Sheridan makes plans to deal with Feeney's absence from Argyle squad
Plymouth Argyle striker Warren Feeney is likely to be kept on the sidelines for up to two months, after suffering an ankle injury.
John Sheridan, the Pilgrims' manager, admitted that the prognosis could have been much worse, as early estimates had put Feeney out until the end of the season, leaving the Home Park club dangerously short of striking options.
The Northern Ireland international was injured minutes into last Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Morecambe. The win lifted Plymouth out of the npower League Two relegation zone and gave Sheridan his first win as Argyle boss.
Sheridan has confirmed he is looking for more loan signings, with a striker likely to be top of his shopping list.
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With Feeney injured and strike partner Nick Chadwick serving a six-match ban after he was sent off against Port Vale this month, Sheridan is left with a shortage of experienced men up front.
Rhys Griffiths, 17-year-old Tyler Harvey and new signing Ronan Murray – on loan from Ipswich Town until the end of the season – will all hope to come into the equation at Southend United this Saturday. But it was perhaps significant that, following a friendly against the Nike Academy at Home Park yesterday, Sheridan brought up Matt Lecointe's name.
An Argyle XI won 7-0 against a collection of players who have yet to find a League club. Sheridan was clearly pleased at how much effort his men had put into the game.
He said: "It was good exercise for the lads and it gave me a chance to look at one or two of the young players. I would have preferred a sterner test, but the attitude of the lads was excellent."
Sheridan added: "I know Matt didn't score [he hit the crossbar after beating his man], but I thought he did very well. I was pleased with the attitude of all the lads – as I said, I would have preferred a sterner test, but it is a good excuse to have a game for some of the players who haven't been playing for a while."
Sheridan said he was still trying to bring new recruits to the club and he added: "I'm going to need a squad until the end of the season and people have got to be ready to play their part in case of suspensions or injuries.
"Warren [Feeney] has knocked a chip out of his ankle, but it's not as bad as was first thought. It was thought he might be out for the rest of the season, but it now seems it might be six to eight weeks."
Andres Gurrieri opened the scoring after 11 minutes yesterday with a fierce shot, after a cross was knocked down to him by Griffiths.
Argyle had to wait less than four minutes for their second goal. Luke Young's corner from the right was whacked in by Jamie Richards.
Griffiths, Lecointe and Young all had chances to put Argyle three up before Young effectively sealed the game. The midfielder turned two defenders inside out on the edge of the box before delicately placing the ball in the left-hand corner of the Nike goal.
Griffiths scored within nine seconds of the second-half restart, getting on the end of a cute flick by Lecointe over the Nike defence and then carefully guiding the ball over the visiting goalkeeper.
Gurrieri rattled in his second goal with another scorching shot. Lecointe then hit the crossbar, after torturing his marker on the right.
The sixth goal, Gurrieri's third, was no more than the Argentinian deserved. He found space on the left and his cross-shot ended up in Nike's net. Griffiths added the hosts' seventh and final goal from close range, after a perceptive free-kick into the box by Joe Lennox found him in space.
Plymouth Argyle: Cole (Chenoweth h-t); Williams (Allen 59), Wotton (Watson h-t), Richards, Bradley, Gurrieri (Wheatley 64), Young (Purrington 59), Sims (Elcock 75), Lennox, Lecointe, Griffiths.