Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Blackpool Reaction

Sync Fixtures

Argyle made it three out of three in their pre-season campaign so far with a 2-1 win at Blackpool on Saturday, and manager Steven Schnumacher says that he is keen for the winning momentum to stay with his Pilgrims into the new season.

Argyle took the lead at Bloomfield through Mickel Miller’s goal midway through the first half, then they quickly doubled their tally when Miller played provider for Ryan Hardie to slot home.

Blackpool made 11 changes at half-time, and Argyle had changed all their outfield players by the time the hour mark rolled around. At that point, the score was 2-1, after Shayne Lavery’s penalty brought the home side a little closer to the Greens’ lead.

A young second-half Argyle held strong, though, and even played the last eight minutes with 10 men after Kaine Kesler-Hayden picked up a knock and went off.

“This was as close to a Championship game as we're going to get,” said Schumacher. “These were a Championship team last season, and have kept the majority of their squad together. We knew it was going to be a tough test.

“We played really well, especially for the first hour. We made a few changes on 60 minutes and got some young lads on which was really pleasing. For the first 60 minutes we looked like a real team, gelling with what we're trying to do. It’s a good win, and that’s a good habit to have.

“We want to take momentum into this season if we can. We finished really strongly last year and winning games breeds confidence. We’re trying to work on things on the training ground.

“We’re getting the lads fit, getting them organised, working on a few things, and then when we can go and implement that in these pre-season fixtures, it's pleasing.

“They were two different goals; I'm really pleased. The first goal was a good move. It was a good recovery run, Scarrsy (Dan Scarr) with a brilliant block in our box, then Saxon [Earley] was nice and calm, played a lovely ball to Ryan and then it was Mickel with a brilliant finish. It was a good move from back to front. The second goal is equally pleasing because we've set a press. The Blackpool centre back had a bad touch, Mickel intercepted it, set Ryan up and he slotted it away.

“I was a bit disappointed that we conceded the goal. We would have liked the clean sheet, but there were loads of good signs today, and some things we can still improve on as well. We’re going in the right direction.”

Argyle are next in action against Torquay United, at Plainmoor, on Tuesday evening. Schumacher indicated that the cross-Devon trip will see some of his players who played around half an hour at Blackpool play double that in Torquay, and suggested that pre-season will continue to be a forum for him to view his squad in various combinations.

“The seniors who didn't play 60 minutes today, they'll play 60 minutes on Tuesday,” Schumacher told Argyle TV. “That'll be the plan. We've got a couple of knocks from today. Saxon landed awkwardly on his shoulder, so we'll have to assess how he is. Kaine had to come for the last 10 minutes, because he rolled his ankle slightly.

“We'll have to assess them over the next few days. If they're not ready for Tuesday, then they don't play any minutes. That's how it is.

“Julio [Pleguezuelo] will hopefully get 60 minutes; Butch (Matt Butcher) will get 60 minutes. Everyone just keeps getting fitter and stronger, as we move towards the first game of the season.

“If we're going to progress, going to try and improve as a team, and try to play the way we're going to try to play this season, then everyone has to be comfortable in certain roles, so having the opportunity to experiment is good.

“It's what pre-season games are all about. It might be something that we do on Tuesday night, to see if people can play in slightly unusual roles compared with what they might have expected.”

The Argyle match-day squad continues to be augmented with young members of the team, including players from the Under-18s. After Henry Donovan got his first taste of first-team action on Tuesday against Plymouth Parkway, he was joined at Blackpool by Jack Matthews, making his bow.

Schumacher could not be happier with how the next generation of Pilgrims are progressing and coping with the experience this is affording them.

“They’re all doing brilliantly,” he said. “They settled into the game really quickly. We've got Henry Donovan, and Jack Matthews who has only been with the first team for a week, he settled in and look nice and calm.

“Oscar [Halls] did well; he had a brilliant clearance for us when we were down to 10 men in the last minute. It’s brilliant to see the young lads getting opportunities. We're learning about them, they're learning about what it's like to play with the first team players, so I'm pleased and happy for them all.”

training wear