Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Sheffield Wednesday Reaction

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Steven Schumacher heaped praise on his entire squad for their resilience, persistence and battling qualities following Argyle’s 2-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday – but admitted that Sam Cosgrove is bound to steal all the headlines.

The Argyle forward scored his third winning goal since his arrival at Home Park, heading home at the stroke of 90 minutes to keep Argyle on top of the league and maintain a 100% home record. It came after the game had seen two very early goals, with Ryan Hardie opening the scoring just over two minutes into the game, although Liam Palmer equalised for The Owls fewer than five minutes later.

Cosgrove, though, was made to wait for his moment. In the minutes leading up to the goal, he had seen a header cleared from the line, which plenty inside Home Park felt had gone in, before being hauled to the ground by Michael Ihiekwe inside the area, but no penalty was forthcoming.

In some ways, though, it simple made the winner all the more dramatic.

“It was unbelievable, the way it ended,” said Schumacher. “Maybe one was over the line, we possibly could have had a penalty, but the big man slots one in at the end and all is forgotten.

“He made a big impact, as did all the subs when they came on. Jordan Houghton was outstanding when he came on, settled us right down after a bit of a dodgy spell we were having. Brendan Galloway the same, calmed everyone down. Niall Ennis was a threat; Conor Grant looks like he is back, he had a few touches of the ball.

“Big Sam will take the headlines, and rightly so. His header was outstanding, the one that we thought was over the line. He put himself about, he was good with his touch, and he scored a goal that I don’t think anyone else in our squad could have. What a good goal – and what a win.”

Argyle had plenty of periods in the game where they were under pressure, and a very experienced Wednesday side came close to going in front several times, notably when Josh Windass hit the post twice.

The Greens knuckled down, though, as Wednesday manager Darren Moore and Schumacher engaged in a tactical tussle, with both making positional and tactical tweaks throughout.

“It was very tight,” Schumacher said. “It was the probably the toughest game we’ve had this year. We knew before the game, how strong they are. We didn’t expect them to set up in the shape that they did. That surprised us, and it probably took us 20 minutes to settle into the game.

“We managed to change our shape to match them up a little bit, and got a grip of the game. Half-time, they changed shape again, so what we spoke about at half-time goes out the window. It was a hard night, and credit to the players because they kept going, kept believing and kept trying to do the right thing. We also kept the energy up, which we spoke about before the game, about keeping going in the last 20 minutes of the game.”

The win means Argyle have won nine of their opening 12 fixtures, drawing one, and have seven wins in their last eight league games. Importantly, Schumacher and his side have faced all of the other seven teams that comprise the top eight – and have taken 19 points from a possible 21 in that mini-league.

There can be no drop-off, though. Next up, at Home Park on Saturday, is Accrington Stanley, who currently occupy the ninth spot.

“It’s important we continue our standards,” said Schumacher. “We can’t drop off it and think the hard work is done, because it’s not. Accrington will be a hard game on Saturday for different reasons. The players are in good form at the minute, in good spirits and enjoying what they are doing. We need that to continue for as long as we can.”

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