3rd January 2015
GIVEN Bootham Crescent’s proximity to York city centre......John Sheridan did not have to look far to find a fitting description of Argyle’s first performance of 2015 in their 0-0 Sky Bet League 2 draw.
"It was a shambles,” he said, having watched his Pilgrims end up in blind alleys after taking countless wrong turnings following the 22nd-mnute sending-off of York’s former Green Stephane Zubar.
“Firstly, I’ll apologise to all the supporters for what I felt was a shocking performance,” said the Argyle manager after the goal-less stalemate.
“I never expected us to play like we did. There was just nothing about us. All game. [York] had more energy with ten men and they were the ones creating problems. They could have scored a couple of goals.”
John had no doubt who should shoulder the blame for the sub-standard showing, either.
“Our performance was pathetic,” he said. “Pathetic, pathetic – just the whole way we went about the game. I usually stick up for my players, but I’m not sticking up for them today.
“I’ll get the blame. Everyone can blame me, but I don’t kick the ball; I don’t throw the ball; I don’t pass the ball; I don’t try and kick it 70 yards and pick a pass out when I can play five yards. They’re the decisions that they have to make on the pitch.
“The manager doesn’t do that. I picked my strongest team today – the team everyone was telling me was the team to go and get promotion – so anyone who has a go at me, I won’t accept it. It’s down to the players today.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a go at my players. They can’t pick and choose when to play. They had an opportunity there – 70 minutes [against] 10 men. We haven’t lost the game, but the desire York showed to win the game with 10 men was a lot more than us and their decision-making was a lot better than ours.
“Today was a shambolic performance, and full credit to York – they should have won the game 2-0 or 3-0.
“I just don’t understand why we’ve played like that. I’ve praised us a lot and I’ve said we’ve been playing well but we just didn’t penetrate; we didn’t move the ball; and we didn’t cause York any problems. The biggest downer was that they kept nearly scoring.
“We’re taking corners and are in an attacking area and they end up breaking and getting corners and Luke [McCormick]’s making saves. What’s that all about? Please tell me.”