Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Ipswich Reaction

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To Steven Schumacher, this was a beautiful Sunday.

Argyle produced another characterful performance at Home Park to come from behind and not only win another precious three points, but they did so against Ipswich Town, a side unbeaten this season and top of Sky Bet League One when the sun rose.

By mid-afternoon, they had been replaced on the division’s summit by the side who fought back to defeat them. Town’s march looked to be continuing after former Pilgrim Freddie Ladapo gave Ipswich the lead before half-time, and the visitors looked the more likely to score the game’s second goal in the period after the interval.

Argyle, though, seem to produce their best moments the later the match goes, and two moments of quality swung the pendulum. Bali Mumba cut in from the left and unleashed a powerful drive from 20 yards to level the score and five minutes later Morgan Whittaker whistled home strike of at least equal beauty to score what would prove to be the winner.

It sent the vast majority of Home Park into delirium of the very best kind – and when interviewed by Argyle TV about 15 minutes following the final whistle, Schumacher was still – to borrow one of his favourite words – buzzin’.

“I can’t take the smile off my face at the moment,” he said. “I thought it was a brilliant game. Two really good sides going at it, loads of good football, some good chances, brilliant bits of play – and we are just delighted to get the three points and go top of the league. It sounds really nice.

“I thought it was a close game and could have gone either way. The lads showed good character to be brave, get in Ipswich’s faces and not give them time to play. The energy that we showed to continue to press and be aggressive with it, to regain the ball close to their goal, which we did. Just for their desire, I think the players deserved the three points.

“Bali produced a real moment of quality with a great strike, and then Morgan Whittaker, from a brilliant press, sticks one in the top corner. I thought he was outstanding all game.

“The atmosphere from the very start was class. I thought the Ipswich fans were great as well, by the way, to come all the way down here for a 12.30pm kick-off on Sky was brilliant. Our fans, after ten minutes of the second half when we were behind, got behind us and lifted the atmosphere to get momentum on our side.”

Schumacher is right to credit the Green Army, whose decibel levels must surely have been heard in pubs and living rooms around the country via Sky Sports’ broadcast.

It follows, though, that the Green Army in turn can credit the work of Schumacher and his team in helping turn the game around. At no point could anyone question the strength and fitness of this Argyle side, and it seemed that once again Argyle gained some impetus from a series of well-timed substitutions.

One of those changes was to bring on teenager Will Jenkins Davies for only his second taste of league football. Following Will’s goalscoring performance in midweek against Swindon Town in the Papa Johns Trophy, Schumacher had no hesitation in throwing Jenkins Davies into action in such a big game.

“Niall Ennis had a dead leg, and we needed a midfield player,” said the manager. “Will was on the bench, and he’s a midfield player. I don’t care if he is 17; he is on the bench for a reason. He deserves to be there. I’m pleased he came on in such an atmosphere. It will stand him in good stead.

“We spoke at half-time about playing forwards a bit more and being positive when we had it. When we got near their box, could we look after it a bit more? In the first half, we had chances around the box and messed the pass up.

“It’s a credit to the players – and to the performance team who get the lads fit. They’ve got belief in themselves that if they go behind, not to get too down about it. We’ve proved that we can react well and if we show quality like we did today, then we can come out on top. It won’t always work like that, but as long as you put the effort in you’ve got a chance.”

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