SHERIDAN REFUSES TO GET CARRIED AWAY
ROCHDALE ........1 PLYMOUTH ........0
PLYMOUTH boss John Sheridan kept celebrations to a minimum after ten-man Argyle extended their 93-year Football League stay despite defeat at Rochdale, vowing there won’t be a repeat next season.
Teenage debutant Joe Bunney headed the game’s only goal but results elsewhere ensured Plymouth, who saw Maxime Blanchard sent off early on, avoided the drop.
But with a place in League Two secured for next season, Sheridan, who will decide on his Pilgrims future next week, vowed to be well clear of the bottom if he remains at the club next season.
“I’m really proud but if you know me, I don’t think it’s something you should really celebrate too much,” he said.“I probably sound a little harsh and not as excited as you’d expect me to be – I will have a drink and I’m very relieved.
“It’s great for everyone involved but if I’m here believe me this won’t happen again – I can promise you that.
“Believe me we won’t be near the bottom if I’m here – we’ll be near the top. I’m going to make some decisions next week regarding myself but I have always said whatever is done will be for the benefit of the club.”
Sheridan saw Blanchard dismissed for a professional foul after just 15 minutes after bringing George Donnelly down on the edge of the box.
Rochdale pressed immediately and Jake Cole saved well from Donnelly five minutes later, before flinging himself in front of Reece Gray’s goal-bound header from the resulting corner.
On 34 minutes Michael Rose rattled the bar from 30 yards but Argyle’s resistance was finally broken on 79 minutes when 19year-old Bunney headed Scott Tanser’s cross into the far corner.
And Dale boss Keith Hill insists the displays produced by his young players helped end the season on a high – and admitted he was glad to see former club Plymouth stay up.
“It was very professional and I’m encouraged by the attitude and application in the way we played,” he said. “The players could almost roll out the carpet and put the flip flops on but they haven’t.
“They [young players] are an integral part of my thinking with respect to next season because I feel as though with a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of work they’ll be ready.
“I wanted to win – I want to win every game. I would have slept easy if Plymouth had been relegated but I’m glad they weren’t – I’m really glad they weren’t.”
GIVE ME A HUG: Neal Ardley celebrates with his daughter