John Askey gives his take on the 2018/19 fixtures
Shrewsbury Town boss John Askey has given his thoughts to ShrewsWeb after the 2018/19 Sky Bet League One fixtures were released this morning.
Town will start their season at home to Bradford City on Saturday 4th August and this will be followed by a trip to Charlton Athletic on Saturday 11th August.
That means that Askey’s first competitive game in-charge will be at the Montgomery Waters Meadow and he is pleased about that.
“I think everybody looks forward to seeing who we’ve got, especially early on”, said John.
“I’m sure that everybody will be looking for the Sunderland game, that’s obviously the big one, and the Walsall game, obviously a local derby, but it’s nice to have it in front of you so that you can start to plan a little bit.
“It’s always good to start off at home and hopefully we can keep that feel good factor going. There’s been a change of manager at Bradford, so it will be interesting to see how they line-up at the start of the season.
“Charlton seem to be in a little bit of turmoil, so we will have to have a look at that. I’m sure there will be one or two changes to most teams from last season, but to get a home game was something I was looking for.
“I think the first 10 games are always tough, whoever you play, because everybody’s hoping that it’s going to be their season, so it’s going to be tough, and then you are getting towards November and things start to settle down a little bit and team roughly know where they are going to be.”
One group of fixtures the fans always look ahead to are the festive fixtures and this season they have thrown up a couple of intriguing away games against Accrington Stanley (26th December) and Sunderland (29th December).
“You couldn’t get two teams more opposite, but that’s what this league throws up”, said Askey.
“I remember when I played in it myself and Manchester City were in the league, and a lot of good teams such as Stoke, so it’s amazing what this league presents you with.
“You’ve got the likes of Accrington who have just come up, not big resources, and then obviously Sunderland, who everyone is going to want to beat.”
With the fixtures now out the new season moves a step closer and Askey has given an insight into his aims for the new campaign.
“I take each game as it comes, I think you have to put everything into it”, said John.
“It doesn’t matter who you play. I think if you start looking too far ahead then you lose sight of the next game and that’s always the most important.
“Once you’ve finished, whether you’ve won or lost, the next game is always the most important and that’s how you have to look at it as a player and a manager.
“I think your first aim is to always get to 50 points as soon as possible. Once you do that then the pressure’s off and the sooner we do it the better because then we can start to concentrate on the most important thing, which is promotion, but first and foremost you’ve got to make sure you are safe.”