JOHN Sheridan will have another two fit players to call upon for this weekend's Devon Expressway Derby with Exeter City.Both Jason Banton and Tyler Harvey are back in the reckoning to be part of the squad when the two sides meet at St James Park at 1pm on Saturday.
Sheridan was forced to suffer along with the team through a barren January that yielded few points but produced an injury crisis throughout the team.
Not only has form improved - Argyle have won their last three games, keeping clean sheets in each - but the body count of people the manager can call upon has greatly increased.
The return to full fitness of various senior first team players, including Peter Hartley and Curtis Nelson, coincided with Argyle’s recent good form and John is pleased to have his full squad back in training ahead of the Devon Derby this weekend.
“Everyone’s fit,” said Sheridan. “Jason Banton’s trained all week, Tyler Harvey’s trained all week and Dom [Blizzard] has trained all week. I’ve got a big, fit squad and I probably had 20, 21 players training this morning.
“It’s important that everyone’s fit; I want people pushing each other. Kelvin Mellor, even though he’s not been in the team, has trained excellently all week so I’m very pleased. I want them all to push each other because they’re all going to be involved and they’re all a part of it.”
With regards to Banton, who has struggled with injuries for much of this campaign, Sheridan admitted the 22-year old has endured a “stop-start” season but was confident the winger is ready to return to action.
“He’s been coming back and probably thinking he’s fit, and he’s not,” said John. “He’s probably not been ready for it. That’s not down to the physio department or anything, it’s just one of those things.
“You’ve got to be ready, because if you’re not ready, it’s always going to catch up on you and I think that’s what’s happened with Jason. It’s usually been his hamstring and when he’s done it, he’s only usually out two or three weeks. I think it’s just a case of being strong and being ready.”
Despite suffering a groin injury in the close season of 2014 which effectively sidelined his career at League 1 outfit Chesterfield, Drew Talbot has impressed Pilgrims fans with his recent performances, but John is not surprised by the positive impact he has had at Home Park.
“I knew I would get that,” Sheridan said. “He’s been consistent for three or four years. He trains the same as he plays, he gives you a seven or an eight out of ten every week and that’s down to Drew. That’s his standard and hopefully, one or two of the players who are here will learn off him.
“He does his job and he does everything properly. As a team player, he’s very, very good.”