosphere and we have got to go out there and take the game to them.”
With three wins and a draw in the last 12 days, Argyle have hit a decent seam of form with which to go into the second half of the season.
John said: “I can’t grumble too much at seven points from the last three games – I would have liked nine because I want us to get as many points as possible to try to get closer to the teams above us.
“If we can get three points from the [Torquay] game, which will be a very tough game but we are the home team and will be trying to get three points, it will be a good outcome.”
A healthy crowd of around 10,000 is expected to witness the Pilgrims attempts to beat Torquay on their own patch after three successive winless home matches against the Gulls.
“If you are winning games, it will attract people to come back,” said John. “It’s been hard for the supporters over the last couple of years and, like everyone else, they want us to be successful and get out of this division.
“If we can get one or two results and get a bit of momentum going and push up the table, I know the supporters will come flocking back in.”