New manager impressed with positive attitude of Plymouth Argyle players in training
First impressions count and, so far, Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan has been pleased with what he has seen at his new club.
All of the Pilgrims' players are starting with a clean slate, whether they were in or out of the team under former boss Carl Fletcher, and Sheridan admitted some had already stood out.
Sheridan said: "Training-wise, I have been really pleased with the lads' attitude and the way they have gone about it.
"They have been nice and bright. I think there are one or two who are out to try to impress me, which is pleasing.
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"Obviously, the weather is a bit worse for wear but we have just got on with it. Training has gone really well. It's a different manager and different ideas. I have explained to the players that everyone has got a chance of playing."
Sheridan was appointed as Argyle manager last Sunday, but he had watched from the directors' box when the Pilgrims lost 4-0 away to title-chasing Port Vale the previous afternoon. He said: "I know most of the players.
"There are one or two younger players who haven't figured too much and I've got to try to get familiar with. That's why I've stood back. Gary [Owers] and Kevin [Nancekivell] have taken the training and I've been watching what the players can do."
One player who will not get a chance to make an early impression on Sheridan is striker Nick Chadwick. He will start a six-match suspension when Argyle take on Morecambe at Home Park today.
Chadwick was sent off for violent conduct against Port Vale, after elbowing home midfielder Ashley Vincent. That would usually have only resulted in a three-game ban.
However, the Football Association doubled the suspension to six because of an earlier identical offence which was not spotted by the match officials but was captured on camera.
Chadwick has apologised unreservedly for his actions and has also been disciplined by Argyle. It has not been revealed what action they have taken against Chadwick but the most any player can be fined by a club is two weeks' wages.
Chadwick will not be eligible to play for the Pilgrims until their away game against Northampton Town on February 23. Sheridan said: "There's not a lot you can do about it now. It's just something that has happened.
"Six games is a lot so, unfortunately, he's not going to figure. I have got to concentrate on and worry about the players who can be picked.
"It's a shame for Nick but I think he realises it was his own doing, and he's paying the price for his stupidity."
Sheridan is determined to make sure Argyle cut out the red cards they have been picking up. The Pilgrims did not have anyone sent off in their first 18 competitive matches this season, but they have had five players dismissed in their past 14 games.
Sheridan admitted he was alarmed by Argyle's disciplinary problems. He said: "That is a big concern and it won't be something I stand for.
"We need players on the pitch. It's not good enough. Until I looked at it [the red card record], I didn't realise it was as bad it was.
"We need every player available, especially where we are now in the league. It has got to be sorted out."
Among the many decisions Sheridan will have to make is who will be Argyle's full-time captain after the departure of centre-back Darren Purse to Port Vale. Midfielder Conor Hourihane, 21, has been the stand-in skipper for the last two matches.
Sheridan said: "I know young Conor was captain on Saturday. I will speak to Kevin [Nancekivell] but on my first impressions I would like a few more leaders and more vocal people on the pitch to help the younger players we have got. It's a decision I will have to make."