Graham Turner's thoughts after the 2-1 defeat by Blues
By Matt Johnson
Town boss Graham Turner was pleased all-round with the pre-season clash with Birmingham City – apart from the result. He praised the workout his squad received from the Greenhous Meadow test, despite eventually losing out to the Midlands outfit 2-1.
Marvin Morgan headed the Shrews into a 17th minute lead after delicious cross from new signing Paul Parry, but the visitors were level at the break when full-back Mitchel Hancox slid home a Chris Burke cross on 39 minutes. The Blues had much the better of the second half and sealed the victory through Nicola Zigic’s strike 18 minutes from time.
“It was a good workout against a good quality team with good players,” said Turner. “It was a fair test for us, but the positive thing was that we created one or two good chances, the negative from that is we didn’t take any of them.
“I thought we really opened them up a couple of times, but defensively, there’s bits and pieces to be learnt and the structure of the team a couple of times was all over the place when they broke out, but generally it is the sort of workout that your looking for from your pre-season games.
“They’re a good team. They were in the play-offs and nearly made the Premiership last year, so we know they’re a good team and with a new manager, you know that there’s a few of their players playing for a first team place. It’s everything you want from a pre-season game apart from the result.”
19 of the 21-man squad played a part against the Blues, and Turner was pleased that he is getting the opportunity to give players a run-out, balance game time and develop new partnerships on the field over this pre-season schedule.
“You’re trying to get the balance between the players having enough game time, so it is carefully monitored. People like Mark Wright had 80 minutes at Evesham, but didn’t get so long tonight, but then he will have a fair portion of the Leicester game. It is trying to get everybody plenty of game time.
“[Developing partnerships] is a vital part of it. As well as getting match fit, it’s about getting that understanding between the groups of players and also through a selection process, so we’ve got a lot of benefit out of tonight’s game.”
Turner spoke of his delight in capturing young defender Michael Hector, who came on to play 21 minutes against the Blues, and has made no hesitation about his desire to bring in another player before the start of the season. But he remained coy on which position he is targeting.
“Michael is going to be a good player. On the evidence of what we’re told from Reading, there were half a dozen clubs who wanted to take him, but they wanted him in the end to come here. The lad was quite happy to come, so that is very pleasing when you’ve got a Premiership club thinking along those lines that the lad will learn from his time here and that we’ll look after him.
“I think one more player would be pleasing. I think if we could do that before the season starts then we’ll be pleased with what we’ve got.”