Shumacher knows pressure for success at Fleetwood Town

Steven Schumacher
Steven Schumacher

Midfielder Steven Schumacher believes it’s a good time for a break from the pressure of League football at Fleetwood Town.

The 29-year-old, nominated this week for the League Two Player of the Month award, hopes back-to-back cup games at Highbury will prove a welcome distraction for Town.

And, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup second round showdown with Burton Albion, the former Bury skipper insists life at Highbury isn’t made any easier by the high expectations from the stands.

He said: “We’ve found it difficult the last couple of weeks.

“Before Saturday we had won five out of the last seven.

“Against Nortampton and Accrington we were expected to win.

“There’s pressure from the outside. People expect us to go into games and win every single week but it’s not the case.

“Accrington were on good form and they probably deserved to win. Northampton was a last-minute goal.

“The cup is a good chance to forget about all that, on Saturday and next Tuesday (when Rotherham are the visitors in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy).

“We just want to get in some good performances.”

Schumacher says he knows why there is such expectation from the supporters but also insisted Graham Alexander’s Fleetwood squad were not yet the “finished article”.

“You don’t feel the pressure directly,” he said. “But you can understand why people expect us to win every week. That’s football fans in general.

“We’ve put together a team here that is capable of getting promoted but you’re not going to get promoted in December.

“We’re not the finished article. We’re still a very new team. You can see we’re conceding goals late on quite a lot.

“That’s probably because we are a new team. We’re not fully gelled or a complete unit yet. The more we play together the better we will be.

“I still believe we’ve got more than enough quality to be in the hunt.”

A last-minute header from Dave Kitson denied Fleetwood top spot, and so tight is the top end of League Two that the draw saw Town slip to seventh.

They remain just two points behind leaders Oxford with a tricky trip to Rochdale following their cup escapades.

Schumacher acknowledged how much of a blow Kitson’s equaliser must have been for the fans .

“A point given away so late feels like a defeat,” he said.

“But it could have been a defeat but for Scott making a save from the penalty. After the break we didn’t pass the ball well and we got punished. The timing of their goal hurt.

“In the first half we played some good stuff. We knew they’d be direct but we passed the ball well. We didn’t show enough composure in the second half,” added Schumacher scored four goals last month.