John Sheridan demands more improvement from winning goalscorer Banton
Jason Banton has scored five goals in nine games for Plymouth Argyle – but manager John Sheridan still wants more from him.
The 21-year-old loanee from Crystal Palace is playing a key part for the Pilgrims as they fight against relegation. He grabbed what proved to be the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town at Home Park on Saturday.
He beat goalkeeper Scott Davies with a low 20-yard shot after taking the ball away from midfielder Paul McKenna. Sheridan said: "When Jason is in that final third he's a big threat, but I think I can get more out of him.
"He might think he's doing his job because he has scored five goals. I'm going to keep on his case because if he wants to be a good player he has got to be non-stop all game, and not give cheap balls away.
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"If he gets that into his game, he can play at a high level." Banton has now moved level with Paris Cowan-Hall and Conor Hourihane as Argyle's joint top scorer this season.
Sheridan continued: "He has got quick feet and I wouldn't like to play against him. He runs at you, but he has got to get things in his game which are going to make him a better player. It's not all about receiving the ball and then running at someone.
"It's about working hard to find space and playing one-touch and two-touch when you have to. It will make him a better player."
Banton's goal came in the 39th minute and sent Argyle into the interval with a 2-0 lead. Paul Wotton had opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after a foul on Hourihane.
The Pilgrims' captain was shoved by Fleetwood left-back Alan Goodall as he tried to get on the end of a cross. Banton and striker Reuben Reid both wanted to take the penalty but eventually it was Wotton who assumed the responsibility.
As he has done so often in the past for Argyle, Wotton hammered the spot-kick into the net.
It was his first goal since he scored in a 1-0 win against Shrewsbury Town at Home Park on March 17, 2012. It also took his career goal tally for the Pilgrims to 65 in his 469th appearance.
Sheridan said: "The most important thing was getting the three points. I thought we worked our socks off. The only disappointing thing, I would say, is when you are winning a game 2-0 we shouldn't have made it as hard as we did.
"We should be controlling the game when we are 2-0 up. This is something I have got to try to get into them. We shouldn't be hanging on at the end. I thought we were comfortable, leading 2-0 at half-time. It was a really solid performance in the first half and to get 2-0 up, just see the game out and do the basics.
"Decisions we make end up causing problems and you are conceding free-kicks and corners. Big Jon Parkin is a handful for them."
Argyle moved up two positions, outside of the relegation zone, to 21st after the vital victory over Fleetwood. However, the bottom five clubs are all on 40 points, while 19th placed York City are on 41.
Argyle continue their fight for survival with two away games this week, the first against Paul Sturrock's Southend United tomorrow. Sheridan will then take the Pilgrims to one of his former clubs, Chesterfield, on Saturday. He said: "It's going to be tight. We have got two tough away games now, but they are ones which I think we can go and get something from."