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Marcus On Monday

21 May 2018

Marcus Braddock takes his look at all things Shrewsbury Town

With not too much happening on the pitch I thought I'd have a bit more of an in depth look at Sunday’s opposition but, before I do, congratulations are due to Shrewsbury Town and the Supporters’ Parliament for making Shrewsbury Town the first football club in England and Wales to install a safe standing area. When you look back at what they have achieved in a relatively short space of time from initial announcement to the installation it becomes a more incredible achievement in a season of incredible achievements.

It's also nice to see the supporters organising themselves into groups of singers and rallying around a “Reverse the curse” theme, which is excellent fun. However, at the risk of sounding like a wet blanket, I don't believe in fairies or ghosts or curses or anything like that and I don't think this team needs any reversal of fortune because it doesn't rely on fortune. It might be difficult to accept (and there have been a couple of small injustices) but we haven't won at Wembley yet because on the four occasions we've been there we've been second best. We've all seen how this team can play and we don't need a curse lifting if we play the excellent football that we have played for most of the season. We're good enough to not need luck if we play to our potential.

This season has been a much happier one than last season for Rotherham fans who saw their team relegated from the Championship this time last year. However, instead of offering Paul Warne the door as a sacrificial offering, they stuck with him and that's looking like an excellent decision now. By the time Warne took over the damage had already been done and it's refreshing to see some sort of loyalty in the game.

August may have had people wondering if the decision was the correct one because the Millers only won once in the league. But August is not the time to question these decisions which is just as well. The one league win they did get was a 5-0 win at home to Southend and they also knocked Lincoln out of the League Cup and narrowly lost on Penalties to Manchester City U21 in the Football League Trophy.

September was a much better month for Rotherham with five wins, two of which were 5-1 home wins. The two games they did lose in September were at Blackburn and Bradford who were both in rather good home form at that point.

October started well enough with two L1 wins at Rochdale and at home to Scunthorpe who they beat by the same margin as they did last week in the play-off 2nd leg. There were no more league wins in October or November which saw a drop in the Millers' league position.

However, a recovery was around the corner as the Millers went on an unbeaten run that lasted from December 9th until March 10th, fourteen games including eleven wins, one of which was at Montgomery Waters Meadow. It was the sort of form we don't really want to see them exhibit on Sunday afternoon, at times they looked a frightening attacking unit but the run eventually came to an end and they lost four times in their next six games before finishing the season well with just one defeat in their last six regulation League One games.

I watched both of their play-off games with Scunthorpe and although Scunny carried more than a casual threat, Rotherham never really looked under too much threat of losing either game. They had four different goal-scorers which shows the depth they have in their squad and the fact that they suffered the loss of on loan top scorer Kieffer Moore during their excellent run earlier in the season hints at a squad that is more than a little resilient.

So, we have a big job on our hands on Sunday, Rotherham are the best of the rest of the division by five points and it seems right that 3rd and 4th should fight it out. If you follow that logic, our eight point lead should show at Wembley.


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