Pass the 'Port

A GOALLESS stalemate at the Kassam Stadium against Oxford United last Saturday followed by a disappointing mid-week performance against Dagenham & Redbridge.

...may well have left Pilgrims fans slightly disheartened - but Argyle manager John Sheridan is determined to remain focused on the positives.

This weekend’s tie against fellow play-off hopefuls Newport Country is an eighth v ninth affair and Sheridan is preparing his side to expect a tough game when the Exiles come to town. A win for Argyle will them leapfrog above the visitors - and possibly back into the play-off zone. 

“It’s important that they don’t get any advantage from us,” said John, of Newport. “There are still plenty of points to play for and I’ve got a points tally that I think will get unto the playoffs. I’ve told the players that and hopefully we can do it.

“It’s very tight and you can see that from the results. They’re a strong team and they’ve got some decent players. They’re big, strong, organised, they play a 3-5-2 but have played a 4-4-2 just of late - and they’ve had one or two decent results.

“They’ll come and they’ll know the importance of getting an advantage over us and I’m expecting a tough game. We had a great result against Northampton; it was good, we ground it out against a strong team and Bury was disappointing, but I don’t think our home form has been too bad.

“We’ve just got to go for it and try and win the game. We know we’ve got to win the game.”

In the reverse fixture earlier this season at Rodney Parade, the Greens slumped to 2-0 defeat against Newport. On a wet and wild day in South Wales, Argyle were ultimately forced to return to Home Park empty-handed; something John Sheridan is looking to rectify this Saturday.

“It was a poor result,” John admitted. “I think we had chances to get something from the game but, obviously, the biggest downer from that game was we lost Pete [Hartley] and [Curtis] Nelse when we were on a great run.

“The weather was shocking that day too but hopefully we’re going to get a better result this Saturday. I think our home form has been good; we’ve played alright here. I’ve said it so many times but the magic word is consistency.

“Don’t do the simple things poorly because it’s the simple things that make good players. I’ve spoken to the players and the players know where I’m coming from so hopefully they’ll respond.”