John Sheridan keen for referee to 'let things go' in derby
Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan believes top Premier League referee Andre Marriner will have an important part to play in the Devon derby at St James' Park tomorrow.
Marriner will take charge as the Pilgrims meet Exeter for the 61st time in the Football League.
Matches between the two arch-rivals are always hard fought and sometimes feisty affairs because local pride is at stake and it means so much to both sets of supporters.
Sheridan is hoping Marriner takes all that into account with the way he officiates the game.
NEW IN : for those cold winter nights highland check dog and cat beds in stock, fleecy and washable ideal for those nights snuggling by the fire...... available in 3 colourways
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Saturday, January 25 2014
Marriner has plenty of experience of refereeing high-profile local derbies, such as Liverpool's 1-0 home win against Manchester United at Anfield in September.
He also took charge when Chelsea beat west London rivals Fulham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago.
Marriner was the referee for a World Cup qualifier between Iceland and Albania last month, as well as for a Europa League tie involving Eintracht Frankfurt and Bordeaux. So a League Two derby should not be any problem for the West Midlands official, who was appointed to the Football League list in 2003.
Marriner was promoted to the select group – who take charge of Premier League fixtures – two years later. Sheridan said: "I hope he understands it's a derby and there will be one or two tackles.
"Everyone will be very enthusiastic on the pitch so, hopefully, he will take that into account.
"Derby games are usually frantic and you see tackles, but it's important the referee keeps his head and understands what's going on in and around him, and sometimes just lets things go by – for both sides."
Marriner received the highest accolade a referee can get in this country when he was appointed for the FA Cup final in May, when Wigan Athletic upset Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley.
Argyle have a near fully-fit squad for the trip to St James' Park, with the one exception being long-term knee injury victim Matt Lecointe.
Right-back Durrell Berry has recovered from the illness which forced him to sit out the 0-0 draw with Accrington Stanley last Saturday.
Argyle have not scored in any of their last three games in League Two, and have only netted six goals all season. So the clamour from the fans for 18-year-old striker Tyler Harvey to make his first start of the campaign, and just the third of his career, is increasing all the time.
Harvey was on target again for Argyle's reserves when they won 3-0 away to Bideford in the Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup second round on Tuesday night.