Hourihane is happy to add goal prowess to Pilgrims' repertoire
Plymouth Argyle midfielder Conor Hourihane is starting to reap the rewards from a more attack-minded approach to his football.
Hourihane has scored two goals in the last three games, including the opener in the Pilgrims' much-needed 2-1 npower League Two victory over Morecambe at Home Park last Saturday.
That has taken his tally for the season to four, which is double what he achieved for the whole of last term. The 21-year-old has been focused on trying to get into more goalscoring positions for some time, and new manager John Sheridan will encourage him to continue to do so.
The Irishman was also on target in the 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers on January 1. Hourihane said: "I think, in the last five or six games, I'm getting forward more. If you can add goals to your game, it's a big plus so, hopefully, I can get a few more."
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He also admitted that he surprised himself when he scored with his right foot against Morecambe, whose midfielder Gary McDonald failed to control the ball and was punished by Hourihane, who fired a shot past goalkeeper Barry Roche from 18 yards.
The left-footed Hourihane said: "I don't really care how they go in, but it was nice to get one with the right foot. It was a good strike. When I looked up, I was a bit surprised myself to see it go in, but if you don't buy a lottery ticket you don't win. I took a shot and it went in, so I was pleased with that."
Argyle included two new signings in their starting line-up against Morecambe – on-loan Ipswich Town striker Ronan Murray and centre-back Guy Branston.
Hourihane has previously played in the same side as Murray for the Republic of Ireland at various age group levels, up to Under-21. They were also team-mates for Ipswich reserves before Hourihane moved to Argyle in the summer of 2011.
Hourihane said: "Ronan did very well on Saturday. I have known him since I was about 14. He's a good player and will score goals. He was unlucky when he hit the post [near the end of the game against Morecambe]. He will be a good addition and Guy is obviously experienced. He has been around the block and will be a voice in the dressing room."
The victory over Morecambe came in Sheridan's first match as Argyle manager, and ended a sequence of three successive defeats. A run of six games without a win had seen the Pilgrims slide into the League Two drop zone.
Hourihane said: "The gaffer [Sheridan] told us during the week what he wanted us to do and we were all delighted with the result on Saturday. All we can do is keep getting points on the board. Hopefully, that will be enough.
"Hopefully, we can get that winning mentality into the dressing room. I'm sure he [Sheridan] will bring that. He knows what he's on about. He has played at the highest level and, with me being a midfielder, like he was, I'm sure he will show me one or two things."