Winger returns from injury to make his markShrewsbury Town Winger Shaun Whalley is hoping Town can keep the momentum from Saturday’s win over Barnet going in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.
Town face Middlesbrough Under-21s with both sides already out of the competition after losing their first two games.
Whalley has missed the last five weeks with injury, but returned to the side as a substitute against Barnet on Saturday and he is hoping his injury woes are behind him ahead of the trip to the Riverside.
“Obviously I’ve been out for five weeks, but I came on the other day, trained all week last week, trained today as well, so I’m just looking forward to cracking on with my season,” Whalley told the Press.
“Skitty (Chris Skitt) will probably tell you, I hate being out more than anyone. I just can’t stand not being outside running about and booting balls about. So, it has been incredibly frustrating, but fingers crossed everything is out of the way now and I can kick on with my season.
“Still now I’m just praying it will be alright. It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m sure it’s fine now. There is a bit of trepidation in my head, but I’m sure that will pass.
“I don’t really lose my fitness, I’m very lucky in that way. I don’t get out of shape if I’m out a while or don’t have to do anything special to get back fitness wise, so I’m raring to go.”
The Checkatrade Trophy has come in for some criticism this season, but for Whalley the chance to play at Wembley makes it an important competition and one he will be taking seriously, despite the fact Town are already out.
“Personally, it’s just another game and at the end of it you can play at Wembley, so I can’t see any more incentive than that,” Whalley said.
“Obviously I played a lot of non-league, so any game is a good game for me, I just want to go out, play well and win a game.
“It is disappointing that neither of us can go through, but for me personally it’s a chance to show the new manager what I can do, if I’m selected.
“We haven’t gone through their shape as such yet, but at the end of the day it’s just a game against another 11, so whatever happens we will prepare as we normally would and then hopefully go on and get a good performance.
“We just want to get on a good little run and hopefully push up the league, which is the most important, but carry that momentum on from Saturday into tomorrow and then a big league game on Saturday.”
Saturday’s 3-0 win against Barnet was a boost for Town, who hadn’t won a home game since August and Whalley is hoping they can continue to give the fans something to cheer about.
“One thing we’ve been missing for a while is our home form, so we really need to improve on that and give the fans what they want and what they deserve and that’s home wins,” said Shaun.
“I think our fans are absolutely brilliant. For me, they don’t get on our back. We’ve been struggling at times, but they’ve never got on my back.
“I’ve had in in the past at different clubs where it’s been absolutely poisonous, but here I think the fans are brilliant and they always stick behind us even when we’ve been struggling pretty badly.”