Shez to Matt: "Prove Yourself"

ARGYLE manager John Sheridan has thrown down an immediate challenge to the Pilgrims’ latest signing, defender Matt Parsons: “Prove yourself.”

Left-back Matt has joined Argyle from Crystal Palace in time for Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 visit to fourth-placed Rochdale, and John said: “I want him to come in and fight for his place and, if he can get in the team, get in the team and stay in the team.

“He’s got to come and prove himself.”

The 22-year-old Londoner follows former Selhurst Park team-mate Jason Banton to the Westcountry and will provide competition for teenager Ben Purrington and Durrell Berry, who is anyway likely to miss the next few weeks with a groin injury.

“I think left-back is an area we need to strengthen,” said John. “Obviously young Ben is doing very well there at the moment and Durrell’s played there, but I just feel another left-sided left-footer would be something we’re after and I am very pleased to get him.

“I’ve seen [Matt] a few times and I always like the way he plays. He’s comfortable on the ball; he takes care of the ball; he’s quite attack-minded for a left-back. He’s played in Palace’s first team and he needs to get out of Under-21 football. He’s been on loan at Wycombe and Barnet and needs to get involved in first-team football again.

“You can’t beat playing. It’s no good sitting on your backside. He’s wants to come here, and I think he’ll be a really good addition for us.

“He knows Jason and we’ve got a good group of players here – whoever comes, the lads always make them feel welcome. That’s a good thing.”

Ben, 17, has played five full games and made one substitute appearance in a hectic 19-day spell for the Pilgrims, from his debut at Oxford United on Boxing Day to Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat by Port Vale.

“I’ve got to be careful with him, throwing him in the deep end,” said John. “He’s played a lot of games in a short period. He’s come in and hit the ground running; he hasn’t looked nervous in any way. But sometimes it does catch up with you.

“He hasn’t looked out of place and he’s not doing anything wrong at the moment [but] left-back is a position I would like to strengthen, looking for someone to come in and fight for a place with Ben.”