Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Burton Reaction

Sync Fixtures

A goal deep into second half stoppage time at Burton Albion prevented Argyle from produce another classic turnaround victory.

It was hard going in the first half at the Pirelli Stadium, with the Brewers leading through a Bobby Kamwa goal, but Argyle come out a different side after the break, and after the introduction of Niall Ennis and Ryan Hardie, showed potency too.

Ennis was fouled in the box with Hardie scoring the resultant penalty, and when Bali Mumba gave Argyle the lead, it looked like the victory was complete only for Adrian Mariappa to level at the last.

“It stings,” Argyle manager Steven Schumacher told Argyle TV after the game. “It feels as though it is a defeat. The two goals we conceded were poor, but they are goals that Burton Albion score; they don’t play any nice football. They are the kind of scrappy goal that they get. We didn’t deal with balls into our box well enough.

“It hurts. I’m fuming with the [equalising] goal because we feel like it’s a foul on Mickel Miller. Mickel heads the ball first, Hamer butts him in the back of the head but for some reason they get the drop ball.

“Burton drag you into a fight, into a slugfest. It’s hard to pass your way through that when they’ve got energy in the first half. The team was picked to combat that and I think we did it well for the majority of the half.

“On the stroke of half-time they got a lucky bounce from a long throw that you can’t stop coming into your box. Fortunately for them it goes into the goal.

“I wasn’t too disappointed with how we played in the first half. The game was what we expected. In the second half, the subs that came on gave us loads of energy and some quality. We managed to start passing the ball because there was a bit more space.,

“The two goals we scored were brilliant goals. It was well-worked for the penalty, and Bali’s was a great finish.

“It’s pleasing that we managed to come through a tough game still unbeaten.”

An injury to James Wilson, picked up on Friday when Argyle were training at St George’s Park, meant an unexpected return for Macaulay Gillesphey, who had not played since last September because of injury.

Gillesphey played well in an Argyle defence which unusually comprised a back four, with Brendan Galloway playing at left-back and Mumba asked to play in a more offensive role.

“We played a back four,” said Schumacher. “We just felt it was the best way to combat the air raids that you get here. They boom it up to the top and we had four trying to deal with it instead of three. We felt that was the best way forward.

“We felt if we could get Bali Mumba and Morgan Whittaker on the ball higher up the pitch in the wide areas, because there is no real space in the middle of the pitch.

“We stuck to the shape second half and got two great goals from it.

“I thought Macca was outstanding. To step in and play 90 minutes having not had lads of training sessions or game for so many months was brilliant. He played really well.

“James Wilson had an issue yesterday in training, he blocked a shot and his ankle ligament opened up a little bit. It was a bit sore this morning, and we couldn’t get it scanned or a diagnosis so we didn’t want to risk it for today’s game in case it is something bad.”

As well as Gillepshey’s return, there was another positive on the injury front as Mickel Miller made his long-awaited Argyle debut as a later substitute. Signed in the summer and looking promising during pre-season, Miller was injured before the season kicked off but surprisingly grabbed some minutes in this game, and will likely feature in Tuesday’s Papa Johns Trophy fixture against Charlton Athletic at Home Park.

“He looked sharp when he came on,” Schumacher said. “He defended well and showed glimpses of what he is capable of. Fifteen minutes was probably all he could manage. We’ll get him some more minutes midweek. It’s brilliant to have him back because he is a really, really good player.”

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