The Quiet Man

IT seems rather fitting that in a busy week of comings and goings at Home Park, the important permanent acquisition of Anthony O'Connor went somewhat unnoticed.

Focus was often upon a player who did not return to Argyle in Andy Kellett, who instead found himself a Manchester United player by the end of Monday, and not a Pilgrim. There was also attention on the departures of Marvin Morgan - to Hartlepool, on loan - and Nathan Thomas, who is now with Motherwell.

Add to all this the fallout from last weekend's 3-2 loss at Victoria Park, and it is easy to see why Anthony, who made 29 Argyle appearances in a loan move from Blackburn easily this season, got lost in the mix.

It will not faze O'Connor, for the 22-year-old has rather carved out his own niche; quietly, and very effectively, going about his business, and letting others take the adulation.

Anthony, usually playing in a defensive midfield role that he has grown into as time has passed, was one of the most consistent Argyle performers prior to Christmas. Since his temporary departure, the Pilgrims fortunes have been less than stellar, and manager John Sheridan think there might have been a correlation.

The Pilgrims boss was understandably delighted at the capture of Anthony for a second time, and said: “It’s been on and off, we would have liked to have him earlier than what we had. He’s been a big part of our season.

“Unfortunately for us our worst run and poor results have coincided with when he went back to Blackburn.

“He’s an important player, he can play in a few positions; as a holding player in midfield, he was really good in the way we wanted to play. We’ve missed him, so I am very pleased."

After a busy January transfer window, Sheridan epxressed satisfaction with the squad currently at his disposal.

“I am happy with what we have got now,” John said.

“On paper we are strong, I think we are strong whatever formation we play, hopefully they are going to work.

“Hopefully the one or two new lads coming in, will give us a lift. We need a lift at this moment in time, starting with the game on Saturday."

Ahead of Saturday’s home game against Accrington Stanley, Sheridan confirmed that while injury situation at the club has improved, there remains a few nagging injury doubts.

“Dominic Blizzard trained but is not fit for Saturday,” said John. “Jason Banton is not fit, Tyler Harvey has a dead leg. Dead legs are funny - sometimes you can get over them in two days, sometimes two weeks, unfortunately he has had a bad one.

“Peter Hartley’s played and trained this week. Let’s see how he is. Drew Talbot is fine, he’s available."

The Pilgrims boss warned his players that some of them will be disappointed when it comes to naming his starting line up for Saturday. 

“I will have to make some tough decisions,” Sheridan said, "but that’s not a problem to me.

“Whatever team I put out, we will have a strong bench”.