Wingers thoughts after draw away to Oxford
Attacking midfielder Shaun Whalley has praised his team-mates’ ability to come off the bench and make an impact after Shrewsbury Town’s 1-1 draw with Oxford United on Saturday afternoon.
Gino van Kessel opened the scoring at the Kassam Stadium in the 75th minute, before second-half substitute Stefan Payne netted Town’s equaliser seven minutes from time.
Lenell John-Lewis was also brought into the fray late on by Paul Hurst, and Whalley admitted that both Salop’s substitutions did well.
“Stefan can only do as much as he can coming off the bench,” Whalley said. “He’s got two in two now since he’s re-signed. He hasn’t played that many minutes coming on as a sub, but that’s what the manager’s asked for.
“Lenny was outstanding when he came on as well,” he added. “He made himself a real problem for their defence. I thought all the subs did really well, and that’s what we need going forward, because it’s a long old season and we all need to push forward together.
“We’d have taken 10 points from four games at the start of the season, but I’m still disappointed about today, I just felt we deserved to win and I’m sure a lot of people watching will agree with me.”
Whalley himself was felled in the area early on, but disappointingly for the travelling Town fans, referee Nick Kinseley waved away his claims.
“At the time we felt it was a nailed on penalty,” Whalley continued. “And I’ve seen it back since and it’s definitely a penalty. He’s come ploughing through the back of me and that’s the only way I can describe it.
“I asked the referee and he said it’s because it wasn’t intentional, but if someone’s going through clean on goal and a defender goes through the back of him it doesn’t matter if it’s intentional or not it’s a penalty every day of the week, for me.
“It’s frustrating, because it was early in the game, and if he gives the penalty then he has to send him off. But, it would have got us off to a good start, in the first-half we were really good and deserved to be up in the game.”
The right-winger was also keen to emphasise how pleased he is that Salop’s work in pre-season is paying off, as well as paying homage to the positive feel around the camp at the moment.
“It’s really good, like the gaffer’s said – it’s hard work – but you won’t catch me moaning about hard work,” Whalley enthused. “I really enjoy it, it’s good to have a lot of the ball as a forward player like myself, because you’re always getting on the ball looking to create instead of having to wait.
“Obviously we scored late on against Northampton, there’s a good belief about the place at the moment, I personally always feel we could get back into it and get the winner as well.
“But we’ll take the positives and move on first to mid-week against Coventry, and then onto the weekend [versus Gillingham].”