Hamza Bencherif keen to get going with Plymouth Argyle
Plymouth Argyle midfielder Hamza Bencherif wants to make up for lost time after his belated start to the season.
Bencherif is also excited about the possibility of making his Home Park debut when the Pilgrims play Bristol Rovers in League Two tomorrow (3pm).
He was released by Notts County this summer and had been a free agent until he signed a four-month contract with Argyle on Monday after a successful trial.
The 25-year-old then made an impressive, goalscoring first appearance in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy first-round tie at Cheltenham Town the following night.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Bencherif, who had short spells with Chesterfield and Mansfield Town in pre-season, is now trying to catch up with the fitness levels of his new team-mates.
He said: "Obviously, I'm behind all the lads but I'm going to put a shift in and battle for every single minute I can get.
"My target is to help the club and help the players. Whatever my job is on Saturday, I will do it with 100 per cent commitment.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the fans. I have had loads of support since I got here. Hopefully, they will get behind the team."
Bencherif had not previously been to Home Park, or Plymouth, and has been impressed by the set-up at the club, the city and the people he has met.
He said: "The people where I'm staying are looking after me really well. There is nothing to complain about. Everyone is very well-mannered and polite.
"I have got to work hard for the next four months, and even if I do really well and stay here longer that has to keep going. I will do my best and help the club as much as I can and, hopefully, we will get on well and come January we will all be happy."
Argyle have had a mixed start to the League Two campaign, with two victories and three defeats leaving them in 15th position. That is one point and four places below Bristol Rovers.
Bencherif said: "It doesn't matter who we play against or wherever we are playing, we just need to win games. We need to get as many points as we can and keep up with the top ten so we are not too much behind at Christmas time."
Bencherif started the JPT tie against Cheltenham as the partner to Conor Hourihane in the centre of midfield. The pair combined in the 57th minute when Hourihane's perfectly-flighted free-kick was headed home by Bencherif.
That goal put Argyle 3-1 up, and although Cheltenham battled back to draw 3-3, the visitors came out on top 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out.
"It was good to score on my debut," said Bencherif, who started his career at Nottingham Forest without making a first-team appearance.
"I had a friendly game last week [for Argyle against Bristol City] and I miscued quite a few headers, so I saved it for Tuesday. I was happy with that.
"It was a great ball from Conor and I found myself in the box with plenty of time, which made it easy for me."
Bencherif scored 16 goals in 60 games during a spell at Macclesfield Town from 2009 to 2011 and at 6ft 3in provides a powerful aerial threat.
He said: "My job is just to get in the right position and manage to hit the target. I'm going to work on that and try to get as many goals as I can."
Bencherif is determined to make the most of the opportunity which has been given to him by Sheridan.
He said: "The size of the club and the surroundings is unbelievable for a team in League Two. I think if you are on board with that you can't complain. It's a perfect place to be.
"When I was at Forest I remember them playing against Plymouth in the Championship. That's what the target is – to get back there as quick as possible."
Bencherif is one of ten new signings made by Sheridan since the end of last season.
"He's a passionate manager and what he has asked me to do and the way he sees things are similar to me," said the midfielder. "I'm really happy to play for him and I'm going to give it my all. Hopefully, he is going to be able to bring the best out of me.
"With a few training sessions, I can see the improvement in my fitness already.
"I just need to focus on being professional, recovering really well and playing as many minutes as possible."