Plymouth Argyle swoop to sign Ronan Murray
JOHN SHERIDAN has completed his first signing for Plymouth Argyle and is determined to bring more new players to the relegation-threatened League Two club.
Ipswich Town's 21-year-old striker Ronan Murray has arrived at Home Park on loan from Portman Road until the end of the season.
He comes highly recommended by Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy, who was a team-mate of Sheridan for the Republic of Ireland.
Sheridan's first match as Argyle manager will be against Morecambe at Home Park tomorrow (3pm) and Murray is set to be included in his squad.
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Further new recruits before the game are possible, with Sheridan 'working his socks off' to complete deals.
Sheridan stated earlier this week he wanted to make three loan signings before the visit of Morecambe.
However, a combination Argyle's lowly league position and Plymouth's geographic location has proved problematic for him.
Sheridan told Herald Sport: "We have had lots of positives from the clubs but, unfortunately, players nowadays are a bit of a different breed.
"Years ago, if you weren't in the side you would be banging on the manager's door saying 'I want to go and play somewhere'.
"It is difficult. I knew the location would be a problem, but I have just got to persevere.
"I would like to think I will be able to attract one or two (loan signings). We have been very close to probably having three or four players.
"I will keep going and going, and I will only be bringing in players who are going to strengthen us."
Sheridan's former club, Chesterfield, have put some of their squad on the transfer list but he has ruled out making a move for any of them.
Murray had a loan spell with League Two title winners Swindon Town last season. Now he will be part of a squad battling at the bottom of the table.
Sheridan said: "I'm very pleased to get Ronan in. He comes very highly recommended.
"(Former Ipswich manager) Paul Jewell was the one who put me on to him and I have checked him over.
"He's a good, intelligent footballer who scores goals. He did well when he went to Swindon in a promotion-winning side."
As soon as Sheridan spoke to Murray the 5ft 7in striker was ready to drive from Ipswich from Plymouth.
"Straight away he wanted to come and that's what I like in a player," said Sheridan. "There were no ifs or buts, he just said 'I'll be there'.
"I like that, and it shows me that he wants to come and play football.
"He has played at a higher level, too, in and around Ipswich, who are an excellent Championship club and Mick McCarthy couldn't speak highly enough of him."
Murray is a graduate of Ipswich's academy ranks and has made one start and 13 substitute appearances at first team level.
His only goal came in a 3-2 win away to Exeter City in the Carling Cup first round in August 2010.
Murray has featured only once for Town this season, as a substitute in a 6-0 defeat at Blackpool in the Championship at the end of August.
He has, in the past, played with Argyle midfielder Conor Hourihane for Ipswich reserves and the Republic of Ireland under-21s' side.
Sheridan said: "It will help Ronan that he knows Conor and maybe it will make him settle in a little quicker.
"Hopefully, he will hit the ground running tomorrow and give us a lift."
The Irish striker has had two previous loan spells, the first at Torquay United towards the end of the 2010/11 season.
Murray made seven appearances for the Gulls, including four starts, and scored in a 2-1 home win against Cheltenham Town.
That was followed by his loan spell at Swindon last season, when he scored three goals in 11 starts and 16 substitute appearances.
Murray was a 62nd minute substitute for Swindon when they lost 2-0 to Chesterfield in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley last March.
Sheridan was Chesterfield's manager at the time. Murray also started for Swindon when they beat Argyle 1-0 at the County Ground in April.
McCarthy, who replaced Jewell as Ipswich manager in November, said: "Ronan is going (to Argyle) to go and play some games.
"John Sheridan is somebody I know personally and he plays the game in the right way. He likes to play football and I think Ronan will enjoy it."
Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation that Onismor Bhasera could be on the way out of Argyle during the January transfer window.
The Zimbabwe international, who is out of contract in the summer, has been linked with Shrewsbury Town, Walsall and Northampton Town.
However, Sheridan is not in any hurry to let players leave before he has had a chance to add further new recruits to his squad.
Sheridan said: "More than anything, I'm concentrating on trying to get players in and strengthening us. That's my main priority at the moment."