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Sam Ricketts Pre Portsmouth

31 July 2019

Sam Ricketts previews Town's opening day fixture against Portsmouth.

Shrewsbury Town kick-off their 2019/20 Sky Bet League One campaign this Saturday against Portsmouth who are already early favourites to push for promotion this year. 

Sam Ricketts spoke to the press this morning and said how he and all of his team are raring to go ahead of the new season. 

"The team are feeling good," said Sam. "Pre-season has been good. You always have your trials and tribulations with a few injuries but generally as a whole injuries have been ok. Fitness wise has also been good, it will still be improving over the next few weeks. 

"I think the first four or five games of the season are where you establish your true fitness.

"We're looking good and eager to get going, we're all really looking forward to it. 

"You spend all of this time preparing for a new season, we've had six weeks to prepare, if we had twelve weeks it wouldn't matter you're never fully ready even when the season gets going you're still going to be improving things. 

"You're always going to be changing and solving problems as the season goes on, as soon as you crack one problem another one appears. We're just looking for a constant line of progression."

Despite Portsmouth posing a threat to Town on the opening day, Sam believes that won't change his side's approach to the game. 

"We're going to approach the game head-on. We're looking forward to it, it's one where they're already one of the favourites for promotion, they've recruited heavily in the summer. All the expectation is certainly on them. 

"We're clear in how we're going to play and what we're going to try and do, once the players cross over that white line I'm confident we can get a result." 

Sam feels confident that he has a good idea of who his starting eleven are for the start of the season but as always players can still catch his eye. 

"Generally you know the majority of your starting eleven of your team well before the season starts, there's always a few positions where you are a little bit 50/50 that's the dilemmas you want, you want players playing well because it gives you a decision to make." 

Sam is pleased to be kicking off the season at home in front of a packed stadium. 

"We had a full stadium against Aston Villa which was great especially for the new players who have now all experienced the home ground. We're so new in terms of a team, I think only two players were here from 12 months ago and everyone's joined in that time. 

"There's plenty of new faces but the group have come together really, really well. It will only get better over the next few weeks and months." 

Sam confirmed that no fresh injuries had been picked up during the week. 

"Everything has been going well the last couple of weeks with the return of Dave Edwards and Scott Golbourne. Joe Murphy and Josh Laurent have both returned to training which is good so we're nearly there."  


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