John Sheridan is confident of completing three loan signings before his first game as Plymouth Argyle manager.
The relegation-threatened Pilgrims take on Morecambe at Home Park on Saturday, and Sheridan will be busy between now and then trying to add to the Pilgrims’ squad.
Sheridan has signed a contract as manager until the end of the season, but with the prospect of a longer-term deal, should he lead Argyle to safety. The 48-year-old former Republic of Ireland and Leeds United midfielder thought it would be a “travesty” if the Pilgrims were to drop out of the Football League.
Back-room staff Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell are remaining at Home Park, for the time being at least, and will be able to give Sheridan an insight into the club, and the players.
Sheridan has also asked Gary Owers to step up from his role as head of coaching for Argyle’s Under-18 squad to work with the senior side. Owers had a spell as the first-team coach at Championship club Bristol City last season.
Sheridan said: “There is only one thing on my mind and that’s keeping the team in the division. The club is too big to go down and it would be a travesty if they did. I will be pushing very hard to keep them in the league.”
Argyle have used six loan signings this season but currently there are none at Home Park, which gives Sheridan a lot of scope to explore all the options open to him.
With finances tight at Argyle, that is the route the former Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield manager will have to take to add to his playing resources.
Sheridan is thought to be trying to bring in two new strikers to improve Argyle’s poor goalscoring record. He said: “Hopefully, a new manager coming in might give the lads a lift, but I think we also need a few extra bodies.
“I think I know what type of player we need to stay in this season and, hopefully, win us one or two games. At this moment, I’m working very hard to get new faces in.”
Sheridan admitted his aim was to make four new recruits for Argyle in total, and three before the weekend. He also said: “That’s not to say the lads who are already here won’t be figuring for me. I have told them they are all on an even keel.
“Hopefully, bringing in a few players will give everyone a lift. It will definitely be loans. Luckily for me, there are no loan players here at the moment, so it gives me scope to go and get some.”
Owers, a former player at Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County, arrived at Home Park in the summer as the second in command in the youth set-up behind Academy manager Kevin Hodges.
Sheridan said: “I played against Gary when he was at Sunderland so I know a bit about him. He’s a very good coach. He was at Bristol City last season. I would like to get Gary involved a little bit more with the first team, but that will be the only change [to the back-room staff].”
Sheridan was under no illusions about the size of the task he has taken on, with the Pilgrims in 23rd position in npower League Two after picking up seven points out of a possible 42. He said: “Hopefully, a different manager and different ideas might help.
“Hopefully, we can all push together and get a positive result on Saturday, first and foremost.”