Gaffer's thoughts after the 4-2 win over Colchester United
MICKY MELLON was left delighted with the character of his players after Shrewsbury secured an exhilarating 4-2 win over Colchester United.
Salop were left shell-shocked when a Mark Ellis own goal and a Tom Eastman strike in the space of three minutes gave the U’s a two-goal advantage going into the half-time break.
But two goals apiece from substitutes Tyrone Barnett and Sullay Kaikai helped the hosts complete a remarkable comeback in the second half.
And Mellon was evidently thrilled with his side’s performance.
“I don’t want to underestimate it but to go and score four goals in this league at any time is impressive,” the 43-year-old told the media in his post-match interview.
“Every credit to the lads- they came out in the second half and exploded. We started to press a bit harder, win the knockdowns and we overran them at one stage.
“We looked like the old Shrewsbury.”
Barnett pulled one back for Town with a close-range header immediately after the second half begun, before finding the bottom right corner from the left side of the six-yard box to level the scores as the hour mark approached.
Kaikai then claimed his first goals in a Blue and Amber shirt, scoring from the left side of the box to give Shrewsbury the lead and then sealing victory with less than ten minutes of normal time remaining.
And Mellon was full of praise for the pair’s influence on the game.
“You can’t underestimate their contribution. They are two terrific lads,” the former Fleetwood Town manager commented.
“We know that they are capable of that. It seemed like an eternity to half time because we couldn’t wait to get them on.
“They made a great impact, which is fantastic for the group.”
But Mellon was left frustrated with Salop’s first-half display and admitted that he would rather not experience the drama of such an enthralling comeback too often.
“I don’t want to go through that every week,” he remarked.
“We were disappointed in the first half. It was nowhere near what we needed. You have to keep measured because there’s nothing you can do about it.
“So we just changed the shape and tried to be more direct, up the tempo and go and play in their final third.
“The goals came at a good time. They energised us again and we’re really pleased for the lads. Everyone has gone home entertained and that’s what it’s all about.”
And it was a special day for young defender Dom Smith, who made a very positive impression on the Scotsman in what was his professional debut.
“I’ve had Dom for 18 months now. He is someone that’s always been very much in my thoughts here,” Mellon revealed.
“We think the world of him. He’s a local boy but he’s in the team because he deserves to be in it.
“He works hard, defends well and wants to fight for the club and gain a career in this game.
“He showed some great composure in an area where a lad of less character would have got fuzzy-headed- I thought he was outstanding.
“It’s a brilliant moment for him and his family.”
The victory was just Town’s second home win of the new League One campaign, but Mellon is confident that he will build another strong side over time.
He added: “We’re re building here. One thing that I can guarantee is that I’m going to build another good team here. We’ll find a way of getting the most out of the lads that we have.
“It’s a gradual thing because players have to be available at the right time. There’s no mad rush as I have to get it right. I know what types I want to establish here.
“These things don’t happen overnight, and we’ve had a big blow with the amount of players that we have lost but we’ve got some outstanding talent and we’re in a good place.”