'They've proven they can play against the so-called best teams'
John Sheridan believes that relegation-threatened Plymouth Argyle have an immediate opportunity to improve their position in npower League Two.
Three of the next four games will be played at Home Park, starting with the visit of Morecambe on Saturday. The Pilgrims are away to Paul Sturrock's Southend United on January 12 before hosting Accrington Stanley and Dagenham and Redbridge over the following two weekends.
Sheridan has a points target in mind for those four matches which he believes would see Argyle in a much better league position than they are in now.
The new Pilgrims manager said: "I think we've got a great opportunity. I look at the next four games and we have got three at home.
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"I've seen the fixtures, and some of the results Argyle have had, and they've proven they can play against the so-called best teams in the division. I have a points tally in my head I'd like to get from the four games, and if we can get that I think we'll find ourselves in a positive position."
Sheridan was confirmed as Argyle manager last Sunday, after he had attended the 4-0 defeat away to title-chasing Port Vale in the Potteries the previous afternoon. The former Oldham and Athletic and Chesterfield manager sat in the directors' box and took notes during the game.
Argyle conceded the first goal in the 32nd minute and, immediately from the restart, striker Nick Chadwick was sent off for violent conduct after an off-the-ball incident involving Vale's Ashley Vincent. Sheridan said: "I actually thought the team started well in the game. The sending off, unfortunately, changed the game for us.
"I think the lads got flat after going a goal down and then getting a sending-off straight away, but my first impressions were that they started the game really well.
"When I have looked at the fixtures and how they've lost games, they haven't really been beaten up by any side. That result was probably the first game where they have taken a good hiding, but the big downfall was the sending-off. Games have been really tight throughout the season.
"I think the problem has been they haven't been scoring enough goals," he added. "You have to score goals to win football matches and, unfortunately, the team haven't been doing that."
Chadwick must serve a three-match suspension after he was sent off for elbowing Vincent, and will therefore not be available for selection by Sheridan until the visit of Dagenham on February 2.
Sheridan said: "I think it was wrong of Nick. I have seen it on video and he can't really defend himself in any way. I think, deep down, he knows he shouldn't have done it.
"To be fair to Nick, he started the game well. It was just a big downer for the players, after going a goal down and then getting someone sent off.
"He let the players down and he's going to miss games. He's not going to impress me sat in the stand, is he?"
There have been no enquiries from rival clubs about left-flank player Onismor Bhasera, according to Argyle sources. The Zimbabwe international, who has been at Home Park since 2010, has been linked with Shrewsbury Town, Walsall and Northampton Town since the turn of the year.