Paint The Town Green

JOHN Sheridan has told his players to seize the opportunities provided by Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Swindon Town.

The Robins visit Home Park for the second-round match riding high in Sky Bet League 1, with the winners going through to the last 16 of the competition and a step closer to the Wembley final.

The Argyle manager is appealing to his experience of guiding Chesterfield to victory in the 2012 denouement – over Swindon – in the build-up to Tuesday’s game.

“It’s a very important competition,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to have won it. For players at this level, it can be the biggest game of their career – they get into a final and they are playing at Wembley. There aren’t many players who have played in finals at Wembley; it doesn’t matter what level it’s at.

“I’ll be telling the players it’s a great opportunity, the best chance they will get at playing at Wembley.”

Another carrot being dangled by the Pilgrims’ gaffer is the prospect of forcing him to break up the winning team that triumphed over Shrewsbury on Saturday for next weekend’s visit to Tranmere.

Normally one to keep his selectoral cards close to his chest, John revealed that he intends to promote five players from Saturday’s bench into Tuesday’s starting line-up: Ollie Norburn, Tyler Harvey, Nathan Thomas, Deane Smalley and former Swindon midfielder Lee Cox.

“They haven’t been figuring,” he said. “I can only pick 11. “There are four or five who are getting a game, who are getting an opportunity to hopefully impress enough to win us the game, first and foremost, and then force their way into the team, or into contention for the team, for Saturday.

“We might even lose the game but, as long as I see things in the player – he’s doing things; he’s positive in his game; he’s confident; and he might add something for me going into the game against Tranmere – that’s what I look at.

“It’s a good opportunity. I can only pick 11 on a Saturday and they all train and work hard to be involved. We have got players who think they should be in the team, and there’s nothing wrong with that, so hopefully they will go out and perform and give me a problem that I might have to play them on Saturday.

“Just because we won on Saturday, I am not frightened of changing the side. Like I always say, I try to pick a team that is hopefully going to win us the game on the day. I am not frightened of changing anything from a winning performance.”