Manager John Sheridan is refusing to get carried away by Plymouth Argyle’s recent improved results.
The Pilgrims have won three and drawn two of their past six games to move out of the npower League Two relegation zone and up to 20th position.
The Devon side’s latest victory came when they beat Southend United 2-0 at Roots Hall on Tuesday. Argyle will now set their sights on a third win in a row when they travel to one of Sheridan’s former clubs, mid-table Chesterfield, on Saturday.
Sheridan said: “I don’t get carried away. I like my players to be consistently good. If they do silly little things, I will still be on their case whether we are winning 2-0, 3-0, or whatever. I want them to improve as players.
“I have been a manager for quite a while now and I don’t get carried away, but I’m pleased for the players and the supporters. We had brilliant support for a Tuesday night in Southend.
“We have just got to carry on doing what we are doing. If we keep picking points up, we will be all right,” the Pilgrims’ boss added.
Argyle’s victory over Southend came on the same night as relegation rivals Accrington Stanley, Barnet and Torquay United all won. York City and Aldershot Town, who were not in action, now occupy the bottom two positions.
Sheridan said: “I think the performance [against Southend] was very good. To get a clean-sheet and win the game 2-0 was a great effort from the players.”
Argyle took the lead in the 57th minute at Roots Hall with a penalty from substitute Paul Wotton. Yet had they squandered the chance to open the scoring in the first half when Jason Banton’s goalbound shot was touched into the net by Paris Cowan-Hall.
As soon as he did so, Cowan-Hall was flagged offside and Southend were reprieved.
Sheridan said: “I don’t really understand what Paris was trying to do. It was a great ‘goal’ from Jason and, unfortunately, Paris made the wrong decision. But I thought our performance in the second half was excellent. We defended when we had to, as a team, and looked really lively on the counter attack.”
Wotton’s spot-kick came after on-loan Bristol City midfielder Joe Bryan raced at full speed into the Southend penalty area and was felled by Bilel Mohsni. Sheridan said: “It was a brilliant run. When he’s direct, he’s a big threat.
“I think he ran from near enough the halfway line and showed what he can do. It was pleasing when we saw the referee had given the penalty.
“I don’t watch penalties. I’m always happy when I hear the players and the staff celebrating. I just usually pretend to tie my shoe laces and, touch wood, it works more often than it doesn’t.”
Wotton started the game against Southend on the bench after Anthony Charles returned to the team. Charles had been kept out by a groin injury for the previous two matches, and Wotton had filled in for him at centre-back.
However, Charles suffered a recurrence of his problem in the first half and Wotton replaced him in the 38th minute. Sheridan said: “Charlesy is an experienced player and told me he was fit, so I threw him back in. Unfortunately, he slipped and got a reaction.”
Charles for Wotton was one of two team changes made by Sheridan, with Cowan-Hall taking over from Andres Gurrieri. Sheridan said: “I think the players understand how we are going to play no matter who I pick.
“They all know how I want them to play their roles. I left Andres out, who has been one of my best players over the last two or three games,” he added. “I was thinking of making three or four changes but, luckily for me, I made the right decision.”
Argyle went 2-0 up in the 75th minute when striker Reuben Reid scored his first goal in his 11th game on loan from Yeovil Town.
Sheridan said: “I’m pleased for Reuben. I thought he did really well again. He worked his socks off and, hopefully, that will give him a boost now and a bit of confidence.”
Sheridan also allayed any injury fears over Banton. The 21-year-old was replaced by substitute Ronan Murray in the 79th minute. Sheridan said: “Jason had a bit of cramp. They [the players] had all had a long journey up here.”