Steven Schumacher looks forward to the start of the season
‘Pre-season is going well with tired legs and tired mind! It’s been pretty tough, the gaffer broke us into it for the first few days but the last week has been pretty tough – but good. I’ve had a good rest over the summer and took a couple of weeks where I didn't do anything and tried to get rid of a couple of niggles I’ve had, but since then I’ve worked really hard and personally feel in pretty good shape. I feel quite sharp, nice and trim and looking forward to getting the season started.
The lads that the gaffer has brought in are all good additions to the squad. We know what Lateef can do because we had him with us for a spell last season, we know that he has that little bit of quality. Adam Lockwood is a good experienced player that has played at a higher level than this. We will need that experience. Marcus Marshall looks like he has something different and all in all they are all good additions to the squad and I think the manager will want to bring in a few more faces before the season starts.
At times last season, we were probably a little bit naïve. We went out against the top teams and thought our quality would take over and that we would be able to beat them at their own game. At times we probably wasn't nasty enough, we didn’t win enough games ugly. This year it’s important that we don’t concede as many goals and to stay in games when we are not playing so well. If we can stay in games, then anything can happen. Last year we were out of some games with half an hour to go and the games were all over.
It’s more of a mental thing, we need that attitude where we put our backs to the wall and dig in. At times we did do that well, we stuck together – but far too often, we were a little but week and I think that was probably more mentally than physically. We gave in too easily, we need a bit more bite and I think we can do that. We’ve learnt lessons that if you’re not quite at it then you’re going to be out of the game pretty quickly.
I think the league is going to be stronger this season. The teams that have come up form League Two – Crawley Town, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Swindon – they are all throwing money at it. They will all be looking to get out of this league just with the signings that they make. They will be tough sides. The likes of Chesterfield and Wycombe, and the teams that did go down, were all probably in a similar boat to us – the same financially but they didn’t quite make it. Then you have the teams that come down. The likes of Coventry, that’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be easy going to Portsmouth and Doncaster.
We start with a tough game against Middlesbrough, but I’m not sure how they are going to look at that competition. I would say that they will take it seriously; they will come here strong and with quality players. We did ok with Championship sides last year, but we have a good chance. It’s the first game of the season and there is bound to be a bit of rustiness – in both sides. If we do our jobs right, then we have a chance of a good result.’
The full video interview with Steven Schumacher is now live over on Shakers Player – Click here