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Sam Ricketts post Cheltenham Town

24 July 2019

Town played out their penultimate game of pre-season with a 2-2 draw away to Cheltenham Town.

Goals from Shaun Whalley and Abo Eisa saw Town add to the pre-season goals scored against TNS and Wolves U23.

It was a decent workout for a Town team which included eight players out of the fifteen who took place to have come through the Town Academy.

Town manager spoke to ShrewsWeb after the game to give his feelings on the game.

"It was a really good run out and an opportunity for players who didn't feature at the weekend against Aston Villa, so from that aspect it was really good", said Sam.

"The result was ok, you want to win games but a draw is better than getting beaten.

"There were some good performances and overall it was a really good workout and an awful lot of boxes got ticked tonight."

There were many plus points from the game with Scott Golbourne getting 90 minutes and Dave Edwards 45 minutes, their first games back since picking up injuries, as well as several other positives.

"They were two of the positives from the game, also that no one else got injured and Shaun Whalley and Abo Eisa got a good goal a piece", said Sam.

"Several academy players played tonight which is really good, Cam Gregory in goal, Tom Davies stepped up and had a really good game at centre-back, James Rowland, Kian, Barney, Fumpa and then young Will Lloyd coming on at the end.

"What we are trying to do is build a squad but we also want that integration with the Academy so to end up with so many taking part against what is a decent Cheltenham side was pleasing.Shaun Whalley got Town's first and Abo Eisa's goal levelled the score midway through the second half. Town have got goals in the games against TNS and Wolves U23, but against Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa Town couldn't get on the scoresheet so it was pleasing to see that this evening.

"We had plenty of chances to score as well as the goals", said Sam.

"We hit the crossbar, there were a number of good passages of play that ended with chances after we moved the ball well.

"At times we got bored of keeping the ball, got bored of probing and trying to force it and in the end we gave the ball away.

"That's a big thing to take from the game, just keep the ball, keep it moving quickly to move the opposition from side to side, and if we do that we will get in.

"The longer the game went on the more and more we got on the front foot, not only did we get the equaliser but we were pushing for the winner."

Town now look forward to welcoming Scottish Championship side Dundee United to the Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday. It should prove a good test for Town and one that Sam is looking forward to.

"Pre-season seems to be flying by, Dundee United game looked a while away and now it's right upon us, said Sam.

"We will recover from this game and then have two days of training before we get into that final pre-season game with Dundee United.

"We are still working to put things into place and still hugely a work in progress but we are trying to get there as quickly as we can and improve all the time.

"Dundee United are well ahead of us in terms of pre-season preparation, all the Scottish sides have already played a couple of games in the cup.

"That's why we wanted to play a Scottish team at this time, to give us a really good test at home.

"They will play a style which is good and one which will be similar to what we will encounter over the season."


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