Consistency is the key for Plymouth Argyle in fight for survival, says manager John Sheridan
MANAGER John Sheridan says consistency is the key to the prospects of Plymouth Argyle staying up this season.
Sheridan also believes six clubs are battling to avoid the two relegation slots from the Football League.
Only one point covers 19th-placed York City and bottom-of-the-table Accrington Stanley, with Torquay United, Argyle, Barnet and Aldershot Town between them.
Argyle take on Paul Sturrock's Southend United at Roots Hall tonight (7.45pm) hoping to build on their 2-1 home win against Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
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Southend are in eighth position in League Two, with six points separating them for a play-off spot, so both teams will be desperate for a victory.
Sheridan said: "We are down where we are for a reason. It's important I try to get a winning mentality into the players' heads and they believe we are a good team.
"We are not a bad side on our day. We can beat any team in this division but it's that magic word 'consistency'.
"You have got to be consistent as an individual and as a team. If we can get that, we will be okay."
Sheridan has a record of four wins, four draws and three defeats in 11 matches as Argyle manager, after taking over from Carl Fletcher in January.
The games they have lost have been at home to Oxford United (1-0), and away to Northampton Town (1-0) and Gillingham (2-1).
Sheridan said: "Since I have been here I don't think any team has battered us in any way. We have been in most games.
"We haven't lost a game by more than one goal and usually when we take the lead we go on and win.
"I'm pleased with the players' attitude. The work ethic is there and they are starting to understand how I want us to try to play, and what I expect of them, because they know I will be on their case if they don't."
Only Aldershot and York are not in action tonight out of the bottom six clubs in League Two.
Accrington host AFC Wimbledon, Barnet entertain Fleetwood and Torquay take on visiting Chesterfield.
After this evening, all of the relegation-threatened teams will have only seven games remaining this season.
Sheridan said: "It's very tight. We are all fighting and want to stay in this division so it's going to be really tough.
"We have just got to concentrate on ourselves – no-one else. When you look at the table, you would think it will be two out of the bottom six.
"Someone would have to go on a really bad run and probably lose six out of their next seven if they are going to get involved in it."
Southend will play at Wembley for the first time in their history on April 7, when they face Crewe Alexandra in the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
But their recent form in League Two, especially at home, has seen them fall off the pace for a play-off place.
The Blues have lost three of their last five games at Roots Hall and drawn the other two.
Despite this, Sheridan expects Sturrock, who had spells as Argyle manager from 2000 to 2004 and 2007 to 2009, to have Southend fired up for tonight.
Sheridan said: "I know Paul. I have got a lot of respect for him. He's a very experienced manager.
"I get on well with him when I see him. He knows the game inside out.
"I know he will be up for it and he will want to get his team back to winning ways against his old club.
"He did a brilliant job here (at Argyle). I will have a chat and a drink with him after the game."
Sheridan added: "It will be a tough game. They have got some good players for this division.
"They are strong and if you let them dictate the game and let them play how they want to they can cause you problems, but we are playing okay ourselves."
There will be a live updates and a report, shortly after the final whistle, on Argyle's game against Southend on The Herald website, thisisplymouth.co.uk.