Root Planning

ARGYLE manager John Sheridan believed his players have reacted well to a difficult day at York City...

...and are fully prepared for their upcoming game against Southend United.

Despite the dismissal of Stephane Zubar for the early in first half of the Pilgrims’ game against the Minstermen, Argyle were unable to show their class and make the breakthrough, ultimately slumping to a goalless draw.

Sheridan certainly let his feelings on the team’s performance known to the players at half-time and to the media after the game, but the boss believes that the squad have identified where they went wrong at Bootham Crescent, and are fully prepared to right their wrongs in their next fixture against the Shrimpers.

“It is all done and dusted,” said John. “The players have trained very well. I think they understand where I was coming from and I think they agree.

“We watched the DVD [of the York game], had an open conversation about it, and I think we all agree with where I was coming from. It is all in the past.

“Sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment. The way I went about it and the way I said it could have been better, but that is the way I felt. I am straight-talking – sometimes probably too much – but it is not a problem. It is all gone now, anyway.”

“More than anything, it was a great opportunity to get three points, and I think we threw it away with too much ease. I would not have minded if we gave it a real go, which we did not. I thought York were the better team and should have won the game – that is what really disappointed me.”

In spite of the previous performance and result, the Greens still find themselves in the Sky Bet League 2 playoff positions more than half way through the season. A win against Southend would put them above Phil Brown’s side and breathing down the neck of Luton Town ahead of their huge clash at Home Park.

Picking up points against fellow promotion contenders will be the perfect way to put Argyle back in the right direction and frame of mind that the gaffer is looking for.

“We are a strong team. I think they will be there or thereabouts, likewise Luton (who we play) after (Southend),” said Sheridan.

“There are always hard to play against – strong, organised. I will go there, confident that I’ve got a good record there as a manager, and install that in the players. Phil Brown knows he’ll be in for a tough game and hopefully we’ll give them one and we’ll get the result we want.

“We have got two tough games, and two good games for us, and I am looking forward to them. Both of them will be tough but we will try and win both, and if we do we will be back on track.”

An extra bonus for Sheridan’s short-term ambitions is a near-fully fit squad, with just Peter Hartley sidelined through the reoccurrence of his groin injury that forced him to be substituted last time out.

Said John: “Other than Pete, everyone is fit – I have got a strong squad. One or two will have to be left on the bench, so I will pick a team and subs to get the result we are after.

“Peter has just had a reoccurrence of his injury. He is in the physio’s hands and he will work hard to get back. We just need to make sure he is right for when he does come back.”