Senior Service

JOHN Sheridan is looking forward to leading his side into battle for Argyle’s seventh annual Armed Services Day fixture... be contested between two of the biggest clubs in the division.

In partnership with the Argyle Fans’ Trust and Royal British Legion, the Greens will once again be honouring the men and women that serve our country by presenting a host of tributes to the Armed Forces, headlined by a performance by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth.

However, once the clock reaches 12:05pm, the focus will return to football, and a vital Sky Bet League 2 fixture between two sides expecting to be tussling for promotion come the end of the season.

“Portsmouth are in and around where we are and again,” said John. “Andy (Awford) will have them thinking they can get out of the league, like 10, 12 or 14 teams in this league, because it is so tight. You win a couple of games and you are in the mix.”

“Portsmouth are just outside the playoffs, but they are still in there. I look at the squad and it is strong.

“It will be a good game; they are two big clubs for this league, and there will be a big crowd.

“As a bit of an outsider, not knowing too much about what goes on with Portsmouth and Plymouth, I could even see it last year. When we played them here, I thought the atmosphere was brilliant.

“Even when we played them away from home – I know it was the last day of the season, but it was a great atmosphere. They are two big clubs.

“Like I said before, I look at their squad, and many players have played higher and done well higher, as well. They have got some big names for this division.

“I do not think they have got a great away record, but they are a strong outfit. The most important thing I will be telling my players is that we have a really good home record, and we are in a great position to go out and win the game.

Pompey striker Craig Westcarr is a name that is familiar to the Argyle boss, being someone that John has signed in the past.

“He did really well at Walsall,” said John, “and I bought him when I was at Chesterfield. I think he is a really good player, and is going to be one of the best strikers in this division.”

Kelvin Mellor is likely to be available for selection after missing Wednesday’s game against Coventry City, so Sheridan will once again have near fully-fit squad to choose from on Saturday – with the exception of Bobby Reid, who has been recalled from his loan by parent club Bristol City, and the injured Jason Banton.

“All the players want to play, and unfortunately I can only pick 11,” said John.

“It is a really good game if you are player, and these are the games you want to play in. 

“We are in a very evenly-matched league, so we have got to prepare. The league programme is our main priority, and that is what we are aiming for.”