Schumacher's Milton Keynes Reaction
Argyle extended their winning run in Sky Bet League One to four games with a 3-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons, with manager Steven Schumacher declaring it the perfect end to the Christmas and New Year period.
Argyle won all of their games during the festive spell, the latest coming at Home Park thanks to goals from James Wilson, Niall Ennis and Morgan Whittaker.
A fast start to the New Year was mirrored by the fast start in the game, as Wilson scored after just four minutes. MK equalised through Nathan Holland, but Ennis scored before half-time, and Whittaker’s goal after the break effectively killed the contest.
“We’ve had a good Christmas period,” Schumacher said. “We’ve had four wins now on the spin, which is really important. It’s always a really tough time in the season.
“I thought we played well, especially in the first half. We started the game really well. They managed to peg us back, but I just felt there were always going to be chances in the game, with the style of game that it was. Thankfully, we managed to stick two of them away, and we get another big three points here.
“It wasn’t dissimilar to the game at their place (when Argyle won 4-1). They had one or two chances where, with the way we set up, if you don’t get the press right, or there is a ricochet of the ball, it goes in their favour and is a one-on-one counter-attacking game.
“I thought we defended really well. Michael made a really good save from one opportunity. When they scored, it came from them losing the ball in our half, but that’s the style of the game you get when you play MK Dons. We knew that, and we felt we would have enough attacking players on the pitch to create enough chances and thankfully we did that and scored another three goals at home.
“In the last 15 minutes we changed our shape to stop their threats on the counter-attack, which meant they had the ball a bit more, but our lads were knackered by then so we were ok defending in our shape.”
Wilson’s goal was his first of the season – his first for Argyle, indeed – and came from Whittaker’s left-wing free-kick. Whittaker was also the provider for Ennis’s goal, with a sweet throughball, before the Swansea loanee got his ninth of the campaign.
Wilson was singled out not only for his goal, but his performance in Argyle’s back three.
“I thought he was brilliant today, not only for his goal,” said Schumacher. “It’s not easy playing against them, because their strikes drop into pockets all the time, and our centre backs have got to run a lot of distance to go with them. [James] is brilliant at that, and he was excellent today. I’m really pleased for him to score a goal, and it was another set play goal, which keeps the tally going.
“Niall’s finish came from a lovely little reverse ball from Morgan and brilliant finish. Then Morgan does what he does again, gets into good areas on the pitch, had a lovely first touch and a brilliant strike that hits the target and goes in. Three well-worked goals in a good performance.”