We have had the Queens message and now it's time for Marcus Braddock with his weekly roundup of all things Town
Christmas came early for Town fans this weekend with a comprehensive win over in form Portsmouth. I'm not sure I could put it any better than Pompey manager Kenny Jackett when he called us “relentless” and said that our closing down was, “very, very sharp and of Championship athleticism”. Jackett is a well respected and experienced manager and knows what he's talking about having been there himself many times. To hear someone of his experience so emphatically compliment us was a sign of the sort of team we have become.
It's a fair comment to that time after time we've seen every member of this team push themselves that little bit further for the cause. A friend remarked on Sunday that he'd not been impressed by any of the visiting teams, they always seem to have an off day when they come here. It's no coincidence; our tenacity, physical strength and reactions are enough to give most teams a bad day.
It's very encouraging to see that the teams response to our difficult November was to remain unbeaten in December, at least until Boxing Day but hopefully beyond.
With Boxing Day in mind, we face a Wigan team who are a little on the rampant side at the moment having scored 19 goals in their last five games in League One. They've also been fairly good defensively with just one goal conceded in all that time. Hopefully they will have got it out of their systems by now, and can relax on Christmas Day with the family. In fact, I think they probably deserve a drink or two and I'd encourage them to have a big splurge and get that Christmas food out of the way in one hit and maybe have a couple more drinks before bed.
Christmas has largely dominated off the field activities in the last week with the squad involved in the local community with visits to the Shrewsbury Ark and Darwin Centre as part of the Christmas celebrations. Mondays carol service at the Abbey raised over four hundred pounds, which was presented to the Ark during the visit. There were carols and minced pies and all the usual seasonal fun and it's good to see the squad out there getting to know our fans first hand. The community side of the club has really grown in the last decade and speaking as a fan it's something I'm thankful for.
Thanks are also pretty high in my thoughts on the football front. When I think back to this time last year and where we were, I was hopeful that Paul Hurst could stabilise us and then consolidate our position this season. Then I look back to the recruitment of the summer and making such a great start to the season and wondering when the bubble would burst as they tend to. But the bubble has yet to burst and the way we're playing with half of the season gone is nothing short of incredible! So thank you very much to Paul Hurst, his team and his back-room staff, I've never been so proud to be a Shrewsbury Town fan!
While I'm in the thanking mood, there are so many people we come into contact with when we visit Montgomery Waters Meadow. They're in the car park, in the stands, around the pitch and behind the counters. They're in the club shop, on the turnstiles and even in the offices and they do their best for this Football club so thank you to them.
Of course there wouldn't be a football club if it weren't for the fans coming week in week out during good times and not so good. The singing has been pretty good this season too, I'm quite a fan of Earth, Wind and Fire so hearing the block 19 remix of September has been fun. So to all Shrewsbury Town fans, from Block 19 to the Chairman's office, thank you, my Saturday’s wouldn't be the same without you.