Bobby Grant taking the positives from point at U's
On-loan forward Bobby Grant says his teammates must take the positives from the performance at Cambridge United - despite a catalogue of near misses which denied Shrewsbury Town 3 points.
Town hit the woodwork twice in the second half, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro missed a golden opportunity before the break and then Grant was denied by a fine save in the dying minutes from Cambridge 'keeper Chris Dunn.
"It's a game I thought we totally dominated," said the on-loan Blackpool man. "We've had 5 or 6 chances and on another day we win 3-0. As the manager said it's another very good team performance both in the first and second half which is pleasing. We're normally good in one half, but not so much in the other. We take the positives and move on.
"It's one of the most complete away performances since I came to the club. At York we played well and won the game, and we should have won this one."
Reflecting on his own chance in second half stoppage time, Grant admits he thought he'd scored the winner. Earlier his long range effort came back off the same crossbar which also denied defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival.
"Josh Passley gets down that right side very well and I told him to cut one back and I'd be there," he said. "I just needed contact, their 'keeper guessed and it was a great save. I thought the shot earlier was in, the 'keeper just stood there. If it opens up for me I'll shoot."
The big chance of the first half came when Akpa Akpro missed a great opportunity after being sent clean through, but with only Dunn to beat, the Frenchman struck his effort wide.
"He's very disappointed as it was a big chance, but he'll come back - he always does," said Grant. "He's a great asset to have in the team and on his day he's probably up there with one of the best strikers in the league. It's down to us to get him going again. If he gets a chance on Saturday I'm sure he will take it."
At the other end, Cambridge - joint second highest scorers in League 2 - were restricted to few opportunities and Grant says that was down to another solid defensive display.
"The defence were very disappointed away at Exeter when we lost 3-2 but we showed at Cambridge how good we can be at the back," he said. "We were really solid. If we lose the ball we're confident we've got the defence to keep it out of our net. We've got the best defence in the division."
Despite the disappointment of not winning the game, Grant feels the draw could be vital at the end of the season as Town look to clinch an immediate return to League 1.
"It's a good performance and good result," he insisted. "We've come to Cambridge who are very good at home and the result could be one that wins us the league or gets us promoted. At home is where people demand you get three points and we've been doing that."
The loanee also paid tribute to defender Mark Ellis, recalled to the Shrewsbury team after Jermaine Grandison called in ill on Friday morning.
"He was outstanding," said Grant. "He was very solid and it shows you what we have in the squad. Jermaine has been a rock for us and Mark has come in and done equally as well."
Shrewsbury now face a busy run of games over Christmas and New Year with Morecambe at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday, and matches against the likes of Wycombe, Oxford and Burton to follow.
"We'll go in to the Christmas games very confident," he said. "If we play the way we know we can we'll beat anyone in this league. That's not being overly confident, that's the way the dressing room is. We've got very good players. If someone doesn't perform, we don't play. Anyone who dips below the standards that we've set, we know there are lads who'll come in and do as well or even better."
Grant is keeping an open mind on his future at Shrewsbury. His loan spell from Bloomfield Road comes to an end on January 3rd.
"I haven't spoken to Blackpool but I'm happy where I am," he admitted. "I love the lads and staff and I'll sit down with Micky Mellon when the time is right. He knows what I want to do and he knows how much respect I've got for him and for what he's done for me. I'd love to stay. The fans are superb and there's a great set of lads. It's a club that I think can achieve a lot and it's the reason i'm so happy to be here."