Raising Questions

JOHN Sheridan is looking for answers to his side’s “lethargic” display in their 2-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.

After a dreary, goalless draw against Oxford just three days prior the fixture at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, everyone connected with Argyle would have expected a more energetic showing against the Daggers. Instead, though, the Pilgrims succumbed to their mid-table hosts and left their manager once again searching for consistency within his ranks.


“It was very disappointing again - the performance,” said John.


“I’ve just said to the players: for what we’re trying to achieve for the season, where we are and what’s at stake, I just think it was a very lethargic performance. We were lethargic on Saturday, as well.


“I’m picking the same players who have won games on the spin and beat Exeter and we know we are a good team – it’s more or less the same players.


“Considering where we are and we want to stay in the play-offs, it was a very lethargic performance. We’re in a great position as well – a great opportunity to try and get in the play-offs, first and foremost, and get out of this division.”


Before veteran striker Jamie Cureton exploited the Greens’ late push for an equaliser by latching on to a ball forward and lofting the ball over Luke McCormick and into the net, Abu Ogogo put the Daggers ahead on the half-hour mark as Sheridan’s side gave up possession in a comfortable position.


I said to them half-time: ‘how do we concede a goal like we did?’ Someone’s miss-kicked a ball when it should be 60 yards up the pitch,” said John.


“It goes out for a cheap throw-in and then someone tries to read the situation and beats himself – it’s not the player beating him – and it ends up in the back of the net. It’s a poor goal.


“I thought in the first half there was nothing between the two teams. I wasn’t worried but the goal affected the game and we have to come out and chase a little bit. We had bits of possession in the second half but not many attempts at goal. We just made silly, basic errors.


“I was disappointed with the way we played, because I definitely felt just watching the game that there was something there for us, if we wanted to kick on.”


The Pilgrims do not have to wait long for a chance to rediscover their past form as they host Newport County at Home Park this weekend. Whilst the boss expects his team will be up for the key Sky Bet League 2 fixture, he is looking for the squad to have that mentality every time they take to the field.


“I will always stick up for my players,” started John, “but you just can’t sometimes put in performances like that, especially with where we are. We know a win keeps us in the play-offs, but the performance didn’t really merit anything from the game.


“We have just got to get on to the next game and keep pushing away. There’s still games and there’s still time.


“It’s very hard to take and it’s a poor performance. I didn’t expect us to get no points from the game, but while there’s still a chance and a possibility I will try and stay focused, keep the players focused as much as I can and move on to the next game, which is Newport.


“They’re all important games. We’ve got something to play for but even if we were in the middle of the table, safe from relegation, I still want my players to out and want to win the game.”