Schumacher's Shrewsbury Reaction
Steven Schumacher is, by now, presumably getting used to taking bucketloads of credit for Argyle’s continuing good form, but after a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town at Home Park, the manager quickly moved to shift focus to his number two.
Assistant manager Mark Hughes, it seems, put forward a couple of ideas that helped Argyle go from a goal down at half-time, thanks to Jordan Shipley’s opener, to winning the game via second-half goals from Niall Ennis and Morgan Whittaker.
Schumacher takes up the story: “I want to give Hughesy, my number two, a bit of credit here. He goes under the radar at times, but at half-time we were talking about what we were going to do. We knew Sam [Cosgrove] was going to come on, we said do we go 3-5-2, with Morgan as a 10? He said ‘no, let’s go 4-4-2. We did it at Derby, and at Portsmouth, and it worked.’ We had nothing to lose.
“With 15 minutes to go, he came to me and said: ‘What about Brendan Galloway for Butch? Butch looks tired.’ Brendan then comes on and sets the winner up.
“Sometimes you need your number two – you need all your staff. Our staff are doing brilliantly.”
The players are not doing badly either, with this victory marking the 12th from 16 fixtures in the Sky Bet League One season. Argyle have also won eight out of eight at home in the league.
For a while, though, on this wet and blustery Tuesday enough, the 100% record looked in serious jeopardy. Shrewsbury scored first and frustrated an out-of-sorts Argyle in the first half, with frustration starting to show on the field and in the jam-packed stands.
Through sheer force of will, perhaps, the Greens got back in it, and with the aforementioned tactical tweaks, plus a couple of moments of skill, got the victory. Schumacher admitted his players found it tough, especially in the first half, but praised their resilience and determination.
He said: “We spoke to the players this week about ‘if they score first, it becomes even harder because they will sit in’. They’ve got good defenders, and are organised.
“We controlled possession early on but found it difficult to break them down. They were really well organised, with a back five, three in and sometimes just one centre forward. It was hard to break them own.
“We made few errors; players you wouldn’t expect to give the ball away so often did so. We were a bit hesitant a couple of times. We were a little indecisive with out-of-possession stuff.
“Adam Randell landing on a second ball changes the game. He made a 50-50 and then Morgan and Niall produce a moment of quality and it’s game on.
“What it says about the players is that they keep going, they try their best, whatever way we try to tinker with things, they take on information and stick to the plan. Thankfully we got over the line.
“I would have liked us to play a little bit better with the ball, if I am honest, but we got the job done and it’s another three points.”