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Liam, "Whatever team they send, we'll give them a good game"

25 September 2014

Skipper looking forward to Chelsea after important league games

Shrewsbury captain Liam Lawrence says the players are relishing the League Cup draw against Chelsea - but insists the focus remains on winning games in League Two, starting at Southend United on Saturday.

Town's mouth-watering tie against Jose Mourinho's team of international stars at the Greenhous Meadow is just reward for their cup adventures so far, with victories against Blackpool, Leicester and Norwich.

"It's a good draw, especially at home," said Lawrence. "It'll be a nice money earner and something for the fans to look forward to. Teams like Chelsea and Manchester City can put weakened sides out, but they're not really weakened sides. Whatever team they send, we'll give them a good game. We're going to try not to speak about it though. We've got six games before then and have to focus on those."

The result against Norwich meant Shrewsbury are through to the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time since making it all the way to the quarter-finals (when they were beaten by Southampton) in 1986-87.  

"It was a good night for the fans and club," said the former Stoke and Sunderland man. "It's important because it gives us confidence for the next league game which for us, is now a massive match. We didn't win at the weekend against Newport and we knew we had to put it right against Norwich which we did. We deserved the win.   

"Me and one of the lads spoke about it in the changing room that we seem to play some good stuff against the good footballing sides. We're trying to drill it into each other that when it does become a long ball game in the League and teams are trying to frustrate us, we stand firm and keep playing our stuff."  

The Canaries made 11 changes from their Championship game against Birmingham last Saturday but Lawrence says that shouldn't mask another hugely impressive cup night for Shrewsbury.  

"As captain I have to go into the referees room before the game and get their team-sheet," he said. "I looked at it and saw the likes of Kyle Lafferty, Steven Whittaker and Carlos Cuellar. A lot of them were internationals. They can make as many changes as they want but that's still a good enough side to put on a show but we matched them and did well."  

Attention now switches to Southend on Saturday at Roots Hall - their manager - Phil Brown - was at the Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday to see Town win.  

"As soon as we got into the changing room at full time we all said 'it's about Saturday now," said Lawrence. "You set your standards, we've done it a couple of times this season where we've played really well so we've got to make sure we go there at the weekend and do it again."  

As for Lawrence, it was a first appearance in a Town shirt since playing at Northampton in August when the skipper was sent off.  

"I'm happy to be back in the team," he said. "I've been trying to keep positive and was happy to get a run out and play well. I looked at the clock and it said we'd played 70 minutes - my groin was a bit stiff because I'd not played for a while. It'll do me the world of good though and hopefully I'll play on Saturday and I'll be fresh as a daisy." 

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