Sam Ricketts spoke to the press after the 1-0 win at home to Sunderland in Sky Bet League One
Sam Ricketts reflects on Town's three points this afternoon as a strike from Jason Cummings secured a big win.
"Obviously I'm delighted with the win, I'm really pleased with that. It was a different game to Tuesday night, completely different. On Tuesday night, we had to break a team down, and today we sent someone to break us down. What we do have is quality in the side, Jason Cummings took his goal exceptionally well."
"I moved Josh Laurent into a slightly different position, but I still wanted him driving with the ball, and he did that really well. I think it might've been on the back of a free-kick that we worked on, but it didn't quite come off. We were trying to be a little bit different and a little bit imaginative to give us a few more scoring options. It was nice that eventually one falls to Jason in the box and he's certainly an excellent finisher."
Town's work rate today was phenomenal after the squad's GPS tracking systems were through the roof as the majority of players covered almost every blade of grass this afternoon. "I asked the players for three things before the game, one was character, it has to be a given, the character side of it. The intensity in our game and desire as well. For all of those, I thought they ticked every single box. I also asked themselves to measure themselves against their opponents today, opposite number, who was going come out on top and I looked around the dressing room at the end of our game, and to be honest I don't think anyone had a losing player on our side."
A lot of tactics were taken on board today to ensure that Town came out on top and took all points available. "That's where the desire comes, and I can set the best or worst game plan whatever it might be, but if the players don't carry it out, then we haven't got a chance. The game plan, you could clearly see what it was, but the players carried it out superbly well, and we used some players individuality at times to break and cause problems."
Scott Golbourne returned to Town's side today to mark his first league game since last season. "It's testament to him that he was physically able to step in and play 90 minutes for someone who has played in a few cup games and that's all really. He's used all his experience there, he kept with the speed of the game, and I thought the use of his ball work was very good and his experience of handling the game situation. Also, Dave Edwards coming in and starting the game for the first time in a while and he did very well likewise Shaun Whalley."
Dave Edwards looked to have covered every single blade of grass at Montgomery Waters Meadow today. Sam shared his thoughts on Dave's performance today. "I had him down as being good for about 60 today, and he just surpassed that, and I'm also delighted for him, he's probably looking like the best shape he's been in since January, so it's good to have him about."
Town knew Sunderland were going to come out second half hungry for that equalising goal, but Town defended with their all and were very difficult to break down. Max O'Leary produced some quality saves to deny Sunderland on numerous occasions. "We're playing against a team with some outstanding attacking players, and it's not just the four who started attacking wise, bringing McNulty off the bench and players like that. They've got some excellent attacking players, so we have to nullify that as best as we can, and I thought we did that superbly well and when called upon, Max made a couple of saves which, to be honest, I'd expect him to save all of them which he did do, but that's what he's in goal to do so it's pleasing to get another clean sheet as well."
Sam made a slice of history today as he became the first Shrewsbury manager to defeat The Black Cats as it was their 12th attempt. "Nice, I didn't know it, but I'm more interested in the three points."
A huge three points for Town today after ending October on a high after picking up eight points and a win in the EFL Trophy. "Eight points from four games is excellent, it's averaging two points a game, so you're picky to want more than that. No game is easy, and today's game was no easier or harder than what we played on Tuesday and the Friday before."
"I think you can see from the game itself, desire and intensity but togetherness from the team, how hard they work for each other and pushing each other with their voices and covering up from each other if someone made a slip or slight mistake, someone was right behind to clear up. That's what we are, we're only ever going to win and lose as a team. It's not just the 11 that start, it's the subs that come on and always make an impact for us, and it shows testament through the squad and also their preparation. The lads that don't get on as well, they play a huge part, pushing everyone in front of them."
Town today saw no Dan Udoh and no Ryan Giles make today's squad after picking up a knock throughout the week. "Unfortunately, they're both injured. Dan is a bit vague at the minute, but it's two to four weeks really. We're looking at that one to see how that settles down, and Ryan Giles could be a couple of days, or it could be a couple of weeks, again we're just waiting for that to settle down and we're fortunate that Scott Golbourne can come in and play like he did today.
"They're both knee injuries, nothing that requires surgery it's just a fact of settling things down."
Town's next fixtures seem to be intriguing, after securing three points today, Town travel to Wycombe next weekend and shortly after Town face Peterborough. "It's a good test for us, we've played a number of sides, 14 games so far this season with a few big hitters this season with Sunderland and Portsmouth. Fleetwood was the one that was disappointing more than anything because we couldn't match the intensity that we wanted to, but we'll get ready to go to Wycombe next week."
With over 8,000 fans at Montgomery Waters Meadow today, not one home fan left disappointed. "We want to win games, and when we don't, we're all disappointed, and that's the intention of going out into every game, so hopefully everyone can have a nice weekend now. Those who have enjoyed the rugby today but some of us will be watching the rugby tomorrow morning and Shrewsbury winning as well makes it a perfect weekend."