Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Grimsby Preview

Sync Fixtures

This time last season, there was no way of knowing that Argyle’s Emirates FA Cup adventure would culminate in a memorable day out at Stamford Bridge.

Against Chelsea, in the fourth round of the 2021/22 edition, Argyle exited the famous competition, but only after taking the Blues, at the time the reigning European champions, to extra-time.

Before that, though, Argyle had to progress past Sheffield Wednesday, after a replay, followed by Rochdale and Birmingham in order to tackle Tuchel’s men.

This season, the journey begins at Blundell Park, home of Sky Bet League Two side Grimsby Town.

Argyle boss Steven Schumacher’s managerial reign was just 10 games in when visiting Chelsea, and speaking of that day brought a visible smile to his face.

“I love the FA Cup,” Schumacher told Argyle TV. “Growing up as a kid, they were the games you looked forward to as a fan. In my playing career I did ok, never really got any exciting runs.

“Last year was the best experience of the FA Cup, getting to the fourth round and playing Chelsea away, and doing as well as we did. That was special. Hopefully we can get the first hurdle out of the way on Saturday at Grimsby, and get on another journey.”

Grimsby are 13th in League One, and are managed by Paul Hurst, who is in his second spell as Mariners boss. Hurst has achieved promotion from the National League in both his stints in charge at Grimsby, including last season.

Argyle, for their part, head into the tournament top of League One, meaning they are the highest-ranked team in the FA Cup at this stage.

“The excitement builds,” said Schumacher. “We are the highest-ranked team, we are the ones everyone will be wanting to beat. We’ve got a really tricky game, away at Grimsby, but if we get through that, we hope we can progress and then once you get to the third round, the Championship and Premier League teams come in, and the competition kicks in properly.

“They are going to be desperate to put a mark against us. They have nothing to lose. I remember going to their ground as a player a few times, it is always a tough place to go. They get a good crowd. We are expecting a tough game.

“Paul Hurst is their manager, who we know a little bit about. He did really well in League One with Shrewsbury, and previously at Grimsby Town, and he’s gone back there.

"He always has his teams really well organised, and they are always a fit team.

“They have a threat on the counter-attack. They have Ryan Taylor playing up front for them, who we know at Argyle.

“We’re not expecting to roll up there and have it all our own way. It’s a cup tie, anything can happen in the FA Cup, that’s why everybody loves it."

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