Sheridan acknowledges displays must improve if Argyle are to survive
John Sheridan has been satisfied with his start as Plymouth Argyle manager, but admitted his team must play better to escape the threat of relegation from the Football League.
The visit of Dagenham and Redbridge to Home Park today will be Sheridan's third match in charge. So far, Argyle have picked four points out of a possible six, leaving them in 22nd position, outside the npower League Two drop zone on goal difference.
Sheridan's first game ended in a 2-1 win against Morecambe at Home Park on January 12, when the Pilgrims took a two-goal lead inside 11 minutes. Then, after the postponement of an away game at Southend United, Argyle were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Accrington Stanley last Saturday.
The Pilgrims were particularly poor in that fixture, although Sheridan pointed out they did create some clear-cut chances in the second half.
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Sheridan said: "I would have liked to won both games, but I'm new to the players and the players to me. Under the circumstances we are in, I think four points is not a bad outcome.
"Obviously, performance-wise, I would like to play a lot better than we have. There are lots of things I would like to improve and we are trying to do that on the training ground.
"I think you can see the nervousness of the players.We got off to a good start in the first game and that gives you a chance of winning, which we went on to do.
"For us as the home team, we are conceding too many corners and people are creating too many chances, especially in the Morecambe game, but the plus side is we defended them very well.
"Performance-wise, I would like us to be more dominant when we are at home, and that's what we are going to try to do.
"Hopefully, we can start that against Dagenham.
"It's about getting points at this moment in time.
"I have said before, I like my teams to go attacking and be confident. That's something I have got to try to instil in the players.
"When you are losing a lot of games and not playing with confidence, it doesn't matter who you are, unfortunately you do put pressure on yourself.
"I'm hoping if we can get a good result [today] it might just give the boys a lift.
"Seven points from nine would be a really good outcome in my eyes, so that's what we will be looking at."
Sheridan has a reputation as a hard taskmaster from his stints as manager of Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. But the 48-year-old does not believe now is the time to be critical of his players.
He said: "I wasn't happy with the way we played against Accrington but I have got to try to take the positives.
"Listen, if it was ten games into the season and we gave a performance like that, I would be straight on the players' case, but I don't think it's a time to give rollickings out.
"I have just got to try to give them a lift, so what I did is take the positives out of the game. Despite all the corners against us, we kept a clean-sheet.
"We know to win games we have got to improve attacking-wise and just have more belief than anything else."
Plymouth Argyle (from): Cole, Chenoweth; Berry, Branston, Charles, Nelson, Blanchard, Bhasera, Lowry, Hourihane, Wotton, Young, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Murray, Ugwu, Banton, Reid, Harvey, Lecointe, Vassell, Richards.
Doubtful: Ugwu (ankle).
Unavailable: Chadwick (suspended), Feeney (ankle), Gilmartin (hamstring).