The Gaffer looks ahead to the EFL Trophy clashTown boss Micky Mellon is hoping Tuesday’s game with Cambridge United will allow his players to put right what went wrong on Saturday.
Town face the League Two side in the first of three EFL Trophy games this season.
Micky admitted that Saturday’s defeat was still sore and that his side had more to work on ahead of the clash with Cambridge.
“I’m devastated that we lost the game, I’ve got to be honest with that,” the Gaffer told ShrewsWeb.
“But, what we’re seeing is the margins are getting smaller. We’ve improved from last year, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. But, there’s areas that we still have to polish up on and get better at and we’ve gone through them and looked at them again.
“And if we can just get those basics of 18 yard box defending better, we shouldn’t be losing goals in last minutes from set play, especially when the numbers are six to three, we’ve got six players in the box to their three. I don’t think it takes a genius to know you should come out on top in that situation.
“And then crosses coming into the box, you’ve got to pick men up not space. We’ve been working on that since we’ve got back for preseason, we will continue to work on that, we’ll highlight it and we’ll get better at it.
“If we get better at those things which are costing us at the minute, we will be more than fine, because in my opinion last season, the teams that we played against that we’re playing against this season, we were nowhere near as close as what we are now.
Town let in three goals in the second half on Saturday, but Micky believes his side are getting closer to where he wants them to be.
“Of course we’re disappointed because we’re losing games, that’s the bottom line,” Micky explained.
“But, I’ve got to look at are we actually moving closer to these clubs, rather than further away and the answer would be that it’s real little moments of individual defending that’s gone against us, but it’s not moments that we can’t do better in.
“So, we’ll continue to keep working on it and keep trying to improve, because we know we have to win games.”
Cambridge is the eighth game without a midweek break for Micky’s team and the manager admits that squad rotation will be key to avoid injuries.
“I think we’ve had an awful lot of games recently and we’ve used the squad as well as I can,” Micky said.
“I think everybody has had a very good amount of game time, apart from maybe one or two. But, we’ve managed to do that.
“And I think at the minute we’ve got Jim O’Brien and Shaun Whalley who are injured, so two wide players, but I think Jim will probably train today (Monday). So, hopefully we will have everybody close to being available that can play apart from obviously Ryan McGivern.
“It’s unfortunate and frustrating at times that two of the players that are injured are two of your three widemen. I haven’t got another one in the group and it would mean putting a square peg in a round hole. But, we may have that back again for Tuesday, because it was always in my mind to go that way on Tuesday night.
“It’s a cup game. They aren’t going to come all the way up here to waste their time. They want to get a result, we need a result, so it should make for a very competitive game.”
The new EFL Trophy set up will see Town play three games over the coming months as part of a group stage. Micky is looking forward to the games but is worried about the lack of time it gives the group on the training pitch.
“It’s good and bad,” said Micky.
“We obviously need to get on the training pitch, we’ve got a lot to work on. But, you don’t get that time because today they’ll be recovering from Saturday and then tomorrow they just come in for the game, because you can’t empty anymore of their energy levels.
“So, I won’t be able to work with them now, because Tuesday they’ll play, Wednesday they’ll probably be off and then the next time I will see them on the training pitch is Thursday. That’s what happens when you go Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, you don’t get much time on the grass with them.
“You’re just sort of going from game to game, which can be a bit frustrating because as you can see we’ve got some work that I would like to try and get done and fit in, but energy wise you would be taking it out of them for games.”