Learning Curve

FOLLOWING Argyle’s 2-0 defeat to Coventry City, John Sheridan hopes that...

...his team gained some knowledge and experience from playing against higher league opposition. 

The Pilgrims bowed out of the Johstone’s Paint Trophy at the Southern Area quarter-final stage, conceding two goals for the first time since their last JPT fixture – the 3-2 win over Swindon Town at Home Park – as Gary Madine and Frank Nouble netted for the Sky Blues in the 61st and 85th minutes, respectively.

Whilst the Greens were lively and posed an attacking threat throughout the game, their Sky Bet League 1 hosts were able to eke out a comfortable looking scoreline in a game that, in reality, was far from comfortable.

“It was a good lesson, and a good team effort,” said John.

“I would have liked us to have kept the ball a bit better, and have that little bit of game know-how that I keep going on about. This is what you get when you play teams a bit higher.
“Madine, up front, is clever. He has played at a higher level. He does not run around a lot, but his touch is good and he always gets in positions that give you a problem. 

“I think it is just the little things I try and keep telling them: just the game know-how, and make sure your touch is good for 95% of the game – I accept people are going to mis-control, but we must really work hard to take care of the ball if we are going to go anywhere.   

“People can say that so or so can be playing higher, like young [Curtis] Nelson. I think that was a good learning curve, with the goal from Madine, and then the run from Nouble. He has just got to learn those little things if he ever does play higher and come up against better players.”

John is also keen for the lads to stay true to the good traits they’ve shown so far this season that have regularly kept opposing teams out of possession and off of the scoresheet. 

“The first goal disappoints me, because I am looking 20 seconds before the goal, and it is too easy how they end up getting a corner,” he said. “We have done well from set plays this year, and we should not concede from them.

“For the second goal, I even think Nelson should take a booking there. He has got [Anthony] O’Connor there behind him to try and win the ball. 

“I think we worked really hard, but with our ball-retention in the opposition’s half could have been better – because if you do that, you will give problems for the opposition.”