Shez Not Startled By Start

DERBY or no derby, Argyle manager John Sheridan is determined that his Pilgrims start out as they mean to go on next season.

The 99th meeting between Argyle and Exeter City is the home opener to the Sky Bet League 2 season on, Saturday, August 16 – a week after the season curtain-raiser at newly-promoted Cambridge United.

The Pilgrims will be able to include new signings Deane Smalley, Lee Cox and Carl McHugh against a team that did the double over the Pilgrims in 2013-14, and John said: “They’ll feel really spoiled – 13-14,000 passionate supporters for their first home match and a brilliant atmosphere.

“I think it’s a great game for us – a home game, a potential full-house. Hopefully, we can get a better result against them than we did last season.”

Beating Exeter is always important for the Green Army in itself, but John is targeting three points to fire up a Pilgrims’ campaign that he has already said needs to end in at least a top-seven finish.

“It’s important we get off to a good start,” he said. “Every game will be tough next season. I think teams will be evenly matched again, like they were last year.

“There are some really good games to look forward to; there are some very good teams in the division. It will be a very competitive league again.

“If we can get off to a good start, it gives everyone confidence, which is very important, and putting together some results breeds more confidence.

“We have got to improve on last season; if we want to do that, we will have to do our best to hit the ground running.”