Schumacher's Shrewsbury Preview
Argyle’s next task, as the run-in to the Sky Bet League One season intensifies, is a trip to mid-table Shrewsbury Town.
Steve Cotterill’s Shrews ended a four-game losing run with a draw on Saturday, at home to Portsmouth, and have a thin squad to choose from at the moment. However, Steven Schumacher well remembers the scare they gave Argyle at Home Park in October.
Shrewsbury led and hit the woodwork before Niall Ennis and Morgan Whittaker turned the game around for the Pilgrims, and Schumacher acknowledges the threat they will pose, particular at home, where they a strong record this season.
“We will give them full respect,” Schumacher told Argyle TV. “They were really good on the night here. We were frustrated with how they played; they nullified us in the first half. They were quite dangerous on the counter-attack and from set pieces.
“We changed our shape of half-time, and looked a little bit more of a threat. We played with a bit more of a tempo in the second half and managed to get ourselves in front, and get the win. It won't be an easy game. I know there are a little bit stretched on numbers at the moment.
“I think they had six on the bench on Saturday, and a couple of young lads in there. Injuries have taken their toll and maybe affected their play-off push, but we know that the team that started are still quite experienced. They've got some really good players and we're going to have to play well if we want to win it.”
Argyle head into the game having followed a home defeat by Lincoln City with a memorable 1-0 win away at Exeter City on Saturday. The win was the Greens’ third in a row away from home, and to gain a fourth at Shrewsbury would give Argyle the perfect platform going into the three consecutive home games that follow.
“I’m pleased we won a Devon Derby, that was so important,” said Schumacher.
“Physically, [the schedule is] quite demanding on the players, so you have to make sure that you use your squad and you keep people as fresh as you can, but also have people playing who are in form.
“That’s a huge thing that we've got to consider. Having games in such a short period of time, if you get some good momentum and you win the next game, then you carry it into the one afterwards from confidence.
“That's what we’re doing going into Shrewsbury now on Tuesday. If we can go and get a good result there, that gives us a bit of momentum going into three home games here.
“They come around quick and fast; we just got to make sure we make the most of them.
“If we lose, don't get too down. If we win, just try and be consistent. I think that's been a strength of ours this season.
“Whenever we've had a bad performance, we've had a good reaction and we've got on with the job in the next game. That'll be the message. We said that after the game on Saturday; we can't celebrate too much. We've got another huge game on Tuesday.
“After Tuesday's game, we'll be saying: ‘let's get home and recover, because we've got a huge game on Saturday.’
“We're all aware of what's at stake and the players are up for the challenge.
“It's a brilliant position to be in. I should enjoy it. I know there’s going to be twists and turns probably, but who doesn't want to be in this position?”