Schumacher's Lincoln Preview
After a 5-1 defeat against Grimsby Town in the Emirates FA Cup last Saturday, Argyle return to Lincolnshire this weekend, but against a different opponent, in a different competition – and hopefully with a different outcome.
Lincoln City await the travelling Pilgrims, in a Sky Bet League One fixture. Argyle top said division, with Lincoln 14th, having accumulated 22 points from their 16 games.
The Imps have a curious home record this season. They are unbeaten in seven games at the LNER Stadium, having won one and drawn the other six.
Argyle boss Steven Schumacher draws a logical conclusion from that stat.
“It shows that it is a hard place to go and win. They’ve played a lot of the big teams and got good results: Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, they won away at Ipswich. They are obviously not an easy team to play against. They have got a spirit and a fight within them.
“Going forward, they’ve got speed, a good work rate at the top end of the pitch, and they are a threat on the counter-attack. That is something we will have need to be aware of, so we don’t cause ourselves too many problems.
“Hopefully this visit to Lincolnshire is better than the one last weekend. We weren’t at it, we didn’t play very well, and Grimsby were the better team.
“We spoke about it on Monday, analysed and debriefed, and moved on. The focus all week has been getting back to basics and doing what we are good at. Hopefully we can put in a better performance against Lincoln City. It’s another tough game, but if we are right, it’s another we feel we can get something from.”
While Argyle were losing at Grimsby, Lincoln were the on the end of an FA Cup upset of their own, losing 1-0 at Vanarama National League South club Chippenham Town. Three days later, though, they managed a 3-1 Carabao Cup win at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City.
“It’s a funny old game, football, isn’t it?” said Schumacher. “Just when you think everything is doom and gloom, like they would have thought losing to Chippenham, they go and beat Bristol City away, which is a great reaction. That’s what we are going to need on Saturday – a better performance, a better reaction from the players.”
Dan Scarr and Conor Grant both went off with injuries during the Grimsby game, and both will miss out several games. The bad prognoses on the duo is tempered, however, by good news on a recovering pair. Macaulay Gillesphey will return to the Argyle squad at Lincoln, while Mickel Miller, who is yet to make his Pilgrims debut, now has a game earmarked for his return.
“[Grant and Scarr] are both not going to be available,” said Schumacher. “Conor Grant is going to be more long-term than Dan Scarr. He has quite a significant tear in his thigh after attempting a shot early in the game at Grimsby. He could be out for three or four months. It is a similar to timescale to Mickel Miller. Dan Scarr isn’t as serious, but might be missing for four to six weeks.
“It is a bit of a blow for us but, thankfully, Macaulay Gillesphey is back in the squad, and will be involved at the weekend. He’s trained ok and is getting through his problem.
“[Mickel] is doing ok. He has trained a little bit with us. He’s been in modified training sessions and is doing well. We’ll step him up again on Friday to do a bit more contact. Next week is full contact for him, fingers crossed he comes through that. We’ve got a Papa Johns Trophy game coming up soon, so touch wood he might get a few minutes in that game.”