Schumacher's Sheffield Wednesday Preview
Last season, Sheffield Wednesday came to Home Park twice – once in Sky Bet League One, once in the Emirates FA Cup – and lost both games 3-0.
The first of those ties, the league fixture, took place almost exactly a year ago to the day of this year’s. On that occasion, in a very competitive game, goals from Ryan Hardie, Dan Scarr and Ryan Law gave The Pilgrims the win.
It is a nice memory for all involved, but for manager Steven Schumacher, he is keen to use a game that took place a lot more recently as motivation for his squad.
Argyle took on Derby County away on Saturday, and having been 2-0 down at half-time, showed immense character and no little ability to come from behind and win 3-2.
The victory – Argyle’s fifth in the opening seven games – put The Greens in third place in the table, just one place and two points above Wednesday, who lost their corresponding game 1-0 against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
“It's going to be another hard game,” he said. “Last year’s result and performance doesn’t really take any significance but last week’s result, playing against these sides, it should give our team confidence that we can win against these big teams.
“We can’t dwell on one good performance or one good result for too long. Pretty quickly another game comes along and you’ve got to go and perform again.
“That’s what we are up against on Saturday. We’re playing against another top team in Sheffield Wednesday who should be up there at the end of the year. It’s going to be a really hard one, but it’s one we are really excited for it as well.
“Last year we played them four times, so we know a lot about each other. We know the system they are going to play, we know the quality that they have throughout their squad, and they will know the strengths we possess as well. I’m sure they’ll be prepared for it, they’ll understand that they are coming down here and how much of an impact our crowd can have.
“Barnsley played really well, I watched the game, and probably deserved the three points. Sheffield Wednesday weren’t quite at their best, but Barnsley had a game plan, stuck to it and got the victory.
“[Wednesday] will want a reaction. Darren Moore and their staff will want a reaction from their players because that’s what we would ask for as well, when you’ve been under par.
“What we can do as a staff, and what we will ask our players to do, is to keep getting better, keep trying to improve on last week’s result and performance, because you are going to need to play as well, if not better, to beat Sheffield Wednesday.”
Home Park is expected to be close to, if not fully, sold out for the game, which for Schumacher cannot come quickly enough.
“Hopefully it is sold out by the time 3pm on Saturday comes,” he said. “We want this stadium full. It’s a big part of our philosophy, to play an exciting style of football that brings people in who want to watch us. Last week’s result will have helped. Everyone is excited for another huge game at the top end of League One, with two good teams going at it.”