Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher has praised Preston North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman as a ‘top’ player.

Schumacher brought his Argyle side to Deepdale on Saturday afternoon for a keenly-anticipated clash.

Schumacher has been best friends with Lowe for many years now and served as his assistant manager at Plymouth.

There was an opportunity for Schumacher to follow Lowe to PNE in 2021, with the idea of forming a coaching staff alongside Lowe and Mike Marsh.

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Instead, Schumacher became Plymouth boss, taking over from Lowe and building on his impressive work at Home Park.

Lowe gets the better of Schumacher

Lowe and Schumacher put their friendship to one side for a few hours on Saturday and PNE and Plymouth locked horns in the Championship.

PNE drew first blood as Duane Holmes scored inside a minute, before Liam Millar added a second on his debut.

Ryan Hardie did pull one back for Argyle but North End saw out the game well, battling away to record a fifth straight win.

Lowe and Schumacher will go back to being best pals again – at least until North End head down to Devon in March.

Preston North End v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

Schumacher praise PNE star Freddie Woodman

This could have been very different as PNE called upon goalkeeper Freddie Woodman to keep Argyle at bay.

Woodman made a sharp stop at his near post to deny Bali Mumba in the first half before also palming a dangerous Hardie cross to safety.

The big moment came with PNE already 2-0 up as Kaine Kesler-Hayden broke through on goal, but Woodman made a superb stop.

The former Newcastle United man continues to be reliable when called upon and Schumacher has offered him praise.

Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, Schumacher praised North End’s defensive abilities whilst picking out Woodman as a ‘top goalie’.

“Preston are a really difficult team to score against, that’s why they have only conceded four all season – two from open play – but I don’t know whether they have had many games this season where the opposition have created as many chances as we did,” said Schumacher.

“But credit to them, credit to Ryan and his staff, for getting them organised, they get people in the way. They block shots, they block crosses, they put their body on the line and they have got a top goalie,” he added.

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