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Steven Schumacher will not rest until Stoke are mathematically safe

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Apr 2024

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Steven Schumacher claimed “it’s not done yet” despite a 3-0 victory against his former club Plymouth all-but securing Stoke’s Sky Bet Championship status.

The Potters boss enjoyed the bragging rights as goals from Dutch trio Ki-Jana Hoever, Million Manhoef and Wouter Burger secured a win which saw his side move up to 17th in the table – six points clear of the drop zone with two fixtures remaining.

“It was a big day; I had my eye on this game since I came here,” said Schumacher, who left Home Park in December having led Argyle to the League One title last season.

“I would have hoped both teams would have been safe by now, so there could have been a bit less pressure.

“It’s weird when you come up against people who you are friends with and you have a feeling in your belly all week that’s not nice.

“I’ve got a lot of affection for Argyle and always want them to do well, but today was about Stoke and trying to get three points that we needed.

“It was probably the best home performance from us; it was really good all-round.

“We knew how difficult the game would be and if our performance wasn’t right we would have got hurt by Argyle today.

“But credit to the players, they were brilliant from the first minute and, in the big moments, we showed some composure and quality.

“We stressed all week that there was going to be a bit of noise around the game and everybody understood how important it was.

“It’s not done yet; it’s important that we get in on Monday and have another good week and focus on Southampton.

“You never know in this league, and you have to keep going until it’s mathematically secure and at the moment it’s not.”

Plymouth’s three-match unbeaten start under interim boss Neil Dewsnip ended in disappointing style.

The Pilgrims could muster only one attempt on target as they slipped to four points above the relegation zone.

“We’re really disappointed to lose – we knew how important the game was for us,” said interim boss Dewsnip.

“Stoke were by far the better team on the day and credit to them.

“After the first 35 minutes, the crowd seemed to get really involved and Stoke got a big lift from that.

“We didn’t handle that emotion particularly well and I was disappointed with our performance in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

“We showed immaturity, which is something we’ll address and look to do better in the future.

“We’ll take the lessons; Millwall’s going to be a tough place to play and we need to be ready for that.

“We need to handle moments in the game much better.

“The commitment is definitely there (from us); sometimes in football you have to hold your hands up and say your opponents were better.

“Last Friday night, the same group of players gave everything physically and emotionally, and that might have taken it out of us more than we realised.

“Our goal is to stay in the Championship and we’re two games out from doing that.

“If you’d have given us that at the start of the season, we’d have grabbed that opportunity, so we’re in a positive mental state.”

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