AFTER a run of six games without a victory, John Sheridan has been looking to pinpoint the areas that his Argyle team need to improve on to turn their form around.
The Greens have been unable to pick up three points from a game since December 20 of last year – a comfortable 3-0 win against Dagenham & Redbridge at Home Park. Since then, Sheridan’s team have taken three points from a possible 18, scoring two goals.
“It is very disappointing,” said John, “because before the Newport game we were going on a real high.
“I feel as if I have got players in and around the squad who are good enough to come in, but the results are not good enough.
“I can’t look at it on the negative side; I don’t think we are a bad team all of a sudden. I think we are just on a bad run, and it’s something we’ve got to get out of.”
On the subject of a lack of goals, Sheridan said: “We haven’t let many goals in, we are just not scoring goals and seeing games out. We created chances at Newport and Southend, where we possibly could have got more out of the games, but you have got to score goals to win football matches.”
Argyle have certainly had opportunities to win some of those six fixtures, but have either been unable to find the back of the net whilst on top of the game or surrendered a lead, so the boss wants to see his team keep control of matches and commit to winning games by any means necessary.
“It is always nice to win and play attractive football and score goals,” said John, “but when you get into a game, especially one like last week, when we had the goal advantage, I think it is just knowing how to see the game out. Get the points, get them in the bag.
“People say 'you didn’t play well and don’t deserve it' but it doesn’t matter, you have got three points in the bag. Burton did it very well last year - or over the last two years - where they have won lots and lots of games 1-0. Usually the opposition were the better side but Burton knew how to see the game through and win the ugly games 1-0.
“It is just something we lack. It just a bit of game know-how on the pitch, I think.
“Definitely keeping the ball and retaining the ball high up the pitch where it won’t affect you [helps], because it is not a danger to your goal.
“Don’t do silly things, get throw-ins high up the pitch in the second half, just keep possession of the ball and learn how to take care of it. If you have got the ball, the opposition can’t hurt you.”