Play-off push is still aim for Plymouth Argyle boss
MANAGER John Sheridan is trying to convince his Plymouth Argyle players they can challenge for a League Two play-off place this season.
Sheridan had been optimistic about the Pilgrims' prospects before the start of the campaign.
However, the Pilgrims lost their first two league games – 1-0 away to Southend United and 2-0 against Fleetwood Town at Home Park.
Sheridan admitted he had been 'shocked' by Argyle's poor performances in those fixtures.
However, they put in a much-improved display as they beat Cheltenham Town 3-1 at Whaddon Road on Saturday.
The visitors led 3-0 by half-time after goals from Marvin Morgan, captain Conor Hourihane and Rommy Boco.
Matt Richards replied for Cheltenham with a 72nd minute free-kick but it was only a consolation for them.
Sheridan said: "Obviously, getting three goals is always a good cushion for you to take into the second half, but I thought it was a very good all-round team performance.
"We want to do well. I don't want to be talking about relegation. I want to be talking about play-offs and getting out of the league.
"That's the way I feel and if it puts pressure on me, so be it.
"I think we are a club who can get out of this league in my first full season. I have got to get that in the players.
"If we turn up and perform, like we have done Saturday, the fans will support us non-stop.
"When you perform like we did at Southend and against Fleetwood you have got to take it on the chin and accept it's not good enough.
"We have worked hard on our team shape all week and, luckily, we took it into the game."
Argyle moved up from 23rd to 17th position in League Two after their convincing victory over Cheltenham.
Sheridan added: "I won't change whether we win or lose. I'm going to stick to my beliefs.
"Even when we are 3-0 up, I'm looking for things we can do better. That's the way I am.
"I could take my foot off the pedal and think, '3-0, we have won the game' but I'm not like that. We aren't a good enough team to think like that.
"I have got to keep the players on their toes, but it was a good performance and gives us a bit of a lift."
Sheridan thought one of the keys to Argyle's success was the effectiveness of the strike partnership of Morgan and Reuben Reid.
Morgan put the Pilgrims into the lead in the 17th minute with his first goal since signing as a free agent from Shrewsbury Town in the summer.
Sheridan said: "I thought for an hour those two (Morgan and Reid) played really well. I told them I like my strikers playing as strikers.
"Everyone is playing with a striker up front and one in the hole, like Dennis Bergkamp used to do, but we are in League Two and we are not Arsenal.
"I want my strikers to play as strikers and I told them both to play high up the pitch and I think you could just see the difference in them.
"I thought Marvin was tremendous with his work-rate, as well as Reuben.
"Marvin got a goal and Rommy got a goal. He (Boco) was another player who I thought worked his socks off.
"It was a very good team performance," added the Pilgrims' boss.
"This is a tough place to come. They (Cheltenham) don't lose many games at home so I'm very pleased to get the three points."
Meanwhile, Argyle will play Cheltenham at Whaddon Road again next month.
The two clubs have been drawn against each other in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
The tie will be played in the week commencing September 2.