Midfielder Steven Schumacher hopes his side can put last week’s disappointment at home to Burton Albion behind them, as they travel to the North-East on Saturday to take on Hartlepool United.
Reflecting on the game against the Brewers, Schumacher said: “We didn’t start well enough. Credit to Burton, they had a game plan and sat back behind the ball. The tempo of the whole first half was a little bit slow and we never got in behind them enough and failed to stamp our authority on the game, but second half we changed that. We played at a higher tempo, put them on the back foot, and almost got something out of the game”.
First half goals from Burton’s Rene Howe, Adam McGurk and Chris Hussey stunned the Cod Army, leaving Graham Alexander’s side with a mountain to climb after the interval. Schumacher said: “With a bit more luck we might have got a point at the end of it, but our first half performance was not good enough so we’ll try not to do that again”.
Despite losing their first game of the season, Schumacher believes a response will be imminent: “I think you’ll definitely see a positive reaction from us as we’re not the finished article yet. That game on Saturday probably brought us back down to earth a little bit and we’ve still got things we need to improve on as a team. Defensively, we need to deal with balls into our box a little bit better and try to get the first contact on it, while going forward we need to be a bit more clinical and a bit more decisive in what we want to do, so we do know that there is improvement in us and we’re still in a good position”.
The 29 year old, who skippered League 1 Bury last season, missed their trip to Victoria Park with an injury, but had this to say about Saturday’s opponents: “Every time you go up there to Hartlepool it’s always a tough game. They’ve got a good crowd, they always get behind their team and we’re going to have to be at our best if we’re going to win the game”.
The Cod Army are sure to be at the centre of things off the field as well on Saturday, with Gillette Soccer Saturday presenter, Jeff Stelling, an avid Hartlepool supporter. “He (Stelling) always gives them a mention so hopefully we can score a few goals up there and a few of our lads can get their names on Sky!”.
The full interview with Steven Schumacher is available on the Cod Army Player.