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Spot Check

16 January 2014

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WILL he, won’t he?

The ‘he’ being Reuben Reid; the rest of the question being “…take the next penalty awarded to Plymouth Argyle.”

The Pilgrims’ number nine has scored four spot-kicks for Argyle this season, but failed to convert two of his last three, including a late one on Tuesday night that would have levelled Argyle’s FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay against Port Vale at 3-3. Instead, they exited the competition after Chris Neal saved.

So, if referee Mark Brown points to the spot during Argyle’s Sky Bet League 2 encounter against Rochdale at, appropriately enough, Spotland on Saturday, will he step up again?

“It’s going to be pretty hard for me not to take a penalty, because I’m always willing to take one,” said Reuben.

“Obviously, from my point of view, I’m disappointed. I feel I’ve let the fans and the team down and that’s the worst feeling ever, as a footballer.

“I’m always confident to step up and take one, but I think maybe someone deserves a chance to take one because, as I say, I’ve let the team down twice in two key moments. I fully take the blame for the result on Tuesday night because it was a good opportunity at a good time to score against 10 men; a good time to get back in game in the last 12 minutes or so.

“I’m big enough to take the brunt of responsibility but hopefully I can get some goals in the league campaign to try and help us push for the play-offs.”

Argyle manager John Sheridan – who famously does not watch penalty-kicks – has no view on whether it should be Reuben or another Pilgrim stepping up to the 12-yard mark next time a penalty is given.

“I don’t decide who takes penalties,” he said. “The players decide. I’ve taken penalties myself missed one or two, and I carried on taking them. I think it’s down to the players. Whoever is confident to take a penalty will take a penalty.

“I’m sat on the sidelines; it’s nothing to do with me. I wouldn’t go and say “You’re not taking it” to a player who wants to take a penalty, thinking he’s got the confidence to take it. If there are three or four of them who want to take it, [they can] sort it out between them themselves who takes it.”

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