Sheridan contemplates longest trip of season at key point of campaign
Manager John Sheridan has called on one of his most trusted allies to assist with the preparations for Argyle's away game against Hartlepool.
Tommy Wright, who was Sheridan's assistant at Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield, has carried out scouting duties on today's opponents.
Argyle will be making their longest trip of the season, and Sheridan has arranged for his players to use Leeds United's training ground on the way to Hartlepool. Sheridan spent seven years as a player with Leeds at the start of his career, making a total of 276 appearances and scoring 55 goals.
Hartlepool were relegated from League One last term, with Colin Cooper taking over as their manager in the summer from John Hughes.
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Pools started this season by picking up only two points from their first six games.
Hartlepool did not win for the first time until they beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 at Victoria Park on September 14.
However, Pools have won their last three matches – all of them away from home – and will be full of confidence for the clash against Argyle.
Sheridan said: "We have had them watched three or four times and the reports I have got back off Tommy Wright is that they are a good team and he expects them to be up there at the end of the season.
"Every time they have had a bad result, they have been unfortunate not to get something out of the game.
"I have watched them myself. They play at a good tempo and they are getting a bit of belief now."
Sheridan continued: "There are still 35 games to go and it's a long, long season. When you get a few wins you seem to find yourself pushing up the table because I think it's a very evenly matched league, I really do."
It is more than 385 miles from Plymouth to Hartlepool so there was an early departure for the Argyle squad and they were set to stop off at Leeds' plush training ground at Thorp Arch, in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
Sheridan said: "It will break the journey up. It is a long trip but we have just got to get on with it. We know what it is and we will try to deal with it the best way we can."
Argyle are without a win in six games in all competitions, but put in a much-improved performance when they drew 1-1 with Portsmouth at Home Park last Saturday.
They started that match with a 3-5-2 formation and Sheridan thought the switch was a successful one so it would be a surprise were he not to employ the same tactics at Hartlepool.
Sheridan said: "I was pleased with the way we played against Portsmouth. We kept possession of the ball a lot better and created problems.
"We started the game really well and full credit to the players. It's a bit of a new system but we looked quite comfortable.
"I look at the personnel I have got and I think it [the 3-5-2 formation] suits the likes of Youngy [midfielder Luke Young] better, and going with three at the back as well suited us better. It enabled Youngy and Conor [Hourihane] to get on the ball a lot more with the overload in midfield, and I think Rommy [Boco] is better in those central areas."
Plymouth Argyle (from): McCormick, Cole; Berry, Trotman, Nelson, Blanchard, Wotton, Reckord, Blackman, Richards, Hourihane, Alessandra, Gurrieri, Boco, Young, Bencherif, Hayes, Reid, Harvey, Vassell, Purrington, Lane.
Unavailable: Branston (ankle), Blizzard (virus), Morgan (shoulder), Lecointe (knee), Chadwick (on loan to Tamworth).