James Bolton has insisted Shrewsbury Town are capable of ‘mixing it with the best of teams’, following Salop’s 1-0 defeat to Bradford City at the Montgomery Waters Stadium on Saturday.
Despite dominating the game for large periods Paul Hurst’s side were consigned to their first home league defeat of the campaign, as Toto Nsiala second half own-goal proved to be the decisive moment in the match.
However, despite the defeat, defender Bolton was keen to take the positives from a hard-working performance for Salop.
“Our performance today shows we can mix it with the best of them,” he told reporters. “There’s some big clubs in this league, but we’ve held our own in most games and beaten some of them.
“I thought throughout the game we were on top, and we got undone by a bit of a lucky goal on the break. And Stef [Payne] had a couple of efforts, but it just wouldn’t fall for us today.
“Dean [Henderson] even said in the dressing room that his hands were cold – that he didn’t really have anything to do. I think that’s credit to the lads, we pressed them really well and worked our socks off, and they couldn’t really break us down.
“Bradford are a good side, they’ll definitely be up there come the end of the season, and even the gaffer was saying we can take a lot of positives out of that performance.
“But it’s hard to take to be honest, all the lads are gutted, but we’ll just have to keep our chins up and bounce back next week.”
Town were without the suspended Abu Ogogo, and injured pair Junior Brown and Alex Rodman for Saturday’s clash, but Bolton maintained that the squad is big enough to cope without those key men.
“We’ve got a lot of strength in depth,” he said. “Bryn [Morris] came in today, but he was starting at the beginning of the season before he got that bad injury.
“We were favourites to go down when I arrived at the club, we were expecting a relegation battle, so if we look at the bigger picture we’ve done really well, but we want to win every game now, it just shows the belief we’ve got in the squad.”
Next up for Hurst’s side is a home FA Cup second round tie with Morecambe, who currently lie in 21st in SkyBet League Two, and Bolton is taking nothing for granted.
“The FA Cup’s always a nice one and we’re only one win away from the big third round,” Bolton said. “But it won’t be easy against Morecambe, they’re a good side, so we know we’ll have to be at it.”