Schumacher's Cambridge Reaction
Argyle started their three-game week at Home Park with three points against Cambridge United.
Three goals, too. Callum Wright, Joe Edwards and Niall Ennis were on the scoresheet to put Argyle in the driving seat, although Wright’s opener had been answered by an equaliser by Sam Smith for Cambridge.
Once Argyle took the lead for a second time, though, they controlled the game with a fine team performance that pleased manager Steven Schumacher.
“I thought we played really well today,” he said. “I thought we started the game with good energy, good tempo. We showed some quality and managed to get ourselves in front.
“It was a really good start. The crowd were right on it, right from the start. From the first whistle, it was loud. The players responded to that.
“Their goal came and we lost our momentum a little bit. The game became a little bit stop-start. They scored the goal that put us level at half-time. We said to the players at the break to just keep going, stick to the plan, keep trying to play forward passes if we can and play with some energy.
“I thought if we did that then we'd get another couple of chances. and we did in the second half – and we took them.
“Over 90 minutes we've had a really good performance and we've scored two great goals in the second half as well. I’m really happy. It's another three points on the board and three points closer to the target that we need.”
The promotion race will continue at least until next weekend, although Argyle have a chance to extend their two-point cushion with a victory on Tuesday night against Bristol Rovers.
Contenders Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley all won while Argyle were beating Cambridge, as Sky Bet League’s one’s promotion battle enters unprecedented territory in terms of points won.
The win was Argyle’s third in succession, following the defeat by Lincoln City in the previous home fixtures. The Greens reacted to that by beating Exeter City 1-0 in the Devon Derby and winning 2-1 at Shrewsbury Town with a last-gasp winner.
Schumacher was keen to ensure that the euphoria of those emotional wins did not spill over into the preparation for this fixture, and declared himself pleased by how his players reacted.
“We've spoken about it as a group, that we can’t get distracted,” he said. “The Exeter game was a brilliant win, the Shrewsbury game was brilliant because it was in the last minute, but if you celebrate too much and you lose focus on the next game, you can come unstuck.
“I’m really pleased with how professional the players have been. The consistency levels that they’re showing is excellent. I felt today that the changes were needed because so we didn't get back until 4am after Tuesday. We had a few knocks and niggles as well from the last two games, so we freshened it up a little bit and everybody who came in stepped in and did well. It shows the importance of having a good squad.
“We just focus on what we can do. The standard this year has been outstanding and for us to be in there and pushing Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Barnsley every single week is credit to everyone. 92 points is a good milestone, and we should be really pleased with that, but we're not finished. It's not over. We know we can't rest and can't expect anyone to do us a favour. We've just got to try to deal with our own business.”