Nick Chadwick rues suspension as he awaits chance to impress Sheridan
Plymouth Argyle striker Nick Chadwick has admitted he cannot remember a harder time in his career than having to miss out on the Pilgrims' four-match unbeaten run.
Chadwick said it has been "doubly frustrating" that his six-game suspension has coincided with Argyle's recent renaissance under manager John Sheridan.
The centre-forward was handed his ban after being sent off for violent conduct at Port Vale last month. The 30-year-old was dismissed by referee Scott Mathieson after fourth official Matthew Bristow passed on the message that Chadwick had elbowed Vale's Ashley Vincent.
Chadwick was awarded a three-match ban for the 34th-minute offence at Vale Park. The Football Association then suspended him for a further three games retrospectively, for a similar off-the-ball incident between the same two players at the start of the match on Saturday, January 5.
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To make matters worse for Chadwick, Sheridan was watching his new team from the stands at Vale Park. The encounter was also the last time that the Pilgrims suffered defeat in npower League Two, as Sheridan's reign at Home Park has comprised two wins and two draws so far.
Chadwick misses Argyle's next two League Two fixtures, at home to Oxford United on Saturday and away to Northampton Town the following weekend. He will be available again for the fixture at fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon on February 28.
Chadwick said: "I can honestly say this has been the most desperately frustrating time that I can remember in my career. Outside of a long-term injury, this has been easily the worst period for me, personally, and not only because the club are doing well and I'm not playing my part in it.
"It wasn't the best example to set to the new gaffer who was watching the game, but it's me who has paid the price.
"After all, he [Sheridan] has brought in one or two forwards but hasn't seen me play. I've got to show in training how keen I am to win my place back. But there's nothing I can do about it, I can't turn back the clock much as I'd like to.
"I've got to take it on the chin and just work my socks off to be as fit as possible. I've got two more games to sit through and believe me it's not easy when you're fit and keen to be a part of helping Argyle keep moving upwards.
"You don't spend as long as I have at Argyle without having a genuine affection for the club. So, yes, it's going to be a challenge. But I will be so relieved when I'm free of this suspension."
Chadwick is in his second spell with Argyle, whom he rejoined in November 2011 after first signing for them seven years ago this month from Everton.
He scored ten goals in 77 Championship appearances for the Pilgrims between 2005 and 2008. After leaving Home Park for the first time, he turned out for Hereford United, Shrewsbury Town, Chester, Barrow and Stockport County before making his way back to Devon late last year.
Oxford, Argyle's opponents at Home Park on Saturday, were in midweek action. They lost 2-1 at home to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday – a result which extended their run of games without a victory to five matches.
"Possibly, that was the most disappointing performance of the last three or four games," manager Chris Wilder told the Oxford Mail. "Maybe one or two players need to come out of the side, but you look round and these are our better players. All of a sudden, after two or three poor results, a few of them are struggling.
"They've got to find it themselves, and I've got to try and help them do that."