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THE DAILY DIARY

A Round-up of Argyle News

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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.

Thursday 31st October 2013

Argyle's first round FA Cup tie at Lincoln City has been confirmed for Saturday 9th November. Should a replay be necessary, it will take place at Home Park on Tuesday 19th November at 7.45 pm.

30th

Argyle will be away to Football Conference Premier club Lincoln City in the FA Cup first round. It follows Lincoln's 3-0 win at home to Worcester City in their fourth qualifying round replay at Sincil Bank on Tuesday night. Argyle's clash with Lincoln is expected to be played on Saturday, November 9.

Argyle's under-21 side were knocked out of the first-ever Under-21 Premier League Cup this afternoon, beaten 2-0 by Watford at Home Park. With Jake Cole, Hamza Bencherif, Andre Blackman and Dominic Blizzard filling the permitted over-age slots, Argyle matched the visitors for long spells but failed to capitalise on their chances and in the end were beaten by two break-away goals. Argyle: Cole, Purrington, Bencherif, Richards, Asumadu-Sakyi (Hughes), Blizzard, Young, Blackman, Hall (Wheatley), Vassell, Harvey. Unused subs: Hannah, Summers, Hutchinson.

28th

John Sheridan felt at one with the Green Army when Neal Trotman’s injury-time header gave Argyle a 1-0 victory at Mansfield John said: “I feel like the supporters did at the end. I would have been a bit down if we had not scored because it was 0-0 again and we hadn’t scored, but you could just see how supporters reacted, which I am well chuffed for. They have come a long way this season – every game is a long way – so to score in the last minute, the adrenalin in everyone...we haven’t had many breaks this season. It was a good ball from Conor. It was a set-play and Neal was in the right place at the right time, so everyone’s gone home with a little bit of a smile on their face." John admitted his captain had been on the receiving end of some sharp advice moments before the goal. “He’s got a good delivery,” said John. “I was shouting at him five minutes earlier for giving a simple five-yard ball away, but I know he has got great delivery and it was a good ball. Neal is a threat. He could have had four or five goals this season, and I know he could do that. It’s a break for us and, believe me, I’ll take it with both hands and grab it.”

Both John Sheridan and match-winner Neal Trotman paid tribute to goalkeeper Luke McCormick after another clean sheet in Argyle’s 1-0 victory at Mansfield. “I thought his handling was very good,” said John, “and, whatever they threw at him, he handled it really well. I’ve got two really good ’keepers. They both get on with each other and they both train really well. If I see any part of Luke’s game where I feel as though he’s failing, I’ve got a really good replacement, but Luke’s playing really well at the moment. He’s very confident in himself. It doesn’t really bother me who I play, but Luke’s just got that nod ahead at the moment.” Neal is of a similar mind. “Luke’s playing great,” he said. “When you’ve got a ’keeper behind you like that, it makes you confident during the game. He’s got glue in his gloves. We’ve got two great ’keepers. Jake as well. No matter what ’keeper is behind us, we know we have a bit of security there.”

27th

Argyle have been drawn away to Worcester City or Lincoln City in the first round of the FA Cup. Lincoln play hosts to the replay between the two sides on Tuesday night, after the teams drew 1-1 on Saturday. The Pilgrims will make the trip to the winning side on the weekend of November 9th and 10th.

Neal Trotman finally got off the mark for Argyle with a vital late-winner in the 1-0 victory at Mansfield and admitted: “It’s been coming.” Neal headed home Conor Hourihane’s injury-time free-kick to end a frustrating personal run that has seen him hit the woodwork at least twice and go close in several previous games. “I think I could have scored a few this season already,” he said. “Hopefully, this is one of many. Conor put the ball in a great area – he does it most of the time – so it was up to me to finish it, which I did. I think it was fitting it was in the last minute. I’m just glad to get a result. I think we were due one. We have been playing really well in recent games and creating a lot of chances but, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to finish them. Even other teams have been saying we are the best team they have played against this season. We just haven’t been scoring. Not just the strikers – the midfielders and defenders as well. Probably it was not the best we’ve played all season – I think we’ve played better – but we ground it out and got a great win.” At the final whistle, the players gathered for a post-match huddle. "We just said ‘Well done - we deserved it’,” said Neal. Obviously, the fans haven’t been happy, which is fair enough, but we’ve been sticking together – we’re a close bunch – and we’ve truly believed we should be higher than the position we’re in. We were under pressure quite a bit but I think we deserved the win, especially the way we have been training and the way the gaffer is with us. And the way we are – we’ve got good players.” John Sheridan fielded a 3-4-3 formation at Mansfield, after employing 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 earlier in the campaign, but Neal is untroubled by switches of system. He said: “We have had clean sheets and created chances in whatever formation we’ve played and with whatever personnel. We have got some great players in all positions. No matter what formation we play, it’s alright. Formations don’t win you matches.”

Relief might have been the dominant emotion at the One Call Stadium after Argyle's first win in nine games, but ‘belief’ remains manager John Sheridan’s watchword. It was, according to Sheridan, not one of Argyle’s best displays of the campaign, but at least the result allowed him to deviate from a familiar post-match mantra. “I think people are getting sick me saying that we are playing well but we are not scoring and not winning games,” he said. “I don’t think we played well today, but we won – I’d rather say that a few times. Sometimes, when you battle and have a bit of determination about you, it is not all about playing football and passing the ball around – it’s about getting a result in the end. That’s what we did. They are the best results. I knew we’d be in for a good scrap. I thought we defended as a team but the defenders and Luke McCormick stood firm. When we had to defend, we defended. If you keep a clean sheet, you have got a good chance of winning. We created one or two little problems ourselves. Mansfield had chances and we had chances. The most important thing is always to get three points, and it’s great to score at the end and give everyone a little bit of a break of not scoring.” John sent the team out in a 3-4-3 formation but switched it at half-time along with instructions to his players that saw Argyle gradually gain momentum. “I said: ‘Listen – [Mansfield] are going to put balls in and they are going to put them in early, and you are going to have to defend, but I just want you to be brave, get the ball down and just try to pass it a little bit more’. We did that for 15 minutes just after half-time, then we got a bit scrappy again. I’d like us to believe in ourselves a bit more and pass the ball, with the players we’ve got in the team. I don’t think we are the sort of team to get into a scrap, but we did get into a scrap today and I am pleased with the way the lads dealt with it.” The victory might have stopped the rot but results elsewhere meant Argyle climbed only one place up the league table. However, John believes the win might be the start of something. “Let’s not get carried away, but it’s a really, really good three points,” he said. “It was a good team effort. It’s always good to win football matches. I’m pleased for the players. I keep saying to the lads it’s important that we all stick together and fight ourselves out of the position we’re in and, when we get couple of results, hopefully a bit of confidence will come back into our game. We’ve looked a little bit tighter in the last three or four games, defensively wise. We’re working very hard to make it difficult for the opposition to create chances, but we still need to create more and score more to win games. The biggest thing for me is that we should have had more points, but we haven’t. Today, we’ve haven’t played well and we’ve won. Sometimes that’s what gets you on a little run of games and we can pick points up. There is nothing between any of the teams in the division. I see the teams week in and week out and I think, on our day, we will compete with any team in the division, but it’s all about the magic word – consistency.”

26th

Neal Trotman stole the winner three minutes into stoppage time at Mansfield to earn a much-needed 1-0 win for Argyle. The game had been dominated by Mansfield, but looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw when Trotman converted his first goal for the club. Argyle: McCormick, Blanchard, Trotman, Branston, Berry, Nelson, Hourihane, Reckord (Hayes), Alessandra (Harvey), Reid, Boco (Gurrieri). Substitutes (not used): Cole, Young, Wotton, Bencherif.

John Sheridan is hoping Neal Trotman's last-gasp goal at Mansfield will prove to be the kickstart Argyle's season needs. It was a first win in eight for Argyle and came just as the game looked to be petering out into a 0-0 draw. He said: "We knew we were in for a battle and we defended well as a team, I thought we created one or two problems ourselves, too, though they had chances. We worked hard, though we didn't play well. But we ended up with a scrappy 1-0 win and sometimes they are the best results. I want us to believe in ourselves a bit more and pass the ball. We went into a scrap and I was pleased with the way the lads dealt with it. We have not had the breaks this season, but everyone was in the right place at the right time for the goal. We are not getting carried away but I know sometimes a win like that gives you the kickstart you need to get back on a run."

25th

John Sheridan has again re-iterated his belief in the players he has to work with and also his faith that Argyle will climb out of the current mire. Sheridan praised their ability and said that they were as committed as he is in their mentality: “I’ve got a group of players to look after and it’s important we stick together. It’s only the players, and me and my staff, that will get it out of us. I’m definitely on their side. I never openly have a go at the players. I normally keep it indoors; whatever I have to say which is negative towards them, I say it indoors, and hopefully they will take on board what I say. I think we are as good as any team [in the division] on our day; I think our level of performance isn’t too bad; I think we’ve deserved more. That’s what I am going to take into the game, and tell the players, until we get the results we deserve. I have got to keep the positiveness into the players. It’s hard, because we are not winning and not scoring, but it’s no good sitting down thinking ‘we are never going to score, we are never going to win’. Their mood’s good but it will give them more self-confidence if one or two them can score a couple of goals, and hopefully it can bring a bit of confidence to the team, because I don’t think we have been playing badly. Their attitude is good. There are no problems. Everyone comes in with a positive attitude. Everything can be great in training, but Saturday is when you want to get results and when everyone notices how well you are doing.”

The draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup will be made on Sunday- the stage at which Argyle enter the competition. Argyle, who have been knocked out in televised encounters at non-league grounds for the last two seasons at this stage, will be number 31 in the draw.

23rd

Argyle's failure to score against Newport was not the only thing that frustrated John Sheridan on Tuesday. "We didn’t keep possession of the ball in the final third, or in the opposition’s half, for long enough periods,” he said. “When it did go forward, we lost possession and it was coming back at us. Even from ’keeper’s kicks, the ball was coming back too easily against us. We have got to work a lot, lot harder to create opportunities and to cause the opposition more problems. I think the draw was a fair result. I don’t think one team was better than another. Newport are well organised, compact, and played a similar system to us.” In the end, though, John was unable to stay away from the gripe that has plagued his team’s progress since September 7, and that despite him recalling Lewis Alessandra and Andre Blackman for the midweek fixture. He said: “We all know what the problem is – it’s putting the ball in the back of the net. We know the importance of winning the game and we haven’t – we’ve had another blank. I was trying to look for a goal so I went with more of an attacking line-up, with us being at home. I don’t think it worked out because we haven’t won the game.”

John Sheridan is looking outside of the current Pilgrims’ squad in an attempt to save Argyle’s lack of goals. Their 0-0 home draw with Newport County AFC on Tuesday was the fifth time in their last seven, winless, league games that Argyle have failed to find the net. During that spell, they have slipped down from 12th place in League 2 to 19th. Although the midweek point took them further away from the relegation zone, Sheridan said: “It’s another disappointing performance. No goals. It’s a big, big, big problem. I’m talking to one or two people now to try to get one or two people in because we need to score goals. Newport haven’t caused us many problems. Defensively, the system’s not too bad. We played alright. But it’s about hitting the back of the net. I keep repeating myself and people are getting sick of me because I keep saying it’s goals, goals, goals, so I need to try to sort it out. If I could get a couple of strikers in – if we could afford it – I probably would. The chairman and the board have told me that, if I want to bring someone in, there’s money there. The fans are touchy; I’m touchy; everyone’s touchy. Because we can’t score. It can’t go on much longer. With the chances we’ve created of late, we should be scoring goals, no matter who’s playing there. If you are a striker, you’re a striker. We need someone who is going to put it in the back of the net when you get that chance, that half-chance – and there were little half-chances tonight. That’s what strikers get paid for and why they are on the most money. Hopefully, I can bring a body in that can help us get the win that we are after. We need someone to come in and give us a lift.”

22nd

Argyle's goalless and winless run continues with an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Newport County. The match drew Argyle's lowest crowd of the season so far with just 5,620 turning up to watch the greens. Argyle: McCormick, Blanchard, Trotman, Nelson, Boco(Gurrieri), Young(Bencherif)Hourihane, Alessandra, Blackman, Reid, Hayes(Harvey). Unused subs: Cole, Wotton, Reckord, Berry.

21st

John Sheridan today has admitted that he knows fans are hurting following the beginning of what is looking like another poor season for Argyle. Sheridan: "I know they are hurting. I really appreciate how they support the team, but they don’t want to hear me going on saying that the fans were brilliant – they don't want to hear that at the moment. They have gone home and it is very hard to take but they don't want to hear me make excuses, and I'm not going to do that. We have got to win games, and I know what they will give us. I don’t want to milk it. When I look at how many we had today…to travel all this way to support the team is unreal.” He also stated that he is not concerned about Reuben Reid's show of disatisfaction to being substituted shortly after half-time on Saturday, saying: “I expect him to be unhappy. It doesn’t worry me. I'd do the same thing if I'd come off and I didn't feel as though I should have come off.”

20th

John Sheridan was left to bemoan his side’s lack of finishing power again, as Argyle went down 1-0 to Hartlepool. Despite playing against ten men for three-quarters of the match, following the dismissal of Jack Compton, and having 21 shots and 15 corners, the Pilgrims could not find a way past Pools goalkeeper Scott Flinders. They have scored just eight goals in their 12 League games, one more than the division’s lowest scorers, bottom-placed Accrington. “Do I feel we are playing well enough to win football matches?” said John, after the game. “I think we are, but we're not getting the results and we're not getting the luck. We didn't get anything today, with all the opportunities we had. That's just the way things are going. We have created lots of chances in the last four or five games, but it is about putting the ball in the back of the net. It's very frustrating. I take all the responsibilities: I'm picking the team; I brought players in. I expect us to do a lot better. I can't believe we are not scoring any of the chances, because we are creating so many. Especially today.” Even without scoring, John would have expected at least a point from the encounter from the moment Compton was sent off for pole-axing Jamie Reckord. He said: “I’m not looking for any excuses. We created lots and lots of chances and the ’keeper’s kept them in the game, but we shouldn’t concede against ten men. That’s costs us. We made Hartlepool work, and kept the ball moving, and we created really good chances. The game should have been over. When you are playing ten men, you shouldn’t lose a game 1-0. Even if you draw 0-0, you just take the point.” They were unable to take the point because of Luke James’ fine solo effort ten minutes into the second half. John said: “I think he's gone past three of our defenders but we made it look easy for him and it shouldn't have been. Then they get men behind the ball and they are defending for their lives but – no excuses – it's a very, very poor result.”

John also admits he is feeling the pressure after the match, "We haven't won a game in seven so it's a vulnerable position. I'll accept that and I'll work as hard as I can to try to get the results and turn the results around for us. I'll make sure no-one goes hiding – me, my players, anyone. That's one thing I will do. I will take the criticism and I expect myself to prove people wrong. I’m not stupid. It’s a results business. I know I’ve got to start winning football matches. We’ve got to start winning football matches. If I don’t, my job will be on the line. Everyone will be questioning me. That’s part and parcel of being a football manager. We have just got to start winning games. I probably do feel under pressure but I'm not going to show it. I have got to stay positive and believe that we can get out of the position we are in and start winning games.”

|date|19 Oct 2013

Argyle today lost 1-0 in their furthest away game of the season at Hartlepool United. Argyle who kept an unchanged team from the draw with Pompey will be extra disappointed to have lost following Hartlepool winger Jack Compton (who was linked with a move to Argyle this Summer) having been dismissed for serious foul play on Jamie Reckord. Hartlepool took the lead in the second half and despite Argyle's domination of the corner, shots and possesion statistics, they just could not find their way to scoring. It has now been just one win in ten games in all competitions for John Sheridan's men. Argyle: McCormick, Blanchard, Trotman, Nelson, Berry (Gurrieri), Hourihane, Young, Boco, Reckord (Blackman), Reid (Alessandra), Hayes. Unused subs: Cole, Wotton, Harvey, Bencherif.

18th

Nick Chadwick has joined Conference side Tamworth on loan. Nick has not played for the Argyle since the final game of last season and joins the Lambs until January 1. He will be eligible to play in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Birmingham Senior Cup during his time at the Lamb Ground. John Sheridan was pleased that Nick would be able to play regular football. John said: "I’ve been honest with Chaddy all along. If he could get a club that would suit him and would enable him to go and get some football then I wouldn’t stand in his way. He’s an experienced player and it’s only right that he should be playing. Even though Tamowrth are in the Conference, it’s a very tough league now so he’ll go there and get a few games under his belt." Tamworth are currently 19th in the Conference and face Luton Town at home this weekend. Former Pilgrim Tony Capaldi, who joined the Lambs at the start of the season, will be on hand to give Nick a warm welcome.

Luke Young is looking forward to coming up against former Pilgrim Simon Walton. Walton made the switch to Saturday’s opponents Hartlepool at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. “I haven’t spoken to him as much I might have liked,” said Young, “but I keep an eye out to see if he’s been playing. If I do get the chance to come up against him on Saturday then it will be great. He helped me along when I was coming through, both on and off the pitch. It’s always nice when you come up through the first-team to have an older figure to help you through. Wottsy has helped me, too, because he used to coach me at a younger age." During his time at Home Park, Walton was the club’s designated penalty taker, so Luke feels that the Pilgrims will be at an advantage if the Pools were to be awarded a spot-kick on Saturday. He said: “I hope they don’t get one! He had a fair few down there so if, god forbid, they do get one, we’ll know where he’s going!”

17th

Marvin Morgan is set to miss a large proportion of the season with a shoulder injury. Marvin suffered the blow in a match earlier this season and now requires and operation to put it right. John Sheridan was obviously disappointed to lose Marvin for what could amount to three or four months. John said: "Unfortunately, Marvin Morgan is going to have an operation on a shoulder injury. It’s a big blow for us. He did it earlier in the season and he’s been playing on through it, but now it’s really affecting him. He’ll be a big loss and he’ll be out for a few months I’d imagine." Meanwhile, defender Guy Branston is a doubt for Saturday's long trip to Hartlepool with an ankle injury.

Former Argyle skipper Simon Walton has promised there will be no sentiment when the Pilgrims take on his current club Hartlepool on Saturday at Victoria Park. When talking about the upcoming fixture, he said: "The last year I was at Argyle it was pretty traumatic for everyone involved, but I think I performed pretty well and played a part in keeping us up. It's obviously nice to do well against your old team, but there will be no sentiment involved, because I'm a professional footballer and it's part of the job." Walton added: "For three years, I was desperate to get away from Argyle, but I was sad when I left. I moved for reasons that aren't going to change, but I enjoyed my time at Argyle."

16th

A date has been set for the next round of the under-21 Premier League Cup, which Argyle reached after their defeat of Bournemouth. The Greens will host Watford, who saw off Bristol Rovers to get to this stage, on Tuesday October 30th. The game will kick off at 3pm.

David Norris was the guest of honour for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Portsmouth and he was overwhelmed by his positive reception. Norris, who by coincidence also played for Portsmouth who themselves have suffered a good deal of financial instability, also said he hoped that the worst was over for both sides. Norris: "A lot of the staff behind-the-scenes are still the same as when I was here. The family club that I left has stayed intact, and that's probably why it is still going now. It has obviously been through some really, tough times. From the club I remember, everyone was in it together. The lads all knew the backroom staff and the people in the offices. That was a really nice touch, and it seems like it's exactly the same now, and probably why the club is as strong as it, given what it has been through. I had such good times here, and you want them to still do well. I always look out for their results. They went through that tough, tough time and I was just glad they didn't end up folding, or going down into the Conference. I kept in a touch with a few people and sent the odd signed shirt and stuff to try to do a little bit. I get the feeling from speaking to people that the worst is over. The same with Portsmouth, to be fair. It seems like both clubs are now settled. They are not flying along, but they are getting along. Hopefully, from now on, it can only get better for both of them." The midfielder also added that whilst he would never rule out a return to Argyle in the future, for the meantime he would like to continue playing at a higher level if possible: "I would never say never. Of course I would be tempted. I had such good times. I would like to play as high as I can for as long as I can."

14th

Argyle's youngsters returned to Football League Youth Alliance action with another victory at Tavistock's Langsford Park ground. For the second time in a week, the young Pilgrims inflicted defeat on Newport County - keeping consecutive clean sheets. County were reduced to 10 men when their 'keeper was dismissed and the Argyle goals came from a Ethan Stark penalty and Louis Rooney.

Meanwhile, Argyle will host Watford in the 2nd Qualifying round of the inaugural U21 Premier League Cup. The game will take place at Home Park on Wednesday October 30 at 3pm. The club have announced that entry will be £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. Argyle reached this stage with a 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth whilst the Hornets prevailed in a penalty shoot-out versus Bristol Rovers.

Elsewhere former Argyle 'keeper Rhys Wilmot has announced he is "loving every minute" of his part-time role as goalkeeping coach at Home Park. The 51-year-old combines that with his day-to-day profession as a Response Officer for Devon & Cornwall Police. Wilmot, who made 147 appearances as a goalkeeper for Argyle between 1989 and 1992 after leaving Arsenal, finds the time to fit in all of his commitments. He had previously coached in the Pilgrims’ youth academy before he was asked to step up to first team duties by manager John Sheridan in the summer.

He described working with Jake Cole and Luke McCormick – Argyle’s two shot-stoppers – as an "absolute joy" and believes that, as a pair, they are the best in League Two. Away from his duties at Home Park, Wilmot is based at Crownhill Police Station and responds to 999 emergency calls in the north of Plymouth.

13th

Manager John Sheridan credits the Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat on Tuesday with playing a part in a change of direction for the club. Swindon's 3-5-2 formation had caused Argyle problems but when Argyle made the step to match them, The Pilgrims seemed to stem the previously flowing Robins' football. Fast forward to Saturday - back at Home Park - and Sheridan and his management team decided to adopt the same system for the visit of Portsmouth, to some success. Argyle started brightly, earning plenty of possession and a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Ultimately, they competed well with a strong Pompey side, emerging with the creditable 1-1 draw. "We made our mind up quite quickly after Tuesday that it was something that might work for us,” said assistant manager Gary Owers.

John Sheridan was satisfied with the point from the Sky-televised Dockyard derby against Portsmouth on Saturday. Sheridan thought the 1-1 draw was ‘a fair result’ after an entertaining League Two game.

The Pilgrims’ boss did not attend his usual post-match media conference, sending assistant manager Gary Owers instead. However, he did speak to Sky Sports' reporter Dharmesh Sheth after the final whistle. Sheridan told him: “We would have liked to have taken three points but it was an evenly-contested game. I thought we started the game really well for the first 35 minutes. But then Portsmouth came back into the game so I think a draw was a fair result.”

Argyle took the lead in the 21st minute through captain Conor Hourihane. It was only the Pilgrims’ third goal at Home Park this season and the first not scored by striker Reuben Reid. Sheridan's use of the 3-5-2 formation for the Dockyard derby, rather than the usual 4-4-2 had caught the visitors by surprise; Portsmouth manager Guy Whittingham admitted it had taken his side time to come to terms with it. Sheridan said: “I thought the system worked quite well. We caused Portsmouth one or two problems the way we played. Both teams were trying to win the game and, like I said, I think a draw was a fair result.”

12th

Argyle today registered their first score draw of the season in the live televised 'Dockyard Derby' against Portsmouth and used a 3-5-2 formation for the first time in a league game under John Sheridan. Conor Hourihane put Argyle into the lead from a defensive error midway through the second half but Argyle returned the favour with their own defensive mix-up allowing Pompey to equalise not long before half-time. Both sides had chances to win the game in the second half but neither side took them resulting in a 1-1 score at full time. Due to other results, Argyle have now dropped to 19th place in the league two table. Argyle: McCormick, Blanchard, Trotman, Nelson, Berry, Young, Hourihane, Boco(Harvey), Reckord, Hayes(Alessandra), Reid. Unused subs: Cole, Blackman, Gurrieri, Bencherif, Branston.

11th

John Sheridan has announced that he will be looking for loans out for young Argyle players on the fringe of the first team such as Ben Purrington, Isaac Vasell and Jamie Richards. Sheridan said that whilst he still has faith in their potential ability and future, there were other players currently in the first team ahead of them and that it is good for their football education to be getting regular games: “I think it’s the best thing they can do. Because I don’t pick them doesn’t mean I don’t believe in them and that I don’t want them to play football – I think it is important that they are playing on a Saturday. That’s how you learn the game. You go out and play on a Saturday against men and you realise how hard the game is. They work very hard in training and have all got good attitudes, but I can only pick 11; I can only pick 18 in the squad. That’s one of the hardest things for me, as a manager – I don’t want to leave any of them out, because I want them all to be playing football, and they want to be playing. We have tried getting one or two out on loan, but there hasn’t really been any interest.”

Sheridan also confirmed rumours in sections of the media that he is looking to bring defensive midfeilder Lee Cox back to Argyle on loan. Cox became very popular with the fans during his two months on loan at Argyle in our run of good form last season and the Argyle manager feels he can improve our current squad- although he did issue a cautionary word that financial issues would have to be settled before the deal was done. Sheridan said: “Everyone knows Coxy did well for us,” said John. “The fans liked him; I liked him. He was good in and around the dressing-room, did well for us, and enjoyed his time here. Everyone knows I’m interested in him but, when you are doing a deal, it has got to suit both parties. Swindon know our interest. Lee needs to play games and he’ll get that here, but the finances have to be right.”

In other news, Argyle have established a junior supporters organisation for our young fans: The PL2 crew. Whilst the Junior Greens amongst other organisations have existed in the past, this is the first time in years that the club have had an official supporters group for Under 16s. Mmembership will cost £20 per year. Further information and membership details are availible via the Argyle Community Trust.

9th

Despite bowing out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in the second round with a defeat at Swindon Town, Gary Owers believes there were positives to take from Argyle’s 2-1 defeat. After the game, Argyle's second in command felt Argyle were a little unlucky not to force a draw. “Second half, I thought once we got to grips with their system – it was very hard to contain them in the first half – we were probably unfortunate not to nick an equaliser,” Gary said. “We worked very hard against a good team. There were some players out there that cost a lot of money and some players with Premier League quality. But we stuck to our guns. After a good start, we’re disappointed we’ve lost the game. We worked very hard against the ball, but we never really got a foothold in the game in terms of possession. Once we made the change, that changed a little bit. There’s no lack of effort from our players at the minute. We just need a little bit more quality. We’re our own worst enemies, and we seem to be getting stuffed for every mistake that we make. We nicked an early goal and we thought we might have gone to do better than we did after that good start. Then the Swindon player gets the wrong side of Jamie Reckord and we’re level, and 50 seconds after the restart, we’re 2-1 down. That’s basic elementary mistakes. We gave the ball away cheaply 50 seconds after a restart. It’s not the first time that’s happened. We finished with a little bit of a flurry. The last ten minutes, we got down the sides of them and around the back. There were a few balls going across the face of the goal but we just couldn’t get that final touch. And that’s what it’s all about the minute. We’re trying to score more goals.”

Andre Blackman had not started a game for Argyle since a good performance against Cheltenham Town in the previous round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy but within six minutes of his appearance, he had opened the goalscoring and would be a threat to Swindon throughout during the game. While noting that Andre’s game is far from flawless, assistant manager Gary Owers praised Blackman for his performance and suggested he is one of several players pushing manager John Sheridan for consideration ahead of Saturday’s home match with Portsmouth. “He did well for the goal and he got into some good positions,” said Gary of Andre. “He gives us another dimension because he can get round the outside of teams and he’s got that bit of pace. He’s got ability. There’s no doubt about it. We’d love to see that on a more consistent basis. If he could do that, he’d be in the team every week. One or two players have given John something to think about for the weekend.”

8th

Argyle went out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 2-1 defeat at Swindon Town tonight. Andre Blackman put Argyle ahead early in the first half, but a headed goal for Jack Barthram put Swindon back on level terms. Nick Ajose Scored what was to be the winner for Swindon when Argyle lost possession straight from kick-off for the second half. Argyle (4-4-2): Cole, Blanchard, Trotman, Nelson, Reckord (Berry), Boco, Young (Bencerif), Hourihane, Blackman, Hayes (Harvey), Reid. Substitutes (not used): McCormick, Gurrieri.

7th

Argyle travel to Swindon Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night on the back of a four-game winless run after losing to Exeter City on Saturday. The 3-1 defeat in the Devon Expressway Derby is the latest game to give manager John Sheridan some foot for thought as he ponders ways of rekindling Argyle’s fortunes. The trip to Wiltshire may be a good chance for some players to take advantage of an opportunity to shine. “There’s a game Tuesday, and one or two of them will be playing,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of players who are fit and available, and all wanting to play. When you keep losing games, it’s time for change. And I mean big change. We’re on a run where we’re playing alright, but we’re losing games. It’s the mentality and the will to win on the football pitch. And it’s only the players who can take care of that.” One name that could be in the reckoning for a run-out is teenager Tyler Harvey, but John is anxious to treat his young talent with kid gloves. Sheridan is no stranger to looking after young players who have gone on to bigger things, but insists that rushing players into starting line-ups is not always the best thing for their development. “Tyler’s a young kid with potential,” he said. “He’s got lots of potential, but he’s an 18-year-old kid. I’ll make the decisions. I’ve done it with other players before that are now playing in the Premier League and the Championship. What I’m doing with Tyler, I think is the right thing. I know he needs football, and I know he’s scoring goals in the reserves against Bideford and Exeter youth team. I understand that, if we’re not scoring goals, we’re not winning football matches. I’ve got Gurrieri, Blackman, Trotman and ten other players that didn’t play that could make a difference in the game.”

Argyles's youngsters maintained their unbeaten run in the Football League Youth Alliance League Cup with a 4-0 win away to Newport U18's. The young Pilgrims were helped by taking a fifth minute lead when Solomon Wheatley ended a solo run by cutting inside and firing past home goalkeeper Connor Christy. Wheatley struck again, 20 minutes later, after racing clear of the home defence to hit a rising drive past the onrushing Christy and in to the roof of the net from 15 yards. Josh Hutchinson closed down a defender and worried Christy enough to force the home 'keeper to spill the ball, leaving the Argyle winger to roll the ball in to an empty net. The scoring was completed, 15 minutes from time, when a ball down the right channel found Ethan Stark showing good control before lifting the ball over Christy from 25 yards. Argyle: Hannah, Sargent, Hall, Allen (Asumadu-Sakyi), Bentley, Purrington, Miller, Lane (Calver), Wheatley, Stark, Hutchinson (Rooney).

6th

Argyle midfielder Luke Young experienced a whole range of emotions in Saturday’s Devon Expressway Derby. Luke came off the substitutes’ bench to fire the Pilgrims level at league 2 rivals Exeter City with a superbly taken 69th-minute free-kick. The goal, and the impact that he and fellow sub Reuben Reid had on the match, briefly promised to put Argyle on the road to victory. However, several splendid saves by City goalkeeper Artur Krysiak thwarted the Pilgrims before ex-Argyle midfielder Alan Gow put the home team ahead with eight minutes to play and Scot Bennett rubbed salt in the wounds with an injury-time third. “You always dream about it,” said Luke, “Before the game even came up, I was thinking how nice it would be to score in front of the Argyle fans at Exeter. It was a massive feeling and to make it 1-1, as well, was even better. But it’s no consolation, because we got beaten again. When the free-kick came up, it was a chance to hit the target and make something out of the game. When I saw it in the back of the net, it was a massive boost for me and for the team. Once the goal went in, we were pushing for the win. There were a couple of chances where their ’keeper has pulled off a couple of saves. If those two go in, the game is ours to win; when they get saved, you kind of think ‘Is it going to be our day? Are we going to get the next goal?’ Maybe we should have tried to grind it out and take a point at the end of the day, but I think it shows in the dressing-room that we want to win games. When you go 1-1 in games likes this, sometimes you can sit back, but we wanted to go for the win and we created a couple of chances and if those go in, we win the game. I thought we played well. We ground it out when times were tough and passed the ball around, got the ball up to the front men, and when that goal came, it gave us a massive boost and that showed in our performance for about ten minutes after the goal went in. We were trying to go for the win.” A win is something Argyle have not experienced for four games now, but Luke is convinced the tide will soon turn. He said: “Obviously we’re disappointed we’ve not got the results because I think the performances are there. I think everybody knows that and everybody’s been saying that. It’s just a matter of everybody sticking together, grinding things out and, before you know it, we’ll win three or four on the bounce and we’ll climb back up that table to where we should be.”

5th

Exeter City emerged as victors in the first Devon derby of the season with a 3-1 win over Argyle. After a goalless first half, Arron Davies broke the deadlock 11 minutes after the break, but Luke Young restored parity by firing in a superb free kick to level the scores. Former Pilgrim Alan Gow netted with seven minutes remaining to put City back in front before the Scot Bennett wrapped up the points with a breakaway third in the last minute of stoppage time. Argyle: McCormick, Nelson, Wotton, Reckord, Alessandra (Harvey), Hourihane, Bencherif (Young), Boco, Hayes (Reid), Morgan. Substitutes (not used): Coles, Berry, Blanchard, Trotman.

John Sheridan believes that “ten minutes of madness” cost Plymouth Argyle the first Devon Derby of the season against Exeter City. Sheridan declared himself pleased by his team’s performance up until Gow’s goal, and expressed his frustration with how Argyle closed out the game. “The result is very hard to take,” he said. “I thought we played well. We were well in the game, throughout the game. They get the first goal, we equalise with a great goal from Youngy, and I’m thinking we’re the team that’s going on to win it. We looked very confident; we were passing it; and we were causing them problems. Then we just shoot ourselves in the foot. For the last five or ten minutes, we were all over the place. It was self-destruction, because it’s not a 3-1 game. I was very disappointed with the last ten minutes. Ten minutes of madness. The decisions we made on the pitch were very poor. At 2-1 and with time to go, you still keep your shape and your discipline –there’s always a chance you might get an opportunity. For 80 minutes, I thought we put in a really good performance, but at the end of the day we’ve lost again and that’s all I look at. The second goal came out of the blue. It’s a clearance from us, kicking it against our own player, which we did it a few times. It’s fell nicely and the lad’s put it in the top corner. That hit us hard. Then they could have scored four or five, the way we finished.” After an uneventful first half, Exeter started the second half the brighter and nudged in front, but Sheridan’s response – to bring on Reuben Reid and Young – was telling. Of Young, Sherdian said: “He came on and he passed the ball. I thought Reuben made a difference when he came on, too. Even before the subs came on, I thought we were in the game. There was nothing between the teams. I was comfortable. We’ve had some really good possession of the ball but we just spoil it by picking the wrong option. A simple thing like a cross will go straight into the keeper’s hands and they counter attack and we end up deep in our half. We do silly things at the wrong time.”

4th

Argyle have signed Brentford striker Paul Hayes on a one month loan as part of John Sheridan's bid to improve goalscoring options at Argyle who have not scored in nearly 300 minutes. 30 year old Hayes has had two spells at Scunthorpe and has a strike ratio of almost one goal in three games throughout his career. Hayes will be eligible to play in the Devon Derby at Exeter tomorrow and is eligible to play in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Hayes said on his move to Home Park: “It’s a fantastic week for the club and myself. To jump in a derby game is massive for everyone involved with the club and I can’t wait. I’m just looking forward to getting my head down, working hard for the team, and doing well for myself and the club. “Obviously, goals win you games. I’ve read somewhere that we haven’t scored for the last three games and that is probably disappointing for everyone involved in the team. It’s just one of those situations when a team goes on a barren run of not scoring goals. To get out of the league you have got to score goals and I am sure that, if we can go on a run of scoring goals and winning games, the confidence comes back and you can be free-flowing and start to enjoy yourself again.”

Paul Wotton has spoken of the importance of the derby game against Exeter tomorrow- Wotton, now 36, is one of only three Plymouth-born players likely to be in contention for a place in the side tomorrow. He said that strength of character and the quality of communication in a game of such passionate atmosphere was of the imperative: It’s going to be hostile. I wouldn’t say it’s an intimidating place to go, but you have got to embrace the atmosphere. It’s going to be loud at certain stages, so I suppose having a big mouth will help. Because I’m from Plymouth, people think it means more to me than to the other players, but we’re all professional footballers and they are all fully aware of what it means to the club and the fans. And the city, as well. I’m sure it’s the biggest game of the season to lots of people. They are great occasions and it’s the one the fans look for straight away. So we’re under no illusions that they are expecting us to go there and put on a good performance." Wotton has recently been praised by John Sheridan for his vocal qualities so Argyle fans will be hoping his leadership rubs off on the rest of the players in tomorrow's game.

Additionally, it has been confirmed that all tickets have sold out for tomorrow's game and no tickets will be available to purchase on the day.

Finally, Argyle have received well wishes from former loanee Jason Banton who is currently at MK Dons and scored the only goal in our crucial 1-0 victory over Exeter last Easter Saturday at Home Park. Banton spoke fondly of his first derby day experience and is of the opinion that Argyle can use this game as a springboard to turn their season around, saying: "I'd heard that all derbies create a different atmosphere from regular league games and now I believe it. Although, I'd been involved with Palace in south London derbies against Charlton and Millwall, I was just part of the squad and didn't get to play. Against Exeter, although we (Argyle) were facing them with a couple of good results to our name, I think Exeter were third or fourth in the league at the time and probably favourites. But once you walk out from the tunnel on to the pitch and hear the noise of both sets of supporters, then you realise just how much it means to fans. The Green Army, who were fantastic for the players last year, definitely lifted us and created a brilliant atmosphere. I know it's something I'll never forget in a hurry and although Saturday's game is at St James' Park, I still believe it will be a great leveler. So, I don't read too much into Argyle's and Exeter's recent form because it's early in the season yet. I'm hoping that Argyle can kick-start their season against Exeter and go on from there to turn their fortunes around. "For the fans, winning a local derby can help wipe the slate clean and as a player, you can take confidence. After all, on the day, it is still 11 versus 11 and if you want it badly enough, as we did last season, then you've got as good a chance as any. I speak to Gary Owers and Reuben Reid fairly regularly and Argyle's is one of the results I check for on match-days."

2nd

Argyle supporter Sue Pollard will receive a special award from Prince William at The Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations at Buckingham Palace next week. Sue, who was crowned the Football League's Fan of the Year for 2011/12, is one of 150 volunteers who will be presented with medals at the FA Grassroots Heroes reception on Monday. The event is being hosted by The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the FA.

1st

Argyle have progressed to the next round of the Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup after a 3-0 away win against Bideford. Transfer listed Nick Chadwick played his first game of any kind for the club since the end of last season whilst Tyler Harvey scored twice and River Allen once to ensure Argyle progress to the quarter finals of the competition they won last season. Argyle: Cole, Bencherif, Blanchard, Richards, Vassell, Blackman, Allen, Young, Gurrieri, Chadwick, Harvey. Subs: Purrington, Lane, Wheatley, Hutchinson, Hannah.

Diary Archive:


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