Manager John Sheridan has renewed hope for Plymouth Argyle
MANAGER John Sheridan has renewed hope Plymouth Argyle can escape relegation from the Football League..
Sheridan (pictured below) took encouragement from the Pilgrims' performance in their 0-0 draw with Bradford City at Home Park on Tuesday night.
Argyle had a chance in the closing seconds to snatch three precious points against the Capital One Cup runners-up.
However, neither Nick Chadwick nor Tyler Harvey could scramble the ball into the net from almost on the goal-line.
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The result moved the Pilgrims off the bottom of the table, above Accrington Stanley on goal difference.
Sheridan said: "I think it was a good battling point. I can't fault the effort from the players. They worked their socks off.
"Bradford have got some good players for this division. They have just come from a cup final.
"We knew it would be a tough game and we just didn't get that little break. The one at the end, with the last kick of the game, was unbelievable.
"They had one or two chances and we had one or two chances.
"I can't fault their effort and if they keep doing that I think we will win more games than we lose.
"I don't think we played great, but it was a good, workmanlike effort against a decent side."
Sheridan gave a debut in the starting line-up to midfielder Joe Bryan, who signed on loan until the end of the season from Bristol City earlier on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old did not have the chance to train with his new team-mates before the game.
Sheridan said: "It was hard for him but I thought I would just throw him in. He looked balanced and didn't do a lot wrong.
"Hopefully, by Saturday, when he has trained with the lads and gets to know them, Joe will be a good addition."
Bryan played on the left of midfield in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with the in-form Jason Banton moving inside into a central attacking position.
Banton almost made it five goals in eight games for the Pilgrims with a 51st minute shot which crashed against a post.
The loan signing from Crystal Palace was always an attacking threat, but Sheridan was not totally satisfied with him.
Sheridan said: "He frustrates me at times because he gives it (the ball) away cheaply.
"I think he did that on Tuesday night, but then he does a bit of magic and, again, he's the one who nearly scores. It was a great strike and it hits the post.
"He's the one who has been scoring our goals so I thought I might as well throw him higher up the pitch."
Sheridan continued: "Joe has been a regular for the under-21s at Bristol City and has played 13 times in the Championship.
"He just gives us that balance and it enables me to push Jason up a little bit. It gives me more options.
"Myself and (Argyle coach) Gary Owers went to watch Joe and one or two others at Bristol City only a couple of weeks ago, so we knew of his availability.
"He has got something about him and (Bristol City manager) Sean O'Driscoll has allowed him to come and play games. I think he will add to what we have got."
Argyle have now failed to score in four of their last five games at Home Park, with the exception being a 2-1 victory over Barnet on March 2.
Sheridan was disappointed the Pilgrims did not build on a promising start against Bradford.
He said: "I thought we started the game well. We moved the ball and kept it, and we got in good areas.
"Then, all of a sudden, we got sloppy and stopped doing the good things that were causing the opposition problems. I think that's our biggest downfall at the moment.
"The other results on Tuesday didn't go too bad for us. We didn't lose any ground, but we were at home and we didn't score again.
"We are working our socks off and it would have been great to get that goal at the end. It would have given everyone a massive lift.
"How it stayed out I will never know, but that's what happens to you when you are near the bottom of the league.
"We have just got to keep battling. We don't know what points total is going to keep us up.
"At the end of the day, if we stay in the League that's all we are worried about," added the Pilgrims' boss.