WITH plenty of competition among the ranks, John Sheridan has offered some words of advice to the talented Pilgrims struggling to break into Argyle’s first team.
The likes of Aaron Bentley, Tyler Harvey and Ollie Norburn all missed out on making the bench for Easter Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth and, whilst Sheridan knows of the talent all of his players possess, the boss wants to see them gain more mental attributes to help that talent shine through.
“When it gets tough you have to stand up and be counted – you can’t go through the motions,” said John.
“There’ll be 300 players being released with talent this year. It’s very difficult, no matter where you are, to make it as a footballer. You’ve got to have this work ethic and this edge about you and a desire to win.”
"You don’t get anywhere with just talent. Just because I don’t pick a player and involve a player as much as they’d like to be, doesn’t mean I think he’s a poor player. Every manager is different; I’ve played under managers who didn’t fancy me as a player, and I’ve played under managers who really fancied me as a player.
“That’s just the way things are sometimes, but you have to have a work ethic and a winning mentality and an edge about you to succeed – no matter if you’re in League 2 or the Premier League. You’ve got to have it on a day-to-day basis, not just when you feel like it.”
Matt Lecointe is another gifted Green who has been unable to leave a lasting impression on the first team this season, though that can be put down to a persistent knee injury that has plagued him for two years. The forward is keen to find regular playing time wherever possible as his recovery continues, and Sheridan is working with Lecointe to give him his wish.
“Matty has trained but is up and down,” said John. “He feels his knee now and again, which is expected because he has been out for a long time.
“Matty has asked if he could go out on loan and we’ve tried to get him a loan. We even mentioned Truro, but they don’t want to bring any more players in for some reason. I feel it would do him good, so that’s where we stand at the moment.
“We’re trying to get him out on loan for the last couple games of the season, if we can. I think he just needs football now.”