On The Approach
WHILST on a good run of form and boasting a near fully-fit squad......John Harbin stated that Argyle’s approach to their next game against Mansfield Town has been as strict and tough as ever.
The Greens will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight league games on Saturday, as they make the 530-mile round trip to Field Mill to take on the Stags, who have not won in nine games in all competitions. The Pilgrims’ performance manager feels the lads are as ready to pick up where they left off last time out against Portsmouth.
“We have approached Mansfield the same way that we approached Portsmouth,” said Harbin.
“We have looked at them, with Darren Sheridan the scout sending his match report, and we have highlighted their dangerous players, so we have approached this game no different to Portsmouth.
“The threat is ourselves, and that is not underestimating what they have got, but we have done everything prepared the way we did against Portsmouth.
“We do not underestimate them. We take it game by game and we have got to adapt. It is as simple as that.”
Harbin was speaking as manager John Sheridan continues important managerial duties further up the country, including assessing the team’s next opponents in the FA Cup: Sheffield United.
“He has been up watching Sheffield United," said Harbin. “He was fairly impressed with Sheffield United, but he did say that we would have beaten Crewe.
“And of course the (loan) window closes next Thursday, so he has got a lot of work to do in that regard, and he is trying to organise a few things.”
John had some good news concerning the status of some of the injured Greens, including the return to the squad of Jason Banton and the improvement of recovery in two young starlets.
“Jason Banton is back training,” said Harbin. “The only two that we have got out long-term are Matt Lecointe, who starts running I think next week, and Ben Purrington, who will be in the squad to play Cheltenham for the under-21s (next Tuesday).
“So injury-wise, no dramas.”
Andy Kellett will also be available for selection, following the extension of his loan from Bolton Wanderers.
“He is a good player and a good lad too,” said Harbin on the Bolton Wanderers loanee.
“I was fortunate that two of his coaches at Bolton are Dougie Freedman and Curtis Fleming, who I worked with at Crystal Palace. They both spoke very highly of him.
“He loves the work and he loves playing football every week. People think that coming from Bolton to here is a step backwards, but he was playing for the under-21s in front of 100 or 200 people.
“To come here and play very week in front of a crowd of 10,000 like last week is a big step forward for him.”