JOHN Sheridan mixed up the Pilgrims’ pre-match routine before their 5-0 Sky Bet League 2 win against Morecambe.After two sparkling wins on the road, John was hoping that replicating away-day conditions would help capture some of that form.
So, instead of everyone coming straight to Home Park before kick-off, the team met up and went to a local hotel for a pre-match meal and preparations. Judging by the performance and result that followed, it worked out pretty nicely.
“We just decided to do something different,” said John, who credited Performance Manager John Harbin for coming up with the idea.
“We went for a pre-match meal before we came to the ground. We went to the Copthorne, watched a little bit of the QPR-Leeds game, and we all had something to eat.
“The lads were all having a bit of a laugh, sitting around, chit-chatting - it was just a bit more relaxed.”
An argument could easily be made that this change-up paid a huge part in the Pilgrims’ visibly relaxed and confident performance against Morecambe - but, of course, five goals and a clean sheet tends to help, as well.
John said: “We invited all the players - even the injured players were there - just to get everyone together, have something to eat, and let one or two of them take the mick out of each other, instead of just sitting around in the changing-rooms.”
A buoyant Sheridan suggested that not too much should be read into the change of schedule, nor that it will become a regular routine, but admitted it did have a positive effect on the players.
“Just because you have poached egg on toast before the game doesn’t mean you’re going to win a football match,” he said. “But, yes, it was good to get them all together. I wouldn’t think too much of it, but I think it just relaxes the lads a little bit more - takes their mind off of the game.
“I don’t think it worked though...”