News, Clues, and Two-Twos

ARGYLE’S 2-2 draw at Weymouth in their second pre-season friendly, and manager John Sheridan’s reflection on the game...

... gave further clues as to what the Green Army can expect from the Pilgrims in the forthcoming Sky Bet League 2 season.

Argyle were twice behind, the second time to a goal from former Pilgrim Stewart Yetton, but levelled on each occasion, through a Nathan Thomas penalty and Kelvin Mellor’s strike.

As he had done at Tavistock in the previous match, John split his squad for each half of the game, with the first-half side comprising largely of younger players, and the second-half side containing more experienced men who appear to be the core of this season’s first team.

“Weymouth gave us a good test and that’s the reason we came here,” said John. “I wasn’t happy with the way we played in the first half; I’m pleased with the way we played in the second half – I thought we looked really solid and sharp.

“We possibly should have scored more goals, but there was a good shape about us. We have just got carry on trying to improve, but I am pleased with the way we are looking at the moment.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – I think there is going to be my 14-15 players and I have got to keep them fit. I have got a couple of young ones who are making the step up and playing against better players. They are in and around the first-team now and will get stronger.

“I expect them to make mistakes but it’s important they keep learning and I keep helping them. If I can keep my 14-15 players fit, I think we’re quite strong; I’m quite comfortable. I don’t mind having one or two young players.

“I don’t think we played well at all in the first half. The games obviously become a little bit harder now and the team that finished will probably start on Tuesday night.”

Trialist Ollie Norburn featured again in the second half of the match against the Terras, and could well continue to try to stake a claim for a permanent role when Argyle travel to Torquay on Tuesday.

“I like him as a player,” said John. “He probably still needs a bit of fitness, but he’s only been with the lads for five days. He’s got a good engine and I like him.

“I’ll have a chat with him. I’d like to see if I can get him involved in the Torquay game.”

John’s comfort with the core of his squad means that, although he would like to add to the numbers, he is not in a mad rush to do so.

“I’d still like to bring two-three players in,” he said. “Everyone knows I want a centre-midfield player, but I’d like bring two-three in just to give us strength in depth. They will probably be loan signings.

“That’ll wait until nearer the season. It’ll be someone who’s doing a pre-season and playing games with a club, not someone who’s sat on his backside; someone who’s fit and ready to step up.”