John Sheridan vows to steer Plymouth Argyle away from relegation
NEW MANAGER John Sheridan is confident he can lead relegation-threatened Plymouth Argyle to Football League safety.
Official confirmation of the appointment of the 48-year-old finally came from the club shortly before 6pm last night.
There were no details announced of the length of contract which Sheridan will have with the Pilgrims.
Herald Sport understands it will be to the end of the season, with a longer-term deal on offer should he lead Argyle away from the threat of relegation.
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Sheridan is set to be unveiled by the Pilgrims at a Press conference tomorrow.
A request from Herald Sport to talk to the new manager before that time was declined, but Argyle’s communications department did supply some comments from him.
Sheridan replaces Carl Fletcher, who was sacked by Argyle after a 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers on January 1.
Fletcher’s backroom staff of Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell will work with Sheridan, at least for the short term.
Herald Sport revealed on Friday that Sheridan was on Argyle’s shortlist for the managerial vacancy.
Prior to that, the former Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield boss had been regarded as a long-shot outsider for the role.
Sheridan impressed when he was interviewed by Argyle officials, including James Brent, the club’s owner and chairman, on Friday.
They wasted no time in making an offer to Sheridan, who came recommended by former Pilgrims’ boss Neil Warnock.
Sheridan told Argyle’s communications department: “I am very privileged to get this opportunity to manage the club.
“Everyone I have talked to says what a good club it is and what potential there is.
“I am very confident I can get us out of the position we are in if everyone – the players and fans – works together.
“I remember the support from the fans when I played down here with Leeds and Oldham, and that was one of the things that attracted me.
“From my time at Oldham and Chesterfield, I think I know what’s required from the players and what we need to do to succeed.”
Argyle dropped into the League Two relegation zone after a 4-0 defeat away to title-chasing Port Vale on Saturday.
Brent attended the game, along with director Peter Jones and general manager Jason Turner.
Sheridan sat in the directors’ box, next to former Pilgrims’ captain Darren Purse, who will complete a move to Vale today.
He then met the Pilgrims’ players in the away dressing room after the final whistle.
That was presumably why a request from Herald Sport to talk to Paul Wotton about his first starting appearance in more than three months was refused.
Sheridan travelled from his home in the Manchester area to see the match at Vale Park.
He was on a shortlist for Argyle’s managerial vacancy which included Bury boss Kevin Blackwell and Keith Hill.
However, it is thought Hill was not eventually considered for the position because he has yet to reach a contract settlement with Barnsley after his recent dismissal by them.
Sheridan’s first match as Argyle manager will be against 19th-placed Morecambe at Home Park on Saturday.
Some new signings are expected before then as Sheridan tries to make an immediate mark.
Brent told the club’s communications department: “I am delighted to welcome John to Home Park.
“Following a distinguished playing career, John has a proven record of leading clubs to success in League One and Two.
“John impressed the interviewing panel with his commitment to excellence and approach to moving the club up the league table.
“He expressed an enthusiasm for attacking football and was confident in his analysis of what we need to do to succeed.
“John noted his own experience of playing against Argyle at Home Park and the advantage that the Green Army’s passion gave to the home side.
“The Green Army has had a tough few years and deserves better. Let’s all get behind John and the team and make Home Park a fortress once more.”
Sheridan was relieved of his duties as Chesterfield manager on August 28 after they failed to win any of their first four competitive matches of the season.
He was initially placed on ‘gardening leave’ before resigning with effect from September 18.
Sheridan was appointed by Chesterfield in June 2009 and they finished eighth in League Two in his first season at the helm.
The Derbyshire club were crowned champions in 2010/11 but were relegated from League One last term after finishing in 22nd position.
Sheridan did lead Chesterfield to the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, however, and they beat Swindon Town 2-0 in the final at Wembley.
The Spireites started this season as one of the favourites for the League Two title.
Defeat at AFC Wimbledon was followed by home draws with Rochdale and Rotherham United and Sheridan’s tenure as manager came to an end.
He had previously been boss of Oldham from June 2006 to March 2009.
Sheridan, a former Oldham player, took the Latics to the League One play-off semi-finals in 2006/07, when they lost to Blackpool 5-2 on aggregate.
Argyle will play Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium on Saturday, March 23.