ARGYLE boss John Sheridan is not afraid to take on higher opposition when the Pilgrims travel to Coventry City on Wednesday night.The game at the Ricoh Arena will only be Argyle’s second in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this season, but a victory would put Sheridan’s men in the last eight of the completion.
This will mark the third occasion this season that Argyle have met League 1 opposition. The Greens progressed to this round by knocking out high-flyers Swindon Town, and have also face faced Leyton Orient this campaign, drawing 3-3, then losing out in a shoot-out, in the Capital One Cup.
With proven ability against teams a tier above his side, John would obviously like that form to be realised at the Ricoh.
He said: “We’ve done well against a couple of first division teams we’ve played so hopefully that will continue.
“We know we’ve got players who can perform on the day who are capable of competing against teams in a higher division.
“We’ll go in again, confident.”
The Argyle boss knows the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy well, as he won it with his previous club Chesterfield back in 2011-12.
With Argyle only a matter of games away from Wembley, John believes that the JPT represents the best chance Argyle have of getting to play under the famous arch this season.
Despite the lure of Wembley on the horizon, John is still focused on the immediate task in hand.
“It’s probably the best chance for a club like us at this moment in time to get to Wembley,” he said.
“It’s a really important game in my eyes; the lads know that I want to win every game.
“I think they’re up for the fight and we’ll give it a really good go.”
Andy Kellett is available to play in the tie, with no conflicts with Bolton featuring in the competition, and the manager is keen the get the most out of the loaned left-back before his time as a Pilgrim runs out.
His current loan deal expires after Saturday’s Armed Services Day game against Portsmouth. John admits he would like to keep Andy on board, but will be speaking to both player and club later in the week.
“He’s done really well for us,” said John, of Andy, “so once the game’s out of the way I’ll have a quiet word in his ear, probably after tomorrow’s game.
“If he carries on what he’s doing, and if Bolton are happy with it, then hopefully we can sort something out.
“He’s enjoying his time here.”
Whilst Kellett has been allowed to play from Parent club Bolton, Bristol city loanee Bobby Reid has been ruled out of the game, as City do not want the 21 year old cup-tied.
Two other Pilgrims ruled out of Wednesday’s game are Kelvin Mellor and Jason Banton, with hamstring and knee troubles, respectively. Deane Smalley, who missed the 2-0 win over Fylde on Saturday, has passed muster.
“Smalley is fit. Jason Banton isn’t,” said Sheridan.
“Kelvin’s got a tight hamstring; he probably could play, but I don’t want to risk him.”
Former Argyle defender Reda Johnson, who is now Coventry captain, will miss the game, as he is on international duty with Benin.