Shrewsbury Town Manager Paul Hurst was pleased with his side’s second half performance as they beat Cardiff City 2-1 at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Cardiff took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Nathanial Mendez-Laing finished off a Kenneth Zohore run, but a Shaun Whalley penalty and a goal from Louis Dodds gave Town the win.
“I thought it was a more realistic game in terms of how Cardiff played was more like League One opposition”, Hurst said.
“They threw the ball forward a little bit more directly at times and in the first half we were a little bit lacklustre in our display.
“I thought it was a bit slow at times. There weren’t as many away fans, so it had a bit of a different feel to it, so I wasn’t really happy at half-time in truth.
“We had a few at half-time. Second half we had a lot more forward runs, we were more positive, on the front foot a lot more and therefore played better.
“We created a few chances first half, but certainly gave up to many early on and gave away a terrible goal on half-time.
“Credit to them there was a reaction, but I don’t want to have to get to half-time and have a moan at them for us to get that reaction at half-time.”
After going in 1-0 down at the break, Town’s goals came within the opening 5 minutes of the second half and Hurst was pleased to see his players making forward runs.
“Sometimes it’s just about being positive and running forwards”, said Paul.
“Alex Rodman did it far better second half, with and without the ball. Jon Nolan drove forward with the ball. Abs made the box and had an effort. It was just a lot better from that point of view.
“At the start of the second half we were still too deep, but we got better as the half went on and therefore we were closer to second balls, whereas first half we didn’t win anywhere near enough.
“Second half was much better and we got the victory, but there were two sides to it in terms of how happy I was with it.”
The main positive on the evening was that all 11 Town players got 90 minutes under their belts and Paul was pleased that everyone came through unscathed.
“There were a few tired legs at the end, but before the game we made no secret of the fact we wanted them to play 90”, Hurst continued.
“I think we’ve got away without any injuries. Bolts (James Bolton) got a dead leg at the end, which I thought was more serious, but thankfully it was just a dead leg.
“You can only use three substitutions once the season starts. Early season you might use all three, but the lads need to get used to playing 90 minutes.
“Some have been forced into playing more nineties that we would have liked and there were some tired legs towards the end, but you would expect that.”