Steven Schumacher and Neil Dewsnip

Schumacher's Pre-Season Report

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Steven Schumacher’s first pre-season as Plymouth Argyle manager has gone as well as could reasonably have been expected.

Taking in games against local sides, Vanarama National League outfits and Sky Bet Championship opposition, performances and results have been admirable.

The build-up of fitness that pre-season is crucial for appears to have gone largely as planned, with Strength and Conditioning Coach Elliot Turner ensuring the Argyle squad are physically ready to go when the season starts on Saturday, at Home Park, against Barnsley.

“We’ve got some good fitness work in,” said Schumacher. “Elliot, it’s his first pre-season, he’s been brilliant. The lads have enjoyed it. We had a great trip to Spain. We’ve had good fixtures against two Championship teams, in which we were really tested. Then two National League teams where we’ve been quite ruthless.

“As pre-season goes, we haven’t had too many niggly injuries. We’ve managed to work on a different shape, which is another string to our bow. I feel as though we are in good shape.”

In addition, Schumacher and his staff have added five players to the unit, all of whom were on their radar previously, and who will hopefully augment a squad that came so close to reaching the play-offs last season.

“The new players we’ve recruited in the off-season have settled in perfectly,” Schumacher said. “All of the recruits we went for, we got, which I’m buzzing about.

“Having conversations with them, they seem as though they are enjoying it. Straightaway they were in with the group, a few of them have been out for meals around the city and mixed in with the players who were already here, which is what you want.

“I’m asking them if they understand the messages of what we want them to do, and they’re saying yes.

“Morgan [Whittaker] only trained with us on Friday for the first time. Thursday doesn’t count – you can’t do tactical work in the sea! He’s going to get better.

“Bali [Mumba] looks a real threat in the two games he has played, against Torquay and Yeovil. Mikkel [Miller] has been great. Butch [Matt Butcher] has settled in; he looks like he has been here for ages.

“Finn Azaz has got two goals in two games. That’s what we needed, someone scoring goals from midfield.

“I’m really pleased with all of the new recruits. We knew they were going to be good players, and they’re great lads. I couldn’t ask for much more really.”

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