Plymouth Argyle's Conor Hourihane has more attack-minded approach
PLYMOUTH Argyle midfielder Conor Hourihane is starting to reap the rewards from a more attack-minded approach to his football.
Hourihane has scored two goals in the last three games, including the opener in the much-needed 2-1 victory over Morecambe at Home Park on Saturday.
That has taken his tally for the season to four, which is double what he achieved for the whole of last term.
The 21-year-old has been focused on trying to get into more goalscoring positions for some time and new Pilgrims boss John Sheridan will encourage him to continue to do so.
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Hourihane was also on target in the 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers on January 1, and saw another shot rebound off a post.
He told Herald Sport: "I think the last five or six games I'm getting forward more. If you can add goals to your game it's a big plus so, hopefully, I can get a few more."
Hourihane admitted he surprised himself when he scored with his weaker right-foot against Morecambe.
Visiting midfielder Gary McDonald miscontrolled the ball and he was punished by Hourihane, who fired a shot past 'keeper Barry Roche from 18 yards.
Hourihane said: "I don't really care how they go in, but it was nice to get one with the right foot.
"It was a good strike. When I looked up I was a bit surprised myself to see it go in but if you don't buy a lottery ticket you don't win.
"I took a shot and it went in, so I was pleased with that."
Argyle included two new signings in their starting line-up against Morecambe – on-loan Ipswich Town striker Ronan Murray (below) and centre-back Guy Branston.
Hourihane has previously played in the same side as Murray for the Republic of Ireland at various age group levels up to under-21.
They were also team-mates for Ipswich reserves before Hourihane moved to Argyle in the summer of 2011.
Hourihane said: "Ronan did very well on Saturday. I have known him since I was about 14. He's a good player and will score you goals.
"He was unlucky when he hit the post (near the end of the game against Morecambe). He will be a good addition.
"Funny enough, he's actually in the same apartment block as me so he's settling in well already. He's a good lad so I'm sure he will do well."
"Guy is obviously experienced. He has been around the block and will be a voice in the dressing room."
The victory over Morecambe came in Sheridan's first match as Argyle manager, and ended a sequence of three successive defeats.
A run of six games without a win had seen the Pilgrims slide into the League Two drop zone.
Hourihane said: "He (Sheridan) told us during the week what he wanted us to do and we were all delighted with the result on Saturday.
"Hopefully, we can get that winning mentality into the dressing room. I'm sure he will bring that.
"He knows what he's on about. He has played at the highest level and with me being a midfielder, like he was, I'm sure he will show me one or two things."
Argyle are still precariously placed in 22nd position despite the win against Morecambe.
Hourihane said: "Other teams have got games in hand on us which isn't great, but all we can do is keep winning and keep getting points on the board. Hopefully, that will be enough."