Take a Chance

WITH loan deals for strikers falling through at the final stages, John Sheridan is keen to his fringe attacking players to help aid the Argyle goal-scoring cause.

By no coincidence at all, the Pilgrims’ run of four games without a win has come as the team’s goal count has begun to dwindle, with only one goal scored in those four fixtures. The goal tally of Argyle’s season so far, 29, is seven less than the lowest-scoring side in Sky Bet League’s automatic promotion places [Burton Albion], so enabling his team to find the back of the net is of importance to the manager.

“It is not through a lack of chances,” said John, of the recent barren spell. “We could easily be here having scored four or five more goals than we have. 

“We created chances at Newport; created chances against Oxford and created chances last week. The only time we did not create anything was at York, so I am not getting carried away and beating myself up. 

“We keep creating chances, and we should have scored goals because they were good chances, but we have not. As long as we are creating them, it is not too much of a problem in my eyes, but we need goals to win games.”

Sheridan has been trying all month to bring in a striker to assist his current forward players, and despite moves for players falling through when they seemed likely, the boss is still expecting to bring someone in before the January transfer window closes. 

He said: “I have been trying my socks off. It is very frustrating. It is not through a lack of trying, so while we need one I will keep trying, and I keep getting knock-backs when we get that little bit of hope.

“I have been very close to getting one or two. I only need one but it has not worked out, so I have just got to keep on, keep working hard and hopefully one will come our way and help us to win one or two games.”

Although John is still intent on bolstering his attacking options, he is equally interested in seeing his fringe players use the opportunity to stake a claim for their own chance in the first team – though it will be no mean feat to separate one of the more deadly strike duos in Sky Bet League 2 in Lewis Alessandra and Reuben Reid.

“While I am not getting anyone in,” said Sheridan, “there is a chance for anyone who is attack-minded. Tyler [Harvey] is attack-minded, Nathan Thomas is attack-minded, Marvin [Morgan] is attack-minded. So while I have not got anyone in, they have got to have that belief that they might have a chance of playing. 

“That is what I want the players to think. I have said many times that with the players who are not in the team, I expect them to be unhappy and not like their manager, because he is not picking me. That is just part and parcel of football. 

“While I cannot get anyone in on loan at the moment, they have got to feel that right now is their chance, like Jason [Banton]. I threw him in last week I thought he did okay. It might be a case of he has to get a run of games. It is down to Jason. 

“Anyone can tell me so or so was a good player when they were 17, but it is a different ball game now. They are in with the first team. 

“While no-one is coming in, Tyler is a possibility. I know he can score a goal.

“I think I have got two of the best strikers in the division [In Reuben and Lewis]. I would like someone to just tell me who I am going to drop out of Reuben and Lewis. While those two are fit, I am happy."