ARGYLE manager John Sheridan is not often given to effusiveness.
So, when he pronounces the performance of one of his players as “magnificent”, you tend to take notice.
That was precisely the word he used to describe midfielder Ollie Norburn’s contribution to an ultimately losing cause in the Pilgrims’ last match, the 2-1 home defeat by Oxford on the Sunday after Christmas.
Ollie, 22, has not been as regular a performer as he would have liked in his debut season at Home Park – small wonder, when you consider the competition for places in central midfield, where Dom Blizzard, Lee Cox, Anthony O’Connor and Bobby Reid are all talented contenders for selection.
“It’s been a slow start for me, but I want to kick on,” said Ollie. “I started off alright, but I drifted out of the team and the team went on a run – the lads that have started have done well – but I have always been happy to fight for my place. We have got a lot of good players here.
“I’m happy here. Obviously I would have liked to have played more games, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. From now until the end of the season, from a personal point of view, I would like to get more games in and get some good results for the team.”
The former Bristol Rovers player’s desire to become a regular starter does not preclude him from having sympathy for manager John Sheridan’s selectorial dilemmas, nor from prioritising the Pilgrims Sky Bet League 2 promotion push during the second half of the season, beginning at York on Saturday.
He said: “Players that the gaffer picks are the best 11 that he feels he can put out there at the time. There are a lot of players who haven’t been playing, and haven’t been involved, who feel that they have got the ability to be involved, but that hasn’t been the case.
“But all the lads are good, we’re all together. Whoever is not playing will hope that whoever is playing does well and gets the result for the team.
“I’ve come into the team and it’s down to me to play well and give good performances. The most important thing is getting results; we want to be up there. As a personal point of view, I want to stay in the team – I hope to stay in the team – but the main thing is for Plymouth to be up there at the end of the season.
“For me, Bobby’s been class. That’s the type of player I want to be playing alongside because I feel he’s got a lot of ability. There are a lot of players here with a lot of ability. As a squad, we have got good players: Dom’s been injured; Coxy’s been playing well; Anthony can play in the middle.
“I want to stay in the team – of course I do – and it’s down to me, now, to perform.”