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Match Previews

Preview: Town v Kilmarnock

25 July 2014

A look at Saturday's pre-season friendly at the Greenhous Meadow

Marcus Braddock looks at Kilmarnock

Saturday's friendly at the Greenhous Meadow sees Shrewsbury Town take on international opposition in the form of Scottish Premier League team Kilmarnock.

Ok, so Scotland isn't really international competition, but in a couple of months, if the Scots decide they don’t love us any more, that's what it will be.

Having no memory of seeing us play against a team from Scotland, I'm quite looking forward this weekends game and with the current good weather set to stay for the weekend, there is a great opportunity to see our new and pretty much complete squad.

Killie had an interesting season last term, finishing just a couple of places away from the top six but also just a couple of places away from the relegation zone.

Manager Allan Johnstone has been with Kilmarnock since the start of last season but has had to contend with the loss of striker Kris Boyd, who left at the seasons end for Rangers after scoring an incredible 22 goals in 37 games.

It is the second time Boyd has left Killie for Rangers, and if the four seasons he spent there from 2006 is anything to go by, he'll score another hatful this coming season.

Allan Johnstone has moved to replace Boyd and also strengthen his squad with the arrival of striker and ex town loan player Tope Obadeyi and Northern Irish international Josh Magennis.

22 year old Irish central defender Mark Connolly has signed after spending a couple of seasons with Crawley, striker Paul Cairney has arrived from Hibernian and striker Lee Miller has joined from Carlisle.

Killie have also added utility striker Josh Magennis from St Mirren.

THE MANAGER

Allan Johnstone is about to start his second season in charge at Rugby Park after joining from Queen of the South. Johnstone had a varied playing career, starting out with Hearts, moving to Rennes in the French League and then spending three years with English club Sunderland.

He's also played for Rangers, Bolton and St Mirren, but the bulk of his games came for Kilmarnock where he played 115 games between 2004 and 2009.

He finished his playing career with Queen of the South and started his non-playing career there too, leading QotS to a historic double in his first full season in management, winning the Scottish Second Division Championship and the Scottish Challenge Cup.

PREDICTION

I'm hoping to see a good game this weekend, I'm quite interested to see how we match up against an SPL team although as it's a friendly, it's not going to be quite the same as a competitive match.

With five new players, there are likely to be some good performances as players try to impress their new boss or solidify their place in the team.

Town will have Andy Mangan available for selection, the ex-Forest Green man completed his move to the Greenhous Meadow this week and will want to hit the ground running.

Now we have four strikers, I expect there to be some decent competition for the front positions, which will hopefully result in a few goals.

We're also well covered in midfield with what looks like an embarrassment of riches, home grown players like Ryan Woods and Aaron Wildig will be looking to compete with the likes of ex-Premiership Liam Lawrence for the midfield berths.

It's a bit of a hiding to nothing trying to predict a pre-season friendlies, particularly without the context of regular comparison between the levels of the protagonists.

But it doesn't matter as I always predict a Town win anyway, 4-2 to Shrewsbury Town.

ShrewsWeb talks to manager Micky Mellon to get his thoughts ahead of the game

MICKY ON KILMARNOCK: "It was just another really good opposition to give us another good test.

"To keep building this group towards what we're trying to do for the season. It's just another really good test which was well worth taking on and we know we'll get another good game of football.

"I don’t know a great deal about them because obviously they're up in Scotland but I know enough about them to know they'll give us a really tough test.

"They're a good footballing team, they produce good footballers so we know we're in for another tough test but that's what we want at this time in the season."

MICKY ON THE PLAYERS' PROGRESS IN TRAINING: "They're getting there, we're just topping them up now. To be honest, the last few days, they've had six sessions in the last three days, seven including today.

"We’ve worked them very, very hard, probably the hardest we've worked them is this week, so really now it's about just pulling them back a little bit, using Saturday as another training session and we've got another three games in six days so we'll be looking to get their match-minutes up for the first game of the season."

MICKY ON THE SQUAD: "We want there to be competition in all areas. We want to make sure that nobody thinks that after an average performance their opposition is safe, they have to go out there and do the job we want them to do. That's healthy for the group, that's healthy for the football club because if we only have that mentality, we can be successful.


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