John Sheridan says Plymouth Argyle are in better shape
John Sheridan believes Plymouth Argyle are better off now than when he took over as manager of the npower League Two club almost five weeks ago.
Sheridan has brought six new signings to Home Park – four on loan and two free agents – since his appointment on January 6.
The relegation-threatened Pilgrims have played three matches since then, which have all been played at Home Park, and have picked up one win and two draws.
Sheridan admitted he had not been pleased with the team’s performances, but pointed to the fact that they have been unbeaten. Prior to his arrival, they had lost three successive matches.
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The Pilgrims’ boss also revealed he wanted to make one addition to his squad, most likely to be a midfielder.
As of yesterday, Football League clubs can make ‘emergency loan’ signings outside of the transfer window.
Sheridan has had to work hard to add so many new recruits to his squad in such a short period of time, especially considering Argyle’s limited finances and lowly position in the table.
He said: “I think it has improved us because we are unbeaten in three games. It is hard when you bring in so many new players. It’s not ideally what I would really like to do, but I think it’s something I had to do, to give everyone a lift.
“We’ve got a short period of time to try to get a few wins. I wish it was pre-season so we had six or seven weeks to work with them, because they are all new to each other.
“They all get on with each other and are a good group. Training has always been spot on. We are working very hard, but I would just like to take it into the games a little bit more.”
Sheridan started his tenure as Argyle manager with a 2-1 victory over Morecambe on January 12. They have drawn 0-0 in their last two games, against Accrington Stanley and then Dagenham and Redbridge last weekend.
Sheridan said: “I don’t think we have played well in any of the three games but we are unbeaten, so when we do play well I’m expecting we will get one or two wins.”
Argyle have been linked with having an interest in out-of-favour Swindon Town midfielder Lee Cox, and Sheridan has not denied that.
Clubs can include up to five loan signings in their match-day squads of 18 and the Pilgrims have four at the moment – Ronan Murray, Gozie Ugwu, Reuben Reid and Jason Banton. So there is scope for Sheridan to make one more addition.
When asked about the speculation linking Cox to Argyle, Sheridan said: “I think it’s important I bring someone in.
“There are plenty of players available and names will get thrown about. We will just bring someone in who hopefully will strengthen us as a team and as a squad.”
Cox, 22, spent the first five months of this season on loan to Oxford United, making 17 starts and two substitute appearances in all competitions. He signed for Swindon from Scottish Premier League club Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the end of January 2012.
Cox played seven times for the Robins last term, but was not given a squad number for this season.
Argyle’s fight for Football League survival continues tomorrow when they play 21st-placed Aldershot Town at the Recreation Ground.
The Pilgrims are one position and a point behind the Shots but have played one match fewer than them. So victory tomorrow would be a big boost for either team.
Argyle have the worst away record in League Two, picking up only 11 points from two wins and five draws in 14 games. However, only bottom-of-the-table Wimbledon have a poorer record at home than Aldershot, who have lost eight and won only three out of 14.
Sheridan said: “It’s my first away game and I’m hoping we go and be a bit more relaxed, and have the confidence to pass the ball around a little bit better. Hopefully, we will go and get an away win, which has been very rare.
“I’ve seen Aldershot a couple of times and they are a decent side,” Sheridan continued. “I think they’re in a false position because they’ve got some good players, but the table doesn’t lie. They’re down there for a reason.”