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SCHUMACHER: IT IS GOING TO BE A MASSIVE GAME

7 March 2017


It was only six weeks ago that we spoke to Steve Schumacher after the 2-0 defeat at Hartlepool that saw us lie 17th in the table, nine points off the play-offs and 18 points away from the automatic promotion spots.


Schumacher spoke of his hurt after the game but was determined that the team would put things right. They have. 


On a run of seven wins and a draw from the eight games since, Schumacher talked to us about the turnaround.


“If you had said to me after the Hartlepool game you are going to be where we are at this stage of the season, I probably would have laughed at you to be honest!


“It is not that we didn’t believe in ourselves or what we are doing, it is just that we were so far away.


“We spoke a few home truths after that game, changed our shape, had a few big players come in and have been very good since. The performance levels have been excellent, Matt Godden has been on fire and we have shown our dominance over the last eight games.”


When asked if he could put his finger on the magic ingredient, Schumacher says there is nothing of the sort.


“It isn’t just one thing. To go on a run like we are on, first and foremost it takes a lot of effort from everyone involved. You can’t afford any passengers and you need eight or nine players on top of their game every week.


“It hasn’t been the same starting XI every game but the results have been down to hard work, being organised and working for each other. Also, in some games when maybe we aren’t playing that well, you need goals at the right time or maybe a slice of luck to go your way.


“We have made the most of every situation and have been really strong after getting our noses in front.


“It also helps when you have players in Matty Godden, Ben Kennedy, Jobi McAnuff and Tom Pett that can make the difference at any time.”


As good as our form has been recently, Schumacher knows that nothing can be taken for granted and it doesn’t take much for it to go the other way.


“It will do if players don’t keep putting in the same performance levels or work in. This league is like that; if your game isn’t quite at the standard it should be then teams will punish you.


“We just need to keep on doing what we are doing, everyone is confident, everyone is looking forward to the next game. Winning breeds confidence and that is what you are seeing in the performances and results.


“We have 11 huge games to go and we want to stay up here for as long as we can. It is down to us if we can carry on with our performance levels, the results will take care of themselves.”


The first of those games is this Saturday as we travel to Luton in one of the most highly anticipated meetings between the two sides for years.


“It is going to be a massive game. Any derby game is always exciting, I love playing in them.


“For us to go into the game with it hanging in the balance like it is, it just adds that extra bit of excitement.


“I am sure the fans will enjoy it and hopefully we can go there and put in another big performance."


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