Sam Ricketts gives his thoughts after Town's victory over Coventry. With goals from Scott Golbourne and Shaun Whalley as Town win 2-1.
Sam shares his thoughts on his team's performance. "I think for the first half an hour I was frustrated watching the game, it looked like we were playing in treacle. We were slow to everything; we couldn't get the ball moving with and without possession and saying all that with as poor as we were, they didn't really force Max into any saves, we just couldn't get a foothold in the game.
We made a tactical change at half-time substitution wise, where I thought it would help and then making the changes late on as well to get them back in it. I think the longer the game went on, the better we got and then in the second half, they broke away a couple of times, but generally, we played the game in their half without causing loads of problems, but we obviously did enough to win the game." Sam said.
All three of the substitutions that Sam made today had a significant impact on the game. Especially for the last goal as it came from each sub. Cummings down the right found Giles on the left, Giles then crossed into the back post where Whalley was running towards, and Whalley smashed home a well-struck volley.
"You have to say this year when the subs have come on, they've all been superb this year, they've all made an impact. The amount of times subs have come on to score a goal or set a goal up or added defensive qualities to the team they've certainly made an impact when they come on, so that shows the team spirit, the togetherness which is abundant in the squad.
It's a great atmosphere amongst the players, and that then transmits onto the pitch. We have been behind in a numerous amount of games and come back and won or come back and nearly got something out of the game against Bristol Rovers. It's just nice that today we can come back and we're on the right side of a late winning goal." Sam praises Town's effort today after bringing the scoreline back into Shrewsbury's favour.
"If Carlsberg did substitutions it would be them three coming on today."
Shaun Whalley has been desperate to score a few more goals, and it is extremely good to see the man himself back from injury. Whalley scored the winner today which was his first since February, earlier this year.
"I can tell you when his last goal was, and it was Bristol Rovers away, so I'm delighted for him, he's a great lad, he loves football, and he's certainly got some ability. He made an impact today, we bought him on at half-time, so I'm just delighted for him to get on the scoresheet and for him to get the goal and obviously the three points for the team and supporters."
Scott Golbourne scored today's equaliser after a goalmouth scramble midway through the second half. Golbourne has now scored in successive home goals recently. "We had a few corners today, we really wanted to target set-pieces today but the delivery for the first, two or three corners and in the second half were really poor and then finally when we did put it in where we wanted to we get the all-important goal, and that belief comes through and similar to Bristol Rovers where we get back in level with 15, 20 minutes to go, there's plenty of time to win the game.
"There was still a little bit of naivety in our play which left us a little bit open at times and then we relaxed and with five minutes to go I said to the players you're going to get a chance, if we stay compact and solid the chance will come and when it came, Shaun put it in the top corner."
Sam said. "We're a young side, we're evolving, but we're decent as well. Expectations can't go any further than just trying to improve on last year, and I think you can clearly see the improvements we've made. There's plenty we can still make and take that next step forward again, but realistically you have to respect where we were and where we are now and see the improvements. This team is four months old, which is in its infancy so we'll just try and continue to get better."
Town have already taken four points off Oxford and Coventry as their December run of fixtures looks to be difficult. However, with four points off two teams that are sniffing around the play-offs, it shows how well Town are performing.
"I think we're five or six games in now of playing against the top 10 in the league and we've shown that we can give anyone a game. But we've also shown for the first half an hour that we weren't good enough. We're not rolling teams over, but we know when we're on it, we're on the front foot, we're competitive, we can give someone a game. We also know if we're off it like we were in the first half, then that's not good enough." Sam reflects on how well the final 60 minutes of today's game was.
There are only three points between Shrewsbury and the top six after today's emphatic victory. "We're very young, and we're trying to improve on last year, and we're just looking at ourselves. Can we improve and get better, yes, we can but we know we've made huge strides already, but we know we can give people a game, but we also know that consistently we're not quite there yet."
After five minutes added on, Whalley scored in the 91st minute, leaving Town with four minutes of digging in to get the result. "I would've liked it in three more minutes. It's the best time to score, if you're going to win a game, win it late on and give the opposition little time to get back in the game.
After we scored the goal, Max had superb handling on a couple of crosses that came in and took them and took the pressure off the team, which was excellent. Everyone played their part and to lift the tempo of the game from the first 30 to the last 60, takes some doing and the players did that today."