IN the final part of our interview with Steven Schumacher, the Argyle assistant manager is certainly no stranger to pressure.
Having only just left a situation at Bury which might well have been the most high-pressured scenario of his footballing career, the former Everton midfielder now feels more than equipped to achieve what is required to settle in and thrive at Home Park.
Promotion from Sky Bet League Two with the Shakers should have given him far more enjoyment than it did. When dissected and analysed, to do what they did, at a club in the death throes of financial mismanagement, was an outstanding achievement.
Schuey, as he is affectionately known, arrived at Argyle in the summer along with manager Ryan Lowe; analyst Jimmy Dickinson and fitness coach John Lucas. Collectively, their task is a pretty obvious one: Gain promotion back to Sky Bet League One.
“It’s expectation, and it is pressure. But, if we didn’t believe we could handle it, we wouldn’t be here,” said Schuey. “We were relishing the challenge. As soon as the job interview was over, we were thinking ‘wow, imagine if we could get that place rocking.’”
Back then, it was a hope, but in their short time in the job, the Scouse duo have already experienced raucous atmospheres at a packed out, albeit three-sided, Home Park.
Winning their opening two matches in Sky Bet League Two, followed by first-round progression in the Carabao Cup, all without conceding a goal, raised already high expectations for the Pilgrims. Schuey, though, always felt that this season would never be as simple as the opening weeks implied.
He said: “When you sign a new manager who won promotion playing a style of football everyone loved to watch, and then go to Crewe and win 3-0 [on the opening day], everyone thought ‘well, this is going to be easy,’ but we were under no illusions.”
A few months into the gig, Schumacher is now more than aware of his new surroundings from a football perspective. However, the intricacies of such an upheaval in terms of his move to Britain’s Ocean City from up north represents its own challenge for a young family. A challenge, by all accounts, the Schumacher clan have embraced with relish.
“I love it, my wife loves it down here, the kids are loving it and we’re renting a nice house,” said Schuey. “The area itself, there’s loads to do, and we’ve settled in and made friends already. The people are friendly here, much more friendly than when we were down in London.
“We’re enjoying it at home, I’m enjoying it on the training pitch, and if the results keep coming, it will be even better.”