Plymouth Argyle head coach search will not start until Championship survival is secured

Plymouth Argyle head coach search will not start until Championship survival is secured

19 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Neil Dewsnip (right) stands with former Argyle head coach Ian Foster
Neil Dewsnip (right) has been in temporary charge at Home Park since Ian Foster (left) was sacked at the start of this month

Plymouth Argyle’s search for a new head coach will not begin until the club avoid relegation from the Championship, said director of football Neil Dewsnip.

Argyle were a point above the drop zone when Foster’s 87-day tenure was ended.

Since then the Pilgrims are unbeaten having defeated leaders Leicester City and bottom side Rotherham United, as well a draw with Queens Park Rangers.

“The focus is very much safety as fast as we possibly can, and then we’ll start that search,” Dewsnip told BBC Radio Devon.

“We need to get safe as quick as we can and then we can move on and all those aspects – contract negotiations, new signings, staffing, the whole lot, and not least of all a new head coach.

“It’s very important that we run our process to the best of our ability and come up with the right candidate for Plymouth Argyle Football Club to go forwards.

“We’ve had one debrief over the last head coach and where we feel maybe we could analyse not to have the same experience again in the near future.”

Reunited with Steven Schumacher

Neil Dewsnip (left) and Steven Schumacher watch a game
Neil Dewsnip was Steven Schumacher’s director of football throughout his time as Plymouth Argyle manager

Argyle go up against Foster’s predecessor Steven Schumacher for the first time on Saturday since he left Home Park for Stoke City in December.

The 20th-placed Potters are one point and two places behind Argyle with a three-point gap to the final relegation place.

Schumacher – who led Argyle to last season’s League One title ahead of Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday – is someone Dewsnip has known since the Stoke boss was an eight-year-old in Everton’s academy.

The pair worked closely at Argyle, first when Schumacher was Ryan Lowe’s assistant from the summer of 2019 and then when he took over from Lowe in December 2021.

“Let’s acknowledge Steven’s role at Plymouth Argyle. He did exceedingly well. He got us promoted into the league that we’re desperately trying to stay in and we should acknowledge that very positively,” Dewsnip said.

“Have we talked about it being Stephen and his team this Saturday? No, we haven’t really at any level as a staff or the players.

“We’ve trained and, with respect, the focus is very much on ourselves and trying to do the best that we can do.

“That said, of course they know it’s Schuey’s team and I hope they use that as fuel to perform really well.”

Neil Dewsnip embraces Wayne Rooney
Neil Dewsnip was across the dugout from another of his former Everton youth players Wayne Rooney in December when Dewsnip was in his first spell in temporary charge and the former England captain was Birmingham City boss

And Dewsnip said that while he has pride in what Schumacher has achieved as a player and manager, he will put that to one side at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

“I’m incredibly proud of Steven Schumacher. He’s a fantastic person, his family are absolutely top.

“I hope I’m a close friend of theirs, I’d like to think I am, but on Saturday he will be in the opposing technical area, and to be fair, whether it’s Steven or anybody else, I’m just completely focused on my job and that job is Plymouth Argyle.

“But I’ll know he’s there, the same as when it was Wayne [Rooney] when he came with Birmingham City, and it’s nice.

“It’s really nice isn’t it when youngsters who were once eight, nine years of age have matured and become football coaches and managers. It’s lovely.

“Anthony Barry got to the semi-final of the European Champions League with Bayern Munich, he’s out of the same team, so it feels really good when people are following your path almost.”

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