McCarthy gives Lecointe words of wisdom at start of road to recovery
Plymouth Argyle striker Matt Lecointe will have to work harder than he has done ever before to recover from a serious knee injury.
That is the message which has been given to the 18-year-old by the Pilgrims’ first-team coach, Sean McCarthy.
Lecointe had a cruciate knee ligament operation on Tuesday and faces a lengthy recovery period. The former England under-18 international was hurt when he collided with former Argyle goalkeeper Ollie Chenoweth in a pre-season fixture at Truro City last month.
McCarthy said: “I wasn’t at the Truro game but I have seen it on DVD and it’s just such a shame for Matt. He had done all his pre-season and is ready to go, and then this happens.
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“Mentally, he’s going to have to be very strong. I’ve had a chat with him and he’s going to have to work like he has never worked before to build up his knee even stronger and try to get back in the team.
“We are all thinking of him and it’s going to be a difficult whatever it is – I don’t like to put a time limit on it because I’m not a physiotherapist or a doctor. But I’m sure he will have all the support from the lads and, hopefully, he can get back as quick as he can.”
As for the team’s current state of footballing health, McCarthy was in optimistic mood ahead of Argyle’s away game at Morecambe on Saturday.
The Pilgrims are coming off back-to-back wins against Cheltenham Town and Rochdale, which has seen them move up to ninth position in League Two. Morecambe clinched their first victory of the campaign when they beat Exeter City 2-0 at the Globe Arena last Saturday.
McCarthy said: “As the manager [John Sheridan] says, we don’t go into games to make the numbers up. We go there to try to win. I think we are a better side attacking teams than defending. If we can get the ball into the strikers’ feet high up the pitch, which the manager is trying to get us to do, then I think we will cause Morecambe problems.
“It’s a long trip up there but that’s all part and parcel of the game. We will prepare ourselves properly and will be looking to get three points.”
Argyle are in fact making a deliberate attempt to play higher up the pitch, McCarthy has explained. Sheridan wants to see the Pilgrims get the ball up to strikers Marvin Morgan and Reuben Reid as much as possible in matches.
The response from the players has been good and McCarthy said: “The gaffer has been on the training pitch telling the players to get the ball up to the strikers and then play as high up the pitch as possible and they have taken it on board.
“It has been fantastic. He [Sheridan] is a hard task-master but I think it’s good for our players. We’ve got a lot of young players and they have got to learn quickly.”
McCarthy did not believe Argyle’s up-and-at-them attacking strategy could be described as a “long-ball” game, though. He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s long-ball, no.
“I think there are times when you can play and there are times to get it into strikers’ feet and get the midfield players working off them.
“If full-backs have got nothing on, or certainly centre-halves, they can drop it into the forwards and play high up the pitch. That’s where we have got our success in the Cheltenham game and the first half against Rochdale.”
The outcome of those two matches pleased Sheridan and McCarthy, who said: “Six points out of four games is not a bad start. There was a little bit of doom and gloom after the first two league games but it can change quickly.”