Steven Schumacher

Schumacher on Five-Star Showing

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After a good performance, but a 1-0 defeat, against Bristol City on Saturday, Steven Schumacher asked his players to be a little more ruthless when they made the trip to Plainmoor to face Torquay United.

They listened.

Three beautifully taken first-half strikes from Finn Azaz, Danny Mayor and former Gull Adam Randell gave The Pilgrims a comfortable lead at the interval, and the scoring was completed by youngster Jack Endacott and another from Mayor in the second period. It could have been more.

“I felt on Saturday against Bristol City that we created some really good chances and didn’t hit the target enough,” Schumacher told Argyle TV after the game. “That was the message yesterday in training. The way we are going to go about things this season, we feel we are going to create, so when we create opportunities we need to make the most of them and be ruthless. Tonight, I felt we did that, which was really pleasing.

“It is still only a friendly, and only pre-season, but the message is that there is 11 days to go before the start of the season starts, so we want a mentality of going into games and wanting to win. Two performances against Championship teams were okay, but we didn’t win the games, and that’s what football is all about. I wanted to win. No matter how we did it, we needed to win, and that’ll be the same on Saturday because it becomes a habit.”

Endacott’s goal was a nice sub-plot on a generally pleasing evening. His introduction at left wing-back at half-time was seamless, and he was on hand to turn home soon after his introduction after Niall Ennis had a shot saved.

He is one of a handful of young Pilgrims who have got game-time during pre-season will sure prove vital to their development.

“It was brilliant,” said Schumacher, of Jack’s goal and performance. “His first goal for the first team. He’s been really good, Jack. He’s been training with us since day one of pre-season; him, Oscar (Halls), Brandon (Pursall) and Finley (Craske) have stepped into the first team and not looked out of place. For Jack to notch his first goal in front of the travelling Green Army, I’m sure he’ll be made up.

“I’m also pleased for young Zak Baker to get on, a promising young goalkeeper, to come on for ten minutes and do really well.”

For Argyle, Saturday’s friendly away to Yeovil Town will mark the countdown of the final week of preparation before the big kick-off of Sky Bet League One at home to Barnsley on Saturday, 30 July. The big question is, does the manager have in his mind the starting line-up he will opt for?

“I haven’t made my mind up yet. I still need to see one more performance against Yeovil, as well as the training in the week leading up to Barnsley. I’ll have to decide what system we are going with. I’ve got plenty of options; it’s a good headache to have.

“Everyone is getting to grips with the system. The tweak that gives us a variation is looking good. We managed to play Danny and Finn today in the same system, and the pair of them caused all sorts of problems and were a massive threat, Niall Ennis led the line really well.

“I think whoever we pick, it’s a strong team. There’s plenty of competition. People are going to need to be on the top of their game because the squad is getting stronger.”

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