Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Forest Green Preview

Sync Fixtures

The gap between the Argyle squad arriving back from London in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to Friday’s departure to Nailsworth, home of Forest Green Rovers, is not a long one, but Steven Schumacher is determined to make it count.

The Argyle boss is determined to make sure his players do not compound the 5-1 loss to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night with a similar display at Forest Green. In Argyle’s mitigation, the scoreline at The Valley was 1-0 to The Addicks when James Wilson’s handball meant a penalty against and a red card, effectively killing the game as a contest. Even so, Schumacher saw plenty of things to work on early in the game, that he hopes his side will learn from.

“We all know the performance wasn’t good enough on Tuesday night away at Charlton,” said Schumacher. “We’ve spoken about it. We’ve gone over what we felt we could have done better, areas on which we need to improve. We want to see that reaction.

“It wasn’t that the players didn’t put the workrate in, it was that they didn’t do the basics quite well enough. We want that to change on Saturday. We want to focus on putting in back-to-back performances. It’s early in the season. There are circumstances which might have contributed to two poor away performances.

“They are a good group. When there are small margins that we can improve on, the players understand it and try to do better in the next game.

“It is important that we try to get some level of consistency in our performances. From being excellent against Barnsley, to not being so great at Fleetwood, to being excellent against Peterborough, to being average – at best – against Charlton. It’s not really good enough; it’s not going to sustain a top-half team.”

While The Pilgrims were heading west following the loss in South London, Forest Green’s players were not in action, as their scheduled fixture against Accrington at The Fully Charged New Lawn had fallen victim to a sudden downpour in Gloucestershire.  

Thus, Forest Green will head into the game with Argyle having not played since their 1-1 draw with Lincoln City last Saturday. It means Forest Green have played three games in Sky Bet League One, winning the first away at fellow promoted side Bristol Rovers, and losing the next at home to Ipswich Town.

Forest Green are managed by Ian Burchnall, who took over from Rob Edwards in the summer, the latter having led Rovers to promotion, but departed for Watford soon afterwards.

Burchnall becomes the fourth manager in five games to be a relatively new boss sat at the helm when playing Argyle. Barnsley manager Michael Duff, Fleetwood Town’s Scott Brown and Charlton boss Ben Garner are all in their first season with new clubs, and the quirk of the fixtures has not gone unnoticed with Schumacher.

“As soon as I saw the fixture list come out, that was the first thing that came to my mind,” he said. “That’s quite hard to plan and prepare for, because it’s new. Players are desperate to impress their new manager, so you get an extra performance early on. We’re expecting nothing different on Saturday.

“I wasn’t too pleased when I saw their game was called off and we were away at Charlton, coming back at crazy hours in the morning. But I can’t moan about it, it is what it is. We won’t even mention it to the players, we have to focus on us, and what we’re good at.

“They’ll be tough opposition. I’ve just watched their game against Ipswich, and I’m just about to watch their game against Lincoln. They play some nice stuff. They’ve got good players and play a nice system of football, a nice way of playing.

“But if we get anything like our good performances this season, we’ll be alright.”

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