John Askey reflects on pre-season and looks ahead to the big kick-off
Shrewsbury Town boss John Askey admits that there is a different feeling around the camp with the start of the season now less than a week away.
Town take on Bradford City in their Sky Bet League One opener at the Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday (4th August).
The game will be Askey's first competitive game in charge of Town and he can't wait for it to finally come around.
“I’m looking forward to it”, John told ShrewsWeb.
“It seems to have been a long time coming, but things have gone well, we’ve gradually improved as pre-season’s gone on and now everybody’s fit, so I couldn’t have asked for anymore really.
“It starts to get a bit more tense with people looking forward to the game and it is different. Everything’s been quite relaxed, but you can feel from the players now that they are starting to look forward to the game.”
Town have won four, drawn one and lost one of their six pre-season games and John is pleased with the progress his squad have made.
"It’s been good", Askey said.
"From the Spain trip right through to the final game, the players have done well. Performances have got better, I was pleased with the Port Vale performance, so things have come together well, but we just need to get off to a good start and that will settle everybody down.
"If you get away from pre-season with just one injury, and Sam (Jones) will be back in a few days, then that’s what you are looking for. There’s no use running everybody to death and then ending up with a load of injuries, so it’s pleasing that I’ve got everybody to pick from.
Askey has earmarked the 50-point mark as his first goal for the new campaign, but he will be taking things one game at a time.
“We’ve just got to go out there and try and win every game”, said John.
“If that’s the mentality and we are disappointed when we don’t, then you can’t ask for anymore. All I can do is try and get 100% out of the players when they play. If they work hard and runabout then supporters will accept that.
“When players don’t work hard then obviously they will come away disappointed, but teams that I’ve had in the past have always done that, so hopefully I can get this group of players doing the same.
“I only look at the games as they come and I think as a player you’ve got to do that. If you get too far ahead of yourself then before you know it you can be in a bad position.
“Every game that you play you’ve got to give everything that you’ve got and you can’t do any more than that, so whoever we play we will be thinking we can win the game.”