WITH Mansfield Town parting ways with their manager less than 24 hours before their game with Argyle, John Sheridan knew that a shock win over his side was always a possibility.After three-and-a-half years with the Stags, Paul Cox made a surprise exit from the One Call Stadium, shortly before the Pilgrims made the 530 mile-round trip to take on his now-former club.
As so many teams have historically done, the hosts seemed to find the departure of their manager a catalyst for their performance, pulling off an unlikely victory against the Greens.
Whilst they did ride their luck on occasions, most notably when Kelvin Mellor turned his shot against the crossbar from no more than a yard out, Vadaine Oliver’s goal on the stroke of half time proved to be the fatal blow, as Mansfield’s first win in nine games came at the expense of Argyle’s seven-game unbeaten league run.
“They made one or two changes, obviously with the manager going, and I do not like any manager losing his job,” said John.
“It just galvanises them a little bit. A new manager comes in and plays one or two different players.
“They have been struggling, and possibly the fans have been getting on the manager’s back, but obviously he is not here today.
“It is just one of those things: when a manager goes and, for some reason, somebody else comes in and makes some different decisions and the players lift themselves.
“When they are at home they have got one or two decent results, so I expected a tough game. They passed it a little bit more than I thought they would. The big lad (Vadaine Oliver) was aerial and was getting flick-ons.
“They are a strong team at home, and I think Paul Cox – when he was here – did a good job to get them where they are.”