MANAGER EXPECTS ANOTHER COMPETITIVE TEST
Town conclude pre-season with trip to Tranmere
- Micky believes they will be keen to win
- Manager reports no fresh injury concerns
Manager Micky Mellon expects another competitive test for Shrewsbury Town in Saturday's friendly at Tranmere Rovers.
Micky also confirmed there are no fresh injury concerns heading into the game, with Dom Smith, goalkeeper Mark Halstead, Nathaniel Knight-Percival and James Wesolowski the players who remain out.
"I had a terrific time there," said Micky.
"Playing in the Championship for Tranmere seems a long, long time ago.
"I think with Gary Brabin and now the way they look like they've reacted in the summer with the personnel that they've brought in, they're preparing to try and bounce back so that's good.
"We'd all like to see that, anybody who's got a soft spot for Tranmere, but certainly going up there it's going to be a tough game.
"It's one that we are really looking forward to and again it's a challenge that we'll need at this stage of pre-season.
"It's for all the right reasons and we're looking forward to a really tough match."
Micky had three spells at Tranmere during his playing days and hopes to see the club bounce back to the Football League.
"It's important for them to impress," said the Shrewsbury manager.
"It's important for them all to understand that there's a team that will need to be picked for that first game of the season.
"We'll go into that game with that in mind. I'm getting towards a bit of clarity in my mind now anyway.
"If it was Millwall on Saturday, I'm not far from knowing what that team would be anyway.
"We'll maybe look at a couple of little things that will help us in the season coming that we have done in other pre-season games just to see how certain things work with certain personnel or certain little shapes we might have to adopt at certain times during the season.
"We'll have a look at that but certainly I'm getting towards being clearer about the team that will start.
"It's squad of first-team players, there's no first team there.
"Somebody may change their mind or something may happen, there's still a lot of training sessions and a game in between against Tranmere where anything can happpen, so we'll wait and see."
The game against Tranmere offers the Town squad the chance to impress Micky and force their way into his starting line-up for the league opener at home to Milwall on August 8.
"I think it will be pretty much the same type of game (to Kidderminster)," said Micky.
"We'll try and learn from Tuesday's night's game ourselves and we'll be speaking about in the build-up to Tranmere and trying to fix what we believe we need to get better at for Tranmere."
And the Town boss believes his side are in for more of the same at Rovers at the weekend.
The Shrews picked up a 2-0 victory at Conference Premier side Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday night in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
"They'll be very keen to win," said Micky.
"They'll be very keen to make sure that we know it's not a friendly, so it will be very competitive.
"They've got some good players there and they'll be wanting to build towards that first game of the season as well, and they'll be wanting to show everybody that it's a Tranmere team that's ready to bounce back.
"All the signs are there for us that we're going to get a really tough game, but we believe in our group and we know that that's what's going to happen, so it will be up to us to make sure that we go up there and compete and find a way of getting a result."
But Micky believes the now-Conference Premier side will want to show everyone that they can bounce back.
It was a tale of two stories for either team last season as Shrewsbury were promoted from League Two while Tranmere fell out of the same division.
Town travel to Prenton Park at the weekend (3pm kick-off) for their final pre-season fixture ahead of the 2015/16 Sky Bet League 1 season.