'We know the problem – it has been scoring goals. We had great chances'
Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan was disappointed his side only picked up a point from their clash against Dagenham and Redbridge at Home Park on Saturday.
The scrappy npower League Two encounter ended in a goalless draw, leaving Plymouth in 22nd position in the table.
The same scoreline had been the outcome when Argyle had played Accrington Stanley the previous Saturday. On this occasion, though, the Pilgrims' boss was reasonably satisfied with his side's performance – apart from their finishing.
Sheridan declared: "I was pleased with the way we played but, listen, we've had good chances. I'd like us to play better but I think we should have won the game with the chances we had."
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The closest Argyle came to scoring was when on-loan Ipswich Town striker Ronan Murray shot against the crossbar in the 33rd minute. His partner in attack, Reuben Reid, also forced a fine save out of goalkeeper Chris Lewington with a 51st minute header from a Murray corner.
Sheridan added: "It got a bit scrappy towards the end but I didn't feel in danger and I didn't think we were going to lose the game.
"Dagenham are an organised side. They are strong at set-plays and have got some big lads in the team but I thought we defended well again.
"I don't think our goalkeeper [Jake Cole] has had much to do. We tried hard to win the game. It's another clean-sheet and we are three games unbeaten, but we know the importance of winning games.
"I think we would have jumped four places had we won today. It's a shame, but I can't ask for any more from them.
"Our pass appreciation, and keeping the ball in the opposition's half for longer periods, was probably our downfall. If we can do that, we can get the other team on the back foot a little bit more."
Sheridan's tenure as Argyle manager started with a 2-1 win against Morecambe at Home Park on January 12. Since then, they have been held to goalless home draws by Accrington and Dagenham.
The manager added: "I think the performance this weekend was an improvement. It was another clean-sheet, so that's two on the spin.
"We know what the problem has been – it has been scoring goals. We had great chances today. There is no blame on anyone, but if one of those goes in it's a totally different game.
"Dagenham would have had to come at us and that would have created space for us, but it didn't happen.
"Usually, when you are near the top of the league, those things go in for you. I have said before, you've got to make your own luck, but the performance was better. We just didn't get those breaks, and I still think we can play better."
Sheridan's focus switched to Argyle's next game, away to relegation rivals Aldershot Town this coming Saturday.
The Shots are a point above the Pilgrims and have played a match less than them. Sheridan said: "Next week is a massive game now. Away from home, we might just be a bit more relaxed. I'm hoping that's the case."
Argyle had dropped into the relegation zone after Bristol Rovers won 2-1 at home to Barnet on Friday. However, the Pilgrims then overtook Barnet on goal difference by picking up a point from the draw with Dagenham.
Sheridan said: "We've come out of the bottom two. We are third from bottom. We will keep working and, hopefully, start winning a few games."
Although Argyle are unbeaten under Sheridan, the former Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield boss admitted he had hoped for more points. He said: "Considering they were all home games, and against teams around us, I thought we could have possibly got seven points out of nine.
"I would have been very pleased with that, but it's not to be. Two clean-sheets is something to be positive about," he added.
"We got a bit edgy towards the end and gave away one or two silly free-kicks away, but I thought we defended well when we had to. It's just having that creativity in the final third which possibly could have us won the game," Sheridan concluded.