Schumacher's Peterborough Reaction
Steven Schumacher said that not doing the basics was at the heart of Argyle’s 5-2 defeat at Peterborough United.
The Pilgrims were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes, with Schumacher delving into substitutions just after the half-hour mark, bringing on Danny Mayor and Finn Azaz. The changes seemed to have an effect, with Saxon Earley getting the Greens back in the game.
Posh scored again soon after the break, with Argyle again reacting quickly, with Macaulay Gillesphey heading in his first goal of the season, but Peterborough made it 4-2 six minutes later, and although Argyle continued to press to get back in the game, a fifth goal for the home side on 78 minutes effectively ended the contest.
“It wasn't good enough,” said Schumacher. “We didn't start the game well enough. We were sloppy as a team, didn't defend well enough, lost out in too many second balls and got punished. We conceded two poor goals from not switching on defensively.
“We responded. The lads showed a good reaction once we made the subs and we got back into the game. At half-time, I said it’s still there for us, I felt that we would create more chances, which we did well but in the second half, we conceded poor goals. If you give up as many big opportunities as we did to a team like Peterborough, who have got really good forward players, it’s not going to happen for you.
“We knew that's what happens here. They leave four up front, which means that you have opportunities to break on them and if you look after the ball and you show some quality, you create chances. We did create a few chances; we just didn't take enough of them.
“The way they leave their players at the top end of pitch, you've got to defend one v one and you’ve got to make sure you make good decisions and defend with intensity all over the pitch. If you don't do that and you switch off, then you get punished. We got punished five times.
“We're not going to stand there and go defensive, to try and do damage limitation. We try to get back into the game because I felt there were going to be chances for us.
“The players kept going. I’m not having to go at their effort; they gave us everything that they had today. But certain aspects of the game, we have got to do better. The fourth goal is a poor giveaway in the middle of midfield for us. It's an easy pass that we should complete, and we don't.
“It’s a disappointing afternoon, but it's something we're have to learn from. One or two performances today weren’t quite at the standard of what we've been playing at throughout this whole season. Once we fall below the standard, then that's what happens.”
Another large traveling contingent of the Green Army would have been understandably disappointed with the result and performance, but their encouraging reaction towards Schumacher and the dejected players at the final whistle seemed to be a reflection of the fact that, frustrating as this game was, it was only the fifth defeat in 33 for the promotion-chasing Pilgrims, who have a week without a game before facing Charlton Athletic next Saturday.
“They’ve seen that the lads put the effort in again today,” said Schumacher. “We just didn't play well enough on both sides of the ball. I’m not going to overreact. We’ve still taken seven points out the last four games.
“One point here would have given us the right points total that we need, on the points-per-games, to get promoted and we just fell one short.
“We've got another tough one next week now, against Charlton. We're going to have to have a reaction from that and make sure that we do the basics right. It just felt as a whole team today, we just didn't do the basics.
“We won't dwell on it too much because this squad have shown throughout the season that after poor performances or a poor result, we tend to get a reaction. Hopefully we get one next week.”