Striker and team mates looking to the start of the seasonStriker James Collins revealed a half time telling off from manager Micky Mellon helped inspire Shrewsbury Town to a one-all draw at non-league Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening.
With an out-of-sorts Town trailing one-nil at the break, Collins' well-taken goal late on secured the visitors a deserved leveller after an improved second half display.
"The first half wasn't good enough," said Collins, who re-signed for Shrewsbury in the summer after spells at Swindon and Hibernian.
"We got a good telling off at half time which we thoroughly deserved. In the second half the boys came out and showed what they can do and the subs who came on also showed they're different class.
"I won't go into detail as what was said, but the manager wasn't happy. He told a few players some home truths."
The match at Aggborough was Town's penultimate pre-season friendly, and means they've suffered only one defeat in their five games so far - a two-one loss against Premier League side West Bromwich Albion at the Greenhous Meadow. Collins felt his team deserved their draw at Kidderminster and may have nicked it late on.
"Had the game gone on for longer, I think we would have won it," he said. "Their keeper was busy in the second half, but after the first half performance, I think going away with a draw was fair."
Collins admitted he was settling well back into life at Shrewsbury after a spell playing in the Scottish Premier League for Hibs last season.
"Pre-season is all about getting fit and getting used to the new players and football back in England," he said.
"It's been really good and I'm enjoying my football. I don't think there's a big difference between playing in League Two and the Scottish Premier League. Every player in any league is competitive but you're striving for different things. At Shrewsbury we want to get promoted but in the Scottish Premier League, you're just looking to do well in the cup competitions, because Celtic are always going to be the cream of the crop. There's a different set of motivations."
Illness prevented fellow summer signing Scott Vernon from lining up against Harriers, but the two have formed a useful partnership in Town's attack with Vernon himself getting three goals in pre-season.
"The strikers are getting goals but the players who are assisting us have done well too," said Collins. "They're getting into good areas and we're there to finish them off and so far in pre-season Scott and myself have done that. Jean Louis Akpra Akpro and Andy Mangan have done well since they've come in too and that's definitely a positive."
With just over a week to go until Town kick off their League Two campaign at AFC Wimbeldon, Collins feels the Town squad is in good shape and with one final pre-season match at Altrincham to come on Friday, the striker can't wait for the league action to get underway.
"The manager, staff, players and fans are raring to go. We've got game on Friday, a rest for the weekend, then we're back at it next week and we'll be ready for Wimbledon. We're looking forward to a positive season. Pre-season is exciting at the start but you want to play in games where you can get points."