Swansea City (H) | Schumacher's Preview
After Argyle take on Swansea City at Home Park on Saturday, there is a two-week break before they are next in action.
The gap is because of a set of international fixtures on the horizon. International windows are a new thing to Argyle, back in the second tier, but they marched into the last one, winning 3-0 at home to Blackburn before the brief interlude.
A victory this weekend would mean a points tally of seven from six games in the period between breaks, something manager Steven Schumacher says would represent a reasonably tally.
“The last time we stopped for the international break, we went into it off the back of a good win against Blackburn,” he said. “That got us to seven points and made everyone feel good about ourselves.
“If we can get three points on Saturday, I think that'll be the same. I think seven points from six games is acceptable. It's not amazing - far from it - but it gives us a chance to keep competing and keep doing what we want to do for the targets that we've set, so it's a big game.
“We want to win because every game's a big game in the Championship, but going into the international break it could let us go away with added confidence as well.”
Swansea’s season so far has varied massively. The Swans managed just three points from their opening seven league games, but something has obviously clicked, as they have now won three in succession: two 3-0 victories, against Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall, and then a battling 2-1 win over Norwich City on Wednesday night.
Argyle come into the game having lost to Millwall on Tuesday, and Schumacher says that he expects the approach of the Swans, managed by Michael Duff, who took over in the summer, to vary from that of the Lions.
“Swansea will be completely different from Millwall,” he said. “They play in a different style. They'll pass through the thirds, which is what we've come to expect from a Swansea team. They're in great form at the moment. They've had a great win on Wednesday night against Norwich. They played really well, and that's off the back of two other wins.
“It seems that Michael has landed on something with the team. He's figured out how they want to play and they're doing really well. It's going to be a hard game and I'm sure they're going to come in here with confidence, wanting to be getting 12 points from this block of fixtures before they go into the international break.
“I like Michael. We get on really well. He's got a really good record. He's done a brilliant job at Cheltenham, then an amazing job last year at Barnsley. They were so unlucky not to go up. I was gutted for him personally that he didn't manage to get it over the line, but he got his opportunity anyway to work in the Championship with Swansea.
“It took them a bit of time to get going, which can happen when a new manager goes into a new club, it takes a bit of time to figure out the players that he's got, and players take a bit of time to figure out a new manager. He's doing well at the moment but hopefully we can stop that run on Saturday.”
The game is another sold-out Home Park affair, with Swansea travelling en masse, too. Schumacher enjoyed the atmosphere created against Millwall, and hopes it will be replicated this Satuday.
“Our fans were brilliant on Tuesday night,” he said. “I want to stress that. The noise was better. I think we turned the Tannoy up a little bit for the Janner song, so that got the atmosphere going and we want that to be the same on Saturday.
“The fans can only play their part. It's up to us as a staff and as the players to play our part, put in a performance that not only is a good football performance, but gets some points.
“We feel as though our recent performances deserve more points than they're getting, so we're going all out to try and do better on Saturday.”