A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Panutche Camara has been called up to the Guinea Bissau squad for their African Cup of Nations campaign next month. The competition kicks off on Sunday 9th January in Cameroon and Guinea Bissau have been drawn in Group D alongside Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria.
Argyle have confirmed that the Greens' upcoming League One fixtures against Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon have been postponed. This is due to a mixture of Covid-19 cases and injuries in the Argyle squad.
Steven Schmacher paid tribute to his side's defensive strength in the victory in Cheltenham, focusing on the team unit behind the success. He said: "It's really pleasing for the whole team. Every one of them, to a man, grafted today. The clean sheet is not just down to Mike Cooper and the defensive unit - everyone put in a real shift. They didn't allow balls to be contested easily, they didn't let Cheltenham get on top of them, it was a real team effort."
Argyle pulled off another Boxing Day win at Whaddon Road with a 2-0 victory over Cheltenham Town. Argyle took the lead with a fantastic team goal that saw Panutche Camara slot home from Joe Edwards fine cross. Argyle weathered a bit of a storm in the early part of the second half but Jordon Garrick continued his fine run of form, putting the game beyond doubt. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton, Edwards, Camara, Mayor (Broom), Grant, Agard (Ennis), Garrick(Jephcott). Subs: Burton, Bolton, Randell, Hardie.
Jordon Garrick is taking advantage of a regular run in the Argyle side, stating his determination to become a regular fixture either at striker or wing-back. He said: "Players just want to play and I am playing most games now so that's all I've ever wanted. I am really enjoying playing at the moment and where we can go and what we can do at Argyle. Whether I am starting or come on as a sub, I always try and effect the game. If you're in the game, you're in the game – it doesn't matter where you are playing. It's fun when you play and it's good to challenge yourself against good players. I have done quite well recently playing at wing back as well as up front and it just adds to my experience. I don't think it really matters where I play to be honest, I think players should be able to play in a few positions anyway. It's like a hidden superpower."
"It was important to get back to winning ways. It was the first three points for the gaffer – he really deserved it. I was glad we could get his first three points because the players love him, and we want him to do well. It's down to us to play well and I know everyone wants to play for him so hopefully we can build the momentum going forward. We just have to keep going until the end of the season."
"I have never actually played on Boxing Day, so it's a first one for me and I am definitely excited. The fans are everywhere we go – we could be playing in a different country and I'd expect them to be there. Hopefully we can give them something extra to cheer about on Boxing Day."
Argyle have announced that Keith Downing will join the team as Steven Schumacher's first team head coach. Downing has a wealth of experience, having managed sides ranging from Cheltenham Town to England under-19s. Director of Football Neil Dewsnip said: "I have known Keith personally and professionally for a number of years. I have worked with him through the England youth set-up and had the pleasure of winning the under-19 European Championships with him. I can't think of anyone better to help Steven through the early stages of his managerial career. He has a wealth of experience and I have no doubt he will be incredibly supportive of Steven and Argyle progression. We are delighted that Keith has joined the coaching staff at Argyle."
Matchwinner Keiran Agard expressed delight at his first league goal since New Year's Day 2020, to secure a vital three points for Argyle. The striker talked through the pivotal moment, saying: "It feels amazing. To give us the win and to get the three points is amazing and I think the side stuck together as a whole and we kept to the game plan and pulled through. I know I am going to get chances in this team and it's just a matter of when that chance comes, you have to stay cool, calm and collected and take it. We have been working so hard on the training ground with the coaching staff and it's good that we managed to put that into getting a result today. I think the first half was a bit scrappy and we battled through but when we got that chance, we put it away and went into the break 1-0 up. It was a much better performance from the boys in the second half and we had some good chances to win the game a little bit more comfortably in the end. This gets the wheels back going again and we will now take all that confidence into the next game."
MacCauley Gillesphey focused on the delight of the clean sheet, adding: "Defenders just love clean sheets don't they. It's like strikers love scoring goals and wingers with assists. As a defensive unit we are absolutely buzzing. It was really important to get the win too, especially with the run we've been on. I thought all the lads were brilliant today and to keep a clean sheet shows that we were working our socks off and that's brilliant to see. The goal came at the perfect time, just before half time. I thought that settled us down going into the break and we knew coming out in the second half we had something to hold on to."
Argyle's winless run has been ended with a hard earned 1-0 victory over Charlton Athletic, the team who last ended the unbeaten run of form. The return of Keiran Agard proved an inspired selection by Schumacher as he scored the game's only goal on the stroke of half-time. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton, Garrick, Camara, Mayor(Broom), Edwards, Agard (Ennis), Hardie (Jephcott). Subs: Burton, Law, Randell, G Cooper.
Despite the close recency of Argyle's away game against Charlton, Steven Schumacher has insisted that that will not be the focus of the game at Home Park, saying: "I'm excited and really looking forward to it. More important that my first home game in charge though, it's going to be a good game against a real tough opponent. It's strange playing against a team so close together but we know how they play and their team. They have been in good form since that game and so I can't imagine there being too many changes. It's a new game though, it's at Home Park not the Valley and we go into it with confidence trying to get a result."
Ryan Hardie is hoping that Argyle can use the game against Charlton as a springboard to return to their best form, after a disappointing run of form over the past month. The striker said: "We're going into the game keen to get the points and are wanting to give these fans something to shout about again. The results of late haven't been good enough but we're not getting battered, we've always been in the games. It's only really been a bad week and a half, and we have to make sure we can turn the ship and get back to winning ways. When we went on that unbeaten run, we knew the things we were doing right, and we just have to get back to doing that. It's been a pretty positive start - MK Dons was a positive result and the response in the second half against Sunderland was good as well. We have to look forward and keep working towards getting some points which will start this weekend. It's been a bit of change but it's somebody that we know and knows the style of play that we want. It's been really comfortable coming to training every day."
After the disruption following Argyle's match against Wigan last month, the club have announced that 32 individuals have now been issued with club bans, ranging from two and a half years to lifetime bans.
Steven Schumacher confirmed that he has signed a new three and a half year deal at Home Park until the summer of 2025. He spoke about his busy first week at Home Park and confirmed plans are afoot to bring a new assistant manager to the club. The new gaffer said: "It's an unbelievable honour and privilege to be asked and now to be in this position, it is the best job in Plymouth. I know how important it is to the people down here that they have a club that they can be proud of and I am loving it. We are in discussions for an assistant to come in. It's really important that I take my time on that and make sure we get the right one. I have an idea on who I want that to be and the sort of person I want them to be and like I said, we're in discussions and hopefully they decide to take up the opportunity.
"We've had a staff meeting where I have outlined what I want to do, there are some things I would like to do a little bit differently than before. Nothing too drastic but maybe a few little tweaks that will hopefully allow us to do even better in the matches coming up. When we got the job two and a half years ago, Simon Hallett and Andrew Parkinson had a remit where they had a specific philosophy. That was that if the manager changes the club doesn't too much and I think me getting the job after Ryan moved on proves that. I think it's important that there aren't any deviations in the road, it's good to keep everything consistent."
"Once the games got going, I settled down and did what I would normally do. I was probably more nervous than I normally would be, but the task was still the same, we had to go and win a football match. I think it was the last message before we left the hotel or before going out of the dressing room. It was always something that Ryan would do, I never had to do it, so it was a totally new experience.
"The players have been top class, we've had three hard away games. They would have been difficult no matter what. I felt that the lads were brilliant and thanked them after the game on Saturday but they need to carry in being brilliant."
Steven Schumacher admitted he is relieved that a break is coming up after a physically and mentally exhausting week for Argyle. He bemoaned Argyle's poor start to the game at Sunderland but did praise the second half performance which gave him reasons to be positive. Schumacher explained: "The players need a break, they need to switch off a bit. Physically and mentally, we look a little bit off it which is to be expected. They and I will have a couple of days to rest and recover and then we'll be fresh and ready to go again. It wasn't a great start, we spoke to the players about coming here to try and quieten the crowd down which is a big factor for them. Credit to Sunderland, it was a well worked corner routine that we hadn't seen before and sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. The second one is disappointing; we didn't stop the cross coming in and the lad was given too much space to get the finish.
"I think in the second half we did the basics a lot better. We looked a goal threat and nearly got that goal straight away. The players stuck at it, and they didn't let their heads drop. You can never question their effort and they put in a shift once again. For long periods in that second half we went toe to toe with Sunderland and if we had got a draw, we would have been worth it. It just wasn't to be today, it was always going to be a tough game. Some teams, being 2-0 down after twelve minutes, could have folded, it could have ended up five if we did. But it wasn't that, we stuck at it and gave it a right go which I am pleased about. They will have a couple of days off before we get back in next week to prepare for Charlton."
The goalscorer Dan Scarr was left frustrated by the 'too easy' goals that Argyle conceded to put them on the back foot but, like his manager, took the positives from the second half display, saying: "We can't start games like that, we were off it - positionally all over the place and were probably five yards off or so. We haven't conceded many set pieces this season so that was a bit of a sucker punch and then the second one was just too easy. It has been a tough week on top of the change. Three away games and we haven't really been at home at all. We just need to regroup because we have a couple of big games coming up over Christmas and we will be looking to put it right. With everything that has happened, with a new change of manager you just have to try and get on with it – it happens in football. It will be nice to get to recharge this weekend and prepare properly and well for the busy period coming up."
"We know we have good character, we have gone behind in games before and come back and won or got a point – we did that on Wednesday night. We have still had chances and grew into the game a bit second half, we got into some good positions we just couldn't finish them off. We never feel like were down and out, but we just have to start showing better quality than we did tonight. Some of the chances we had today we had been scoring earlier in the season. The good thing is that we are creating chances, we just need to be a bit more ruthless with them."
Argyle fell to defeat in their longest away trip of the League One season at Sunderland. The game got off to a bad start with the greens falling 2-0 down in the first twelve minutes. The second half was vastly improved and Dan Scarr got one back from a corner kick but it was not to be for Argyle, who remain in the play-off places thanks to other results. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton(Jephcott), Edwards, Camara (Randell), Mayor, Broom (Ennis), Garrick, Hardie. Subs: Burton, Law, G Cooper, Agard.
Argyle have announced two fixture changes. The FA Cup third round tie with Birmingham City will now kick off at 5:30pm on Saturday 8th January. Incidentally, Argyle's League One game away to Fleetwood Town has been rearranged for Tuesday 25th January with a 7:45pm kick off, having previously been slated for the 8th.
Steven Schumacher reflected back on an emotional 24 hours in which he was confirmed as Argyle manager and managed his team to a 1-1 draw at play-off contenders Milton Keynes. Schumacher said: "It's really hard to put into words all of my feelings. It's been a bit of whirlwind. What I didn't want to lose sight of was what we had going on here this evening. It's not about me and who is the manager, it's about us playing against a good MK Dons team and I thought we did well. I thought it was important to try and get a result from the game because of what has happened this week. With the last few results in the league, we had to show we can compete and get back on track. I think we can be pleased with our performance, but I also think we can get a little bit better as well. I needed to speak to my family to make sure that I was making the right decision to take the job. We've had a great career together, all the way back from when we played with each other. We've always been best of mates, and we always will be. It was a really tough conversation as you could imagine, Ryan was given an incredible opportunity which he deserved. He took Argyle from league two to league one and we are competing at the right end of the division. I think everyone should remember the good work we have done together, and we should look back on that with fond memories."
Argyle's first game of the Steven Schumacher era ended in a draw, with a 1-1 at Stadium MK in front of the Sky camera. The home side went into the lead halfway through the first half and it was a fellow Liverpudlian, Conor Grant, who levelled it up with a fine strike for Argyle. Argyle: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton, Edwards, Camara, Broom (Mayor), Grant, Hardie (Ennis), Jephcott (Garrick). Subs: Burton, Law, G Cooper, Agard.
In a hugely dramatic 24 hours that rocked the club and its fans, Argyle lost their manager and hired a replacement. Ryan Lowe has left the club after two and a half successful years to become manager of championship side Preston North End. Having received a request to speak with Lowe from a team in a higher division, the club was obliged to grant permission, as per the terms of his contract at Home Park. As Lowe was clear about his desire to leave, Argyle immediately moved fast with the announcement that Lowe's popular assistant, 37 year old Steven Schumacher, will take over as number one. Andrew Parkinson spoke to Argyle fans about the events of the extraordinary day. He said: "We are very excited about the appointment, and look forward to Steven building on the impressive foundations he has laid at Argyle. Schuey is a popular figure at Home Park, and his tactical knowledge, man-management and motivational skills are evident in his day-to-day work. We believe he has great potential, and is the obvious choice to provide continuity at a time of great promise at the club. More than that, though, Steven fits the profile of the kind of young, forward-thinking Manager we want at Argyle, and no prospective candidate has a better understanding of the club, and squad, than him. Of course, we thank Ryan for his achievements as Manager, and we wish him all the best for the future."
Argyle have been drawn away to Birmingham City in the third round of the FA Cup, the game will be played on the weekend of January 8th.
Ryan Lowe reflected on the second round success and praised the resilience of his players, saying: "I said before the game that we want a day out. We aren't going to win the cup so it would be nice to take my team, my players their friends and family and of course the fans somewhere that's really electric. We have played better and lost games before, so I was really pleased with the resilience that we showed. Fair play to Rochdale, they were right up for it and I don't think we were at our best to be honest. They are a good team and they play some good football and have been going well in the league so of course we weren't going to have it all our own way. We had to mix it up a bit and yes, we weren't at our best but we had to make sure there wasn't an upset and we did that and are into the third round of the FA Cup."
"It's nice when it goes for you isn't it? We kept going towards the end made a double substitution with Niall and Jeps and of course Jeps gets the goal. When you have those fresh legs and the quality sat behind you then you'd be a fool not to use them."
Luke Jephcott spoke of the joy of a last minute winner and looked ahead to the busy week to come, adding: "A last minute winner is always a good feeling. The main thing is that we stayed solid in the second half," Luke said following the game. We went through a bit of a spell which we had to get through but you can't beat a last minute winner. A goal is a goal, it doesn't matter what competition it is in, but the main thing is that we are in the next round of the cup and hopefully we get a big team. They kept coming at us and the goal was a boost for them. I have to say that our fans were brilliant, singing all afternoon again. We needed this result today and we needed to bounce back after a tough week last week. This has set us up really nicely for a long week ahead."
Of his appearance off the bench after a long injury lay-off, Niall Ennis reflected: "It's very good to be back with the team and obviously get the result. It's been a while but I'm just happy to be amongst it now, I just hope I can kick on from there. I'd like to thank all the staff that helped me get back. It's just good to test out my hamstring and it feels good now, so it's just about getting the sharpness and hopefully I can get back to myself. Before when I was behind the dugout watching [the games], you're with the team but you're not really feeling like you're involved, but getting a strip on, getting back amongst it again just felt good and to play in front of the fans and let them see what I'm about. I hadn't played in front of the fans yet, so knowing I was going to come on I was just thinking 'am I going to fit the game?', but you always have to back yourself. We've got a good environment in the club, you can see, with the fans, the connection and the singing. It's a really good changing room so, when I was injured at the start, everyone was helping me get back fit so it's good to just be amongst the team as one."
In sad news, Argyle have announced the passing of former vice-chairman and two times director Peter Jones. Jones served as a director between 2001 and 2005, and again between 2011 and 2017, overseeing three promotion seasons.
Argyle progressed to the FA Cup third round following a thrilling encounter at Rochdale in the ITV televised game. The greens took the lead courtesy of a fine goal by Jordon Garrick. Dale equalised after the break before Luke Jephcott stole a late winner at the death, just seconds after coming on. George Cooper made his first start in a year and Niall Ennis and James Bolton both made the substitutes bench after long absences. Subs: M Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Houghton, Edwards, Broom (Camara), Mayor, G Cooper (Law), Hardie(Jephcott), Garrick. Subs: Burton, Bolton, Randell, Grant, Ennis, Agard.
Newly a regular in the Argyle side following the injury of Brendan Galloway, Macauley Gillesphey looked ahead of Argyle's second round FA Cup tie at Rochdale, in front of the ITV cameras. He said: "Training has been good, and it's been really positive. The gaffer and coaches have created a positive environment, and everyone is wanting to keep working hard. They'll be desperate to win and will give it everything. They might look at our recent form and think they have a chance, but we should just treat it as another important game. We need to get back to winning ways and have to keep doing what we've been doing all season. It has a slightly different buzz about it – you can come up against any sort of team in the cup. I don't have great memories of the FA Cup growing up being a Newcastle fan - they were pretty useless in the cup really. As a player though, I remember playing Everton in the third round and that was a good and bad experience. We got beat but it's always good to play against the big teams. The most important thing is concentrating on the next game and that is Rochdale away, I feel it is going to be a real test. At the same time, we have to turn it around and will be at the top of our game – it should be an entertaining watch."
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