Gaffer's thoughts after the 1-0 win away at Prenton Park
Sam Ricketts talks to ShrewsWeb as he reflects on Town's hard-earned win on the road at Prenton Park. A well-taken goal from in-form Aaron Pierre gave Town the lead early in the second half. Town performed well in order to secure all three points.
Town's win at Tranmere was only their second away win of the season, the first was the ecstatic 3-2 comeback against Accrington Stanley on a cold, wet Tuesday night. "I thought it was a thoroughly professional performance. It was a really good reaction to the disappointment of last week's second half, which we spoke about and the players were very right about it. But what we saw was a team full of commitment and togetherness. We worked incredibly hard and wanted it and to not get broken down. On the break, we moved the ball, sometimes well today and I think if we move the ball really well then, we could've gone on to score more. We still had opportunities, hit the post, a couple of fine saves off their keeper, and Max made that save at the end to secure all three points."
There was a bit of confusion towards Town's goal as Pierre hit the ball, but it looked like Callum Lang got the final touch off it. "We're asking for more goals off set-pieces, we didn't actually particularly work on that one, it was just delightful to get a goal. I'm not sure if it was Pierre or Langy who got the final touch but either way, I don't really mind as long as the ball ends up in the back of the net. They're still discussing it in there, that will have to come out in due course. Like I say I don't mind, and I'm sure out travelling supporters don't mind either who scored, we just want to see the ball in the back of the net. I thought we thoroughly deserved a win, we had 22 shots and just not enough on target to see the game out and extend the lead with two's and threes." Sam said.
Tranmere went down to ten men within the first 45 minutes after Jennings received his second yellow. "Especially with the home side down to ten men, they've got nothing to lose. They can throw caution to the wind, even with ten men, they ended the game with four upfront. You have to nullify that and see the game out, and I thought we did it fairly comfortably, except for Max having to make that save at the end."
"All I could see was Daniel Udoh basically nearly do a backflip. When you see a player like that, I'm not saying 100%, but generally, it's a yellow card, I didn't actually realise he'd been booked at the time until the red card came out." Sam was talking about Jennings's challenge on Udoh, causing him to receive his second yellow card.
Town had many decent chances throughout the game and came close to adding to their lead multiple times. Ollie Norburn hit the post midway into the second half. "To be honest, I was quite calm, the second goal would've taken the pressure away from the game in the last five or ten minutes or so. I was calm watching the game because I thought we looked solid, and we got into good situations to go on and score, but unfortunately, we didn't take those up. Maybe we didn't pick the right options a couple of times, but ultimately, I was relatively comfortable watching the game."
Max O'Leary produced a great save at the end of the game to make sure Town went home with all three points. "Max is a fabulous shot-stopper, he really is excellent, and we are fortunate enough to have him here. We're trying to progress him, and he has the potential to do whatever he wants in the game. we'll keep pushing him to improve, and ultimately he's in goal to make saves, and that was him doing his job."
Town now have several attacking options with Fejiri Okenabirhie returning to the squad. Today we saw Jason Cummings and Shaun Whalley not come on and get any minutes. Sam went for Dan Udoh and Callum Lang as strike partners today. "I thought what they both bring is real enthusiasm and work rate. We know this isn't an easy place to come, especially in the first half. The pitch plays tight when you're on it, and it is a bit of a stop, start game. Fouls and you can really get a rhythm with the ball. That was my preferred choice to start with, and I have many options, and some guys didn't even get on the pitch today, which is just how it is. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. what you can see in the dressing room is that even the lads that didn't get on, are just as happy as the lads that started."
Town saw Fey return after a few weeks on the sidelines due to injury. Fey came on and caused all kinds of trouble for Tranmere's backline. "Fey brings certain qualities to the team, it's great to have him back, and it's good to get him a runout today. He's been out injured but been back training for a while now, but we keep pushing him physically and fitness-wise to get him as good as he can be."
Lang was replaced by Fey after picking up a knock to his ankle. "He's half-rolled his ankle and half-heard it click. We'll have to send him for an X-Ray, hopefully just as a precaution. Hopefully, he's OK, if not, we've got some excellent players who didn't start and didn't get on the pitch today either."
A two-week wait is upon Town for their next League One game as they travel to Lincoln City on Friday 18th October. "We want to keep ticking over points-wise and keep climbing and pushing along and keep improving."
Town are in action on Tuesday evening as they host Newcastle U21's in The Leasing.com Trophy. "We just want to go and win the game. We'll have to have a look at what attributes the team need to go and win the game. We'll approach that game like any other with our strengths and weaknesses, and we'll see who's ready."
Town's travelling supporters saw over 900 away fans at Prenton Park this afternoon. "It was a fantastic following, and in the nicest possible way, they didn't shut up all game, which is great. It's a two-way relationship, they need to see a wholehearted team and give their all, and they get behind the team, and when they get behind the team, it pushes the players on even more. I'm sure they've all gone home happy, and I'm delighted to send them home with three points."