Sam Ricketts thoughts after the 0-0 draw away to Rotherham United in the Sky Bet League One
Sam Ricketts reflects on Town's hard earned away point against Rotherham. A point apiece for each team as neither found a breakthrough goal.
Ryan Giles had a great chance for Town after he cut in on his right and smashed the ball towards Iverson who put the ball out for a Town corner. "It's a good point. I thought it was a really good performance and an excellent team performance. We set up with a game plan which was very evident as the game went on."
Rotherham had a few chances but couldn't find an end product. Town kept Rotherham out for 90 minutes, ensuring that they went home with a clean sheet and another point on the board. "We frustrated Rotherham into shooting from longer, I think Max had one save to make, I think we had the best chances of the game. Ryan Giles weaved his way across and ended up nearly 1v1, if he kept it down, he would've scored. On top of that, we probably got into 3 or 4 unbelievable situations on the break. If we just capitalise on it, we can make the point into three points with our defending they certainly deserve." Sam said.
Over the 90 minutes, Max O'Leary didn't have many saves to make, however, Max produced an excellent save to deny Ihiekwe's header to keep the scoreline level. "I think there was one off a wide free-kick, where it just got flicked on which he pushed round the post for a corner. It probably sums up the level of performance from the players, it was a really top performance, coming away to somewhere that isn't easy to come to against a side who were in the Championship last year, yes we sat deep and we invited them on so we could break and counter quickly and the game plan worked perfectly, three or four times we were in brilliant situations, but unfortunately we just couldn't make it out."
Town's defence were solid, played brilliantly and kept to the game plan. "The team keeps changing all the time, we had some great performances last year, and early this year as well, people keep changing, regardless of the personnel, you're seeing the resilience and work ethic, and following the level of detail that they carry out is excellent. I'm delighted with the performance and pleased with the point although I wanted three, but I'm pleased with a point, and maybe we could've got that goal to take all three."
After conceding three times Tuesday, Sam reflects how good it was to keep a clean sheet today. "Tuesday was a bit of a freak with the goals that we gave away, given the way we've defended this season, so it was back to being solid and organised and winning our tackles and headers, not just the back three but two of the back three, were limping for the last half an hour or so of the game. Unfortunately, Aaron Pierre got injured yesterday so we couldn't involve him today as well. I think what you've seen there is a team of real togetherness and commitment and knowing what was required to get a result."
Aaron Pierre picked up a knock during training this week which made him miss out of this week's game. "It's not a big concern, it's just a niggle, we're just going keep him out for a week or two, or a little bit longer, I think it'll be a quick one to repair and then we'll have him back in a couple of weeks."
Ryan Giles produced some excellent football down the left-wing and created many chances for Town today. "There were two or three times second half where he broke through and crossed one, one just got cut out at the near post with Callum Lang sliding in to score, and I think we broke with something like five v two or something and unfortunately at the time the final effort, I just spoke to Gilo, it's very easy when you're watching from the side what should you had done, he probably should have shot or cut it back, but no, he's a young lad who's doing terrifically well and unfortunately on that occasion we just couldn't make it count."
Sam chose super Shaun Whalley over Jason Cummings today as Jason marked his first start on Tuesday evening after their victory over Southend. "We've changed it a little bit today and played a slightly different way, and Shaun was the obvious choice to come in and play that position, and he's very good at it, and he did it very well. Jason's had a great start to his Shrewsbury career, but we're still getting him up to fitness and the way the game was going pan out today, we saved him for as long as we could and hopefully we could throw him in at the end and get a chance, unfortunately, that chance didn't come although he was certainly in the right positions."
Captain Ollie Norburn played his first 90 minutes back after returning from injury. Norburn has played in all three games since returning. Dave Edwards was also involved in this week's squad after returning from his knock that has left him out of the previous few weeks games.
Shrewsbury return to Montgomery Waters Meadow next week as they face Fleetwood.