Watford (A) | Schumacher's Preview
As Argyle head to Watford this Saturday for the second Sky Bet Championship game of the season, Steven Schumacher wants his squad to understand their worth.
Watford spent six of the last eight seasons in the Premier League, and although their 11th place finish last term will have been disappointing for them, they will surely have their sights set on being a promotion contender in 2023/24.
They underlined those ambitions with a 4-0 win on the opening day, at home to Queens Park Rangers, but while Schumacher considers Watford one of the big guns in the second tier, he knows that the squad at his disposal have absolutely nothing to fear.
“We're going to Watford, who I would regard as one of the top teams in the Championship,” said Schumacher.
“They've been in and out of the Premier League over the last few years, and they're so strong. The ground's going to be brilliant; I think every stadium that we go to we’ll say that. They'll have a good atmosphere in there.
“They got off to a brilliant start on Saturday at home to QPR, so they're going to be full of confidence, and we know we're going to be in for a tough game.
“We deserve to be in this division; that's the message to the players every week. We worked so hard to get here, so let's go and have a go. We’re not going to show anyone too much respect, but we've got to go there with confidence and with belief that we can go and get results at places like this.
“That's not underestimating the challenge; we know what we're going to be up against, not only at Watford, but a few of the other huge away grounds that we're going to go to. But if you don't go in there with any belief, then there's no point going at all.”
Schumacher expects the match to be an open one. The Hornets’ scored all four of their goals in the first half against QPR on Saturday, but Argyle managed three of their own in a 3-1 win against Huddersfield Town on the same day.
Both sides favour a passing, attacking style, so Vicarage Road – including a sold-out away end – can expect an exciting encounter.
“It'll be a footballing game,” said Schumacher. “The shape Watford play isn't too dissimilar to how we've been playing, so it's going to be a challenge to try and figure that out.
“They've got really exciting players, fast players who are physically strong all over the pitch, so we need to make sure that we match that, and then have a plan when we have the ball.
“It's important that we try to have spells of possession where we can, to try to hurt them. because we've got some good players as well. We're looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can perform.”