ARGYLE manager John Sheridan will be forced to tinker with a winning side this weekend when the Pilgrims welcome Bury to Home Park as a result of a Devon Derby red card.
Olly Lee, who was on loan from Birmingham City, marked his final game for the Pilgrims with an unfortunate dismissal in the 3-1 victory over Exeter City and will now have to serve a three-match ban. While the suspension has put on hold any immediate return to the Theatre of Greens, Sheridan has expressed his desire to extend Lee’s stay in the south-west.
“We’re going to keep Olly until the end of the season,” John said. “I think you’ve just got to look at the results we’ve had with him in the team and you can’t question him. I feel as though we’ve got a lot of competition in midfield now and when things are going well, you don’t want to spoil anything.
“Olly wants to come back and, hopefully, carry on where he left off. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three games; someone might come in and play out of their skin. But he’s coming back and he’ll be a part of the squad and pushing to be in the team.
“Hopefully, whoever comes in for Saturday will perform and help us win the game. I’ve always said it’ll be about the squad. We’ve got lots of games now on Tuesday and Saturday and they’re all important games. It’s important we have plenty of bodies and plenty of people ready.”
Lee, who will this week train with parent club Birmingham while a deal is finalised, will now be forced to miss Argyle’s next three fixtures against Bury, Stevenage and Northampton respectively.
The ban will keep the midfielder out of action until the March 14, when the Pilgrims face Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium, but Sheridan has decided not to appeal the decision.
“I don’t think he’s really caught the lad, it’s not a bad tackle,” John said. “But that’s just the way the game has gone now. He has swung his leg out, but there’s no contact and I don’t think he’s tried to hurt anyone.
“Unfortunately, it probably looks a lot worse than it is but I don’t think it is worth appealing. I don’t think it’s one of those you can get away with. For the sake of that, and with us playing Saturday and Tuesday, the ball will almost be over in a week.”