ANDRES GURRIERI is determined to prove to Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan he deserves to stay in the first team.
Gurrieri was sidelined for the start of the League Two campaign after suffering from a knee injury in pre-season.
On his return to fitness, the Argentine playmaker was a regular on the substitutes’ bench for the next three months.
It was not until November 20, and the 5-0 FA Cup first round replay win against Lincoln City at Home Park, that Gurrieri finally made his first start of the season.
He has retained his place in the Pilgrims’ side since then.
Gurrieri told Herald Sport: “It was disappointing I had an injury (in pre-season) so then I had to fight for an opportunity to get in the team.
“I had it in the FA Cup replay, and I’m trying to show the manager I can do well, as I did in the games towards the end of last season.”
Gurrieri signed a new one-year contract with Argyle in the summer, after getting married in Argentina.
He had hoped to build on a strong finish to last term but, instead, Gurrieri saw almost the whole of his pre-season disrupted by injury.
The 24-year-old had been playing catch-up ever since.
“It was frustrating, but at least I didn’t lose many games at the beginning (of the season),” said Gurrieri.
“Now I have got my chance and I want to show the manager in every game I can do well for the team.”
Gurrieri has started the last four matches for Argyle, after 10 previous appearances as a substitute this term.
He was the pick of the Pilgrims’ players when they lost 1-0 to his former club, Burton Albion, at Home Park in League Two on Saturday.
Argyle had some good spells of pressure but could not convert any of the scoring chances they had.
In the end, they were defeated by a 12th-minute goal from Burton striker Adam McGurk, which ended an eight-game unbeaten run for the Pilgrims.
Gurrieri said: “We conceded an early goal. It was a silly mistake probably but, never mind, it can happen.
“We worked hard and played well, and we created many chances. It’s frustrating when you do almost everything well and then you can’t get a goal, and you finish up losing.
“That’s football. Sometimes you win not playing very well, and sometimes you lose when you play well.”
Gurrieri added: “I tried to help the team by doing what I’m good at – passing the ball and creating chances – but I wasn’t very happy because we lost.
“I always try to learn from my mistakes and improve with every game.”
Argyle will look to bounce back from the defeat by Burton when they play Welling United in the FA Cup second round at Home Park on Saturday.
Welling are in 13th position in the Football Conference Premier.
Gurrieri said: “We had been on a good run. It was very positive. We had a few wins, which was good for the team and always brings confidence to the players.
“Now we have lost a game and we have to keep working hard. We have the opportunity to play in the FA Cup and get into the third round.”
Meanwhile, Argyle are still awaiting the results of scans on the hamstring injury suffered by Tope Obadeyi in the first half of the defeat by Burton.
The on-loan Bury attacker had to be substituted in the 25th minute of the match.
Argyle will play Exeter City in the quarter-finals of the Devon St Luke’s Challenge Cup at Home Park tonight (7pm).
Their strong squad includes Rommy Boco, Guy Branston, Jake Cole and Paul Wotton.
On-loan Sheffield Wednesday striker Caolan Lavery is also set to get a run-out against the Grecians.
Argyle (from): Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi,Hamza Bencherif, Andre Blackman, Rommy Boco, Guy Branston, Jake Cole, Callum Hall, Andrew Hannah, Josh Hutchinson, Caolan Lavery, Ben Purrington, Jamie Richards, Ethan Stark, Isaac Vassell, Sol Wheatley, Paul Wotton.