Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Barnsley Reaction

Sync Fixtures

It was the perfect start to Steven Schumacher’s first full season as Argyle manager: three points, a clean sheet, and eye-catching performances by several new signings.

However, none of the above were the first things on the Argyle manager’s mind.

“The fans were amazing,” said Schumacher. “I want to mention them straightaway, because from the very first whistle, they never shut up.

“At the very end, when we were all getting nervous, they were singing and cheering us on. It’s a really pleasing opening day.

“They did a lot for us last season when we were going through tough times. They came out in their numbers, it’s brilliant that they got here and it does spur the players on. We spoke to the new lads about how good they are, and now they’ve seen it first-hand.”

One of those aforementioned new lads was Finn Azaz, who scored the game’s only goal with a smartly-taken goal just before half-time. Barnsley had their moments, including striking the bar at 0-0 and forcing a dramatic goal-line clearance by Macaulay Gillesphey in the dying minutes, but The Pilgrims were good value for their victory, and they certainly pleased their beaming manager.

“We wanted to get off to a good start, and I thought it was a really good performance,” said Schumacher. “I thought we deserved our lead. They had a good opportunity where they hit the bar, and we rode our luck on that one, but I thought our first half performance was really good, we just didn’t manage to put chances away until Finn pulled a worldie out.

“In the second half they had a spell where they came into the game, which we knew they would, but we still created good chances – I just wish we could have scored one so I could relax a bit more!”

Two other debutants - Matt Butcher and Bali Mumba - also started the game and played well on their Argyle bow, but Mumba’s inclusion was at the expense of Mickel Miller, who missed out through injury. An injury that may delay his debut for quite some time, according to Schumacher.

“He got injured yesterday in training,” said the manager. “It doesn’t look a good one. He’s been for a scan straight away, it’s a thigh strain. I’m gutted for us, because he’s been brilliant in pre-season, he’s been a bright spark. But it looks like he could be out for a considerable amount of weeks. He’ll go to see the specialist on Monday.”

The victory over Barnsley carries plenty of esteem in the boss’s eyes, as he views The Tykes as candidates for promotion at season’s end. Relegated last season from the Sky Bet Championship Barnsley, and new manager Michael Duff, showed their qualities at times, but Argyle had enough for them on the day.

“Barnsley are a really good side,” said Schumacher. “They’ll be up there towards the end of the season. They’ve got a new gaffer and they’re figuring each other out, but they’ll definitely be one of the stronger sides. We’ve put in a good performance and beaten them.

“They’re all happy in there. It’s a positive dressing room. We managed to keep a clean sheet and created loads of great chances. There were mistakes, and things to work on for next week, but it’s positive. It’s important we recover, quickly put this one to bed and focus on Fleetwood next week, which is always a hard place to go.”

Season Tickets