Sam Ricketts reflects on Town's pre-season friendly against Aston Villa.
A second-half Scott Hogan strike was enough to give Villa the win, despite a promising performance from Shrewsbury.
ShrewsWeb caught up with Ricketts after the game to get his thoughts on the encounter.
“There were some really good bits, specifically we wanted to go into the game seeing certain aspects we’ve been working on and like I said there was a lot of good bits to take out from the game,” said Ricketts.
“We’ve got a real good basis for us to work from now. We’ve got some good players. I think out of the starting 11 today, only one was here this time last year so it just shows you the big changes we’ve made and these things take time to gel, so as good as the aspects of the game were today, we want consistency and that will take time. If we can replicate the hard work that the players showed today then we’ll go a long way."
The boss was full of praise for new Town signing Luke McCormick who produced an eye-catching display against tough opposition.
“He made a really strong challenge after about two or three minutes on the left-hand side. I think that probably gave him confidence and showed everyone a little of what he’s about and he grew from there.
“He had some really good touches. He’s a young lad that’s only played U23’s football and not been out on loan before but he’s really up for the challenge knowing that it’s a different game to what he has been used to, but you can see the quality he’s got as well."
A raucous crowd of 9322 inside the Montgomery Waters Meadow gave the fixture an added edge despite being a pre-season friendly, and Ricketts was pleased with the ‘realistic’ atmosphere.
“That’s what was so pleasing about today’s game, we wanted to try and make it as realistic as we could.
“Really every game we’ve had so far has had a real testimonial pre-season feel about it. I wanted today to feel like as much of a real game as we could get whilst everyone still at the back of their minds knows its pre-season, hence every goal kick we went long today to practice that, to see what was good and what wasn’t going into next week. It doesn’t mean we’re always going to play like that, it was just an element we were practicing today.
“I was really pleased with how the fitness levels looked on a lot of them. Some of them still need to pick up a little bit but we’ve got just under two weeks now to physically keep improving but also as a team.”