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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 16:17 UK

Sturrock buoyant following tour

Paul Sturrock
Sturrock knows Plymouth's home form must improve

Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock was in buoyant mood following the club's pre-season tour to Scotland.

Plymouth won two out of their three games in Scotland, including a 2-1 victory over Romanian opposition FC Unirea Urziceni.

"I think the tour was a success and I think the team spirit benefitted," the Pilgrims boss told BBC Radio Devon.

"It was a learning curve for some of the players and some of the systems we were working on."

Sturrock was particularly pleased with the manner in which his players responded after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Livingston in their first match.

The Scot said the 2-0 win against Morecambe showed his players at somewhere near their best.

I'm on a learning curve with the team as to how to get the best out of them

Paul Sturrock

He said: "I was pleased with the second half against Morecambe, we took the game by the horns and dominated it."

After a testing season last year, Sturrock now feels that both him and the players are becoming more aware of how to get the most out of each other.

He said: "It's difficult at times for people to progress and develop. It's difficult for managers to all of a sudden put their finger on the pulse of how you can tickle people's psyche to get them to play at their potential.

"So we're on a learning curve as a team and I'm on a learning curve with some of them as to how to get the best out of them."

Sturrock pointed to the example of Rory Fallon who was disappointing in the first half against FC Unirea but came out a different player after the break.

He said: "If it takes me to take a stick to Rory before he goes out then I'll quite happily do that for the simple reason that he got riled up and dramatically improved."

The Pilgrims' next pre-season test is against Hearts on Wednesday.

The match will be the only game Plymouth play at Home Park before the season begins and Sturrock said sorting out his side's home form is a priority for next term.

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"Last year it was difficult because from the second game at home there was a nervousness in the whole stadium," added Sturrock.

"The players and the fans are going to have to grasp the cudgel because if it's a quiet stadium and a worrying stadium it seeps on to the football pitch as it did last year."

He concluded: "I'm very hopeful we can come out the traps flying and everybody will be on the front foot."

Sturrock also confirmed that Hungarian defender Zoltan Szelesi, 27, would not be signing for Argyle following a trial with the club.

He said: "I made a conscious decision that Szelesi was no better than the players that I have at the football club."



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