Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill spoke to the press after tonight’s defeat at home to Portsmouth.
Luke Leahy opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he connected with Elliott Bennett’s corner kick at the back post, but it was cancelled out by Denver Hume’s effort that only just crossed the line.
Josh Vela was dismissed shortly after the equaliser but Town defended resolutely for the rest of the game, only coming unstuck by Louis Thompson’s long-range strike minutes from time.
Cotterill said he thought his side were excellent tonight and praised Tom Bloxham for the part he played today. He also provided an update on David Davis, who left the field due to injury.
On the game:
“I thought we were excellent. Then we have the injury to deal with and then we have the sending off to deal with and it’s a different game then. We were in it right until the death, it [their second goal] was their first free shot they managed to get with a look at our goal in the second half so that’s heart-breaking for us.
“That’s what you have to do [after you go down to ten men], you have to stay in the game for those moments. There were moments in the second half where we could’ve scored again but you have to take most of those moments because they’re going to be few and far between as the game goes on. It was right at the end when they bring on a sub and he ends up chopping a couple of our lads and it’s working their thighs and we just can’t get a man on the edge of the box and he gets a free shot at goal – which was the first one they had – and it was a credit to our boys that they never let that happen.
“The fans were brilliant as well, they helped them [the players] a lot tonight and kept them in the game and for whatever reason, I don’t think we get the rub of the green with some of the refereeing performances we’ve had this season. That’s not me saying that I don’t think Josh Vela’s red card was a red card; what I think has happened is there was an opportunity to kick the ball out and Josh wants to stop the game and I think the speed he’s gone in at – it wasn’t a high tackle – but I think it’s the speed that the referee deemed was a red card.”
On Tom Bloxham:
“He was great. What happens to Tom is that he’ll get cramp as the game goes on but I thought he was excellent today. He’s waited – and I think he’s needed to – to build that energy up and at 18, he’s just a fantastic prospect for us. What he’s achieved will sink in with him at the end of the season and the boys show good spirit with him because there will be times when he makes a mistake but they love him, we all do.”
On David Davis:
“We don’t know the answer to that one at the moment, we need to see how he is. At this moment in time, it wasn’t a good one, and for Digga to come off… He actually jarred it [his ankle] yesterday in training, but I don’t know if it was the way he fell again today that opened it up or what but I’m not sure. I’ve seen it quickly but our camera angle doesn’t really tell us if he’s rolled it or jarred it so yeah, it’s a tough one for us to take.”