Teams Within Teams

THERE have been many outstanding individual contributions to Argyle’s season so far...

...but if the Pilgrims attain their goal of getting out of Sky Bet League 2, it will be thanks to team effort. 

In fact, according to John Sheridan, it will be a product of many smaller teams coming together to form a larger unit. 

One team, of course, is Sheridan’s own management group. He is assisted on a daily basis by first team coaches Sean McCarthy and Paul Wotton, as well as performance manager John Harbin. 

Wotton, who played 491 games for his hometown club before becoming part of the coaching staff, received a silver salver in recognition for his sterling contribution as a player for 20 years. 

He is now a key component of Sheridan’s setup, and the manager spoke highly of his involvement in his new role. 

“He is at his club – his home club,” said John. “He is well liked here, and respected here. The award he got was well deserved. 

“It is a learning curve for him. Whether he learns from me, I don’t know! Hopefully he will keep learning. 

“It is totally different to playing – believe me, I’d rather play than be a manager or a coach. It’s a lot easier! You have to change your character, the way you are, your demeanour. You have to see pictures.”

When asked if Wottsy is not responsible solely for Argyle’s defence, John replied:  “Not really, no. He’s a coach, Macca’s a coach. Has anyone talked about Reuben Reid scoring 20 goals because of Sean McCarthy? No-one’s asked that question. Macca does some finishing drills, and they help. 

“Macca was a good player. Wottsy was a good player. The players benefit from their experience, and the level that they played at. We give them things that will hopefully make them better players. 

“Sometimes Wottsy take the defence, sometimes I take the defence. We’re a team – John Harbin, me, Sean, Wottsy. I trust them, and [Wottsy] is part and parcel of the staff. 

“I don’t look at individuals. It’s a team.”

Much credit has been given this season to Argyle’s strong defensive record, with goalkeeper Luke McCormick having kept 20 clean sheets in the league. The manager, though, is once against keen to spread the praise across other deserving parties. 

“If we keep a clean sheet, it isn’t because of Luke McCormick,” said john. “It’s a team. I’m sure Luke would say that. It is the five in front of him, too. He gets the credit for clean sheets, but the people in front of him work their socks off for him to get less work. 

“I don’t like picking any individuals out. We are a team. When we go up – or if we go up – whatever we achieve will be as a team. Not me as a manager, or any individual, but as a team.”