Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Cambridge Preview

Sync Fixtures

In the first game of his second year as Argyle manager, Steven Schumacher will lead his team to Cambridge United, looking for the perfect anniversary gift.

Wednesday marked 12 months exactly since Schumacher took the job, and the joy in his voice when answering questions on the landmark indicates just how much it has meant to him.

“It’s been amazing, it’s gone fast. It feels as though it's flown by, so much has happened within what feels like such a short space of time. I’ve loved it, every single minute of it and hopefully the next 12 months will be as successful.

“[Winning at Cambridge] would be a great anniversary present. We need to go, put a performance on and get to the level of the high standards we’ve set. I don't think we’ played well enough in the last game, so if we can get back to somewhere near what we’ve been playing then that would be great give us a chance to get a result and celebrate on the way home.”

The last game of which Schumacher speaks was a 2-0 loss against Port Vale at Home Park, the first time Argyle had dropped points at home this season.

In discussing the defeat with the squad, Schumacher noted a word that was used to describe the performance, and is using that as impetus to correct things in Cambridgeshire.

“One of the players used the word when we did the debrief: that we were ‘disjointed’,” he said. “All the units didn’t function properly, the way a successful team does. It wasn’t always one unit in particular that was poor, it just like, as a team, we weren’t quite right.

“If we can just bring all that back together, be a bit more compact, be a bit more solid when we haven’t got the ball. If we do all those jobs right then when we do get the ball we are in a better position to go and attack.

“That's the beauty of the group that we've got: the ownership and the relationship that we’ve got.

“I didn't come up with that particular word. I was trying to show the clips and evidence of what we were seeing. When we put it over to the floor and said ‘What you think lads?’ it was one of the players who said: ‘I just feel like we were a little disjointed’

“They’re an intelligent group our players. When you allow them to speak and tell them their opinion genuinely, you get the answers that you're thinking.

“I’m quite happy with our play; I’m not going too overboard. We lost one game and we didn't play particularly well at Home Park. Let’s just recognise it and let’s try and do better in the next one.”

Cambridge, 20th in Sky Bet League One, are managed by Mark Bonner, and have won just one of their last ten league games.

Schumacher knows Bonner from their days together on the same coaching course, and although marginally younger than Schumacher, he is also in his first managerial job, having been at the Cambridge helm since 2020.

After promotion in 2020/21, Cambridge finished 14th last season, and although going through a sticky patch, Schumacher was quick to assert that they could be a threat on Saturday.

“Let's not forget that they did brilliantly last year,” he said. “I know Mark; he's a good friend of mine, we speak on the phone every now and again to see how we’re both getting on.

“Lately they've struggled for results, but that's the flows of football. It doesn't go all your own way all the time, but I know for a fact he will have them really motivated this weekend and well organised to play against us.

“We had tough games against them last year - they took four points off us - so it's not an easy game at all - and it won't be like that on Saturday either.”

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