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Interviews

Sam Ricketts Review Of The Season

9 May 2019

Sam Ricketts gives his summary of the season since taking charge.

Sam Ricketts spoke to the local press to give his review of the season following Town's final game of the Sky Bet League One campaign last week.

Speaking to Shrewsweb Ricketts evaluated the season since his arrival in December. 

"It's been a great learning curve," said Sam. "We didn't want to be in a relegation battle. The season has had a bit of everything where we've had really good highs and some lows. I thought the FA Cup run was really good, very exciting and we were unlucky for the run to end when it did. 

"We took Stoke over two games and Wolves over two games where we narrowly lost to them. That showed what we were capable of and gave the team a lot of belief. 

"In the league, we had some really good performances and some not so good ones. Ultimately we did enough to achieve what was part one of me coming in here which was to make sure we stayed in this league. 

"We had a big turnaround of players in January. I think over the course of the season it's been a lot. I think it was 26 players in which is an awful lot and too many. So it's been a huge transitional period in the last 12 months for the club in general. Myself coming in December has added to that transitional period. 

"Now we review and progress on to next season." 

Sam looked back on what he thought was a really pivotal moment in Town's season. 

"The back to back wins were very important. Going to Peterborough where we haven't won there for 20 years and then playing Doncaster on a Tuesday night and winning that game was a really big moment. 

"Where we really let ourselves down was getting beat by Bradford, Rochdale and Plymouth away from home. That hurt us in terms of losing to your rivals.

"But then the Southend victory and Gillingham victory away from home where we really needed two big performances. Two 2-0 victories were very pleasing." 

Sam was asked what he thought he had implemented well into this side since taking charge. 

"We've had to change the shape, we've had to change the mindset of the players, we've had to add some more resilience to the team and we've had to try not to concede as much and remain in games even if you're not playing particularly well.

"That's probably what you saw in the Southend and Gillingham games. We were good, we were resilient, hard to beat and hard to break down. We were never great but we did enough to win the game. 

"I think before that time we would have probably conceded in the game at some point. 

"We've been trying to get the idea across of how we want to play, but we needed to make sure we were hard to break down and get the points that were required first." 

The hard work is already underway for Sam and his backroom staff who are busy looking ahead to pre-season when the players arrive back in June. 

"You have to start planning and looking ahead but obviously until we were mathematically safe against Coventry we couldn't focus too much on it. We were then up until the early hours planning for next season. 

"There's an awful lot to take into account on and off the pitch. 

"Everything needs to start right now such as renovations for the pitch at the training ground and at the stadium. 

"A full preseason is huge. You want to adapt everything into your own, the environment, the culture, the fundamentals of your team. You get time to look at all that in pre-season.

"It's not a guarantee for success as everyone gets a pre-season. However, it is an opportunity to puts your ideas into place and be able to work at them. Fitness levels are very important as well. 

"You want to bring signings in as soon as you can so you can work with them during that time. Obviously, it won't be the case that we have all of our players on the first day of pre-season but if we can get them in and they are right for the club then we will do.

"Ultimately it's not about rushing in and getting the wrong players. We need to get the right players and if that means waiting a while then we'll wait."


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