Shrewsbury Town centre-back Tom Flanagan conducted his first pre-match interview for Salop as he looked ahead to Town’s game with Rotherham United tomorrow night.
Flanagan is currently playing as Shrewsbury’s left-centre-back after earning his full debut against Portsmouth last week and playing another full game at the weekend.
The 30-year-old had to be patient for his first start in a Town shirt after he missed Wycombe through illness and Morecambe was postponed, but he is happy with the start he’s made to life in Shropshire.
He also revealed his plans to go into the business side of football after his playing career comes to a close.
On the game:
“It’s just another game to look forward to really. We’re coming into it off the back of a good performance and we’ll obviously give them the respect they deserve, but they’re coming to our place and we’ve got to show them what we’re about. It was a bit of a strange game [when he played against Rotherham for Sunderland in October], and it’s funny reflecting on the game because we went down to ten men and their quality showed. They’ve got some really good individuals but I think one thing that stands out with Rotherham is that they’re really organised. They work off a shape of strength and they don’t stray too far from it, they keep knocking at the door until they can open it which is a good way to be and I think a lot of teams can learn a lot from them because – without any disrespect – they haven’t got the best players in the league, but they’re the best team because the table doesn’t lie.”
On his time at Shrewsbury so far:
“I signed and then ended up missing the Wycombe game through illness and with that [Morecambe] game getting called off, I almost went a month without playing which was strange for me because I’d played every minute of the season up until that point but hopefully it’ll be good for me – kind of like a winter break! I’ve got the shirt at the minute and I’m hoping that’ll carry on but that’s down to me. I do enjoy my football, it’s my work, it’s my business. I’ve got aspirations of staying in the game afterward: a bit on the business side. I’ve got a bit of education behind me and there are some motivating factors from my previous club.
"I’ve enjoyed coming here and seeing new players who I haven’t seen before. Tom Bloxham for example, I look at him and I think that there’s so much more he could do with his ability and I wonder how can I help him. I also concentrate on my own game and I think that’s come from this season because Sunderland started taking kids out of school and putting them into the first team and that’s what they wanted to do but it was kind of at a detriment to the older players. However, I made it out to be good for me.
“I would’ve liked to have played a few more games but that’s a bit out of my hands but I am [happy with the start he’s made to life in Shrewsbury]. I’ve lost two and won one so if we get a result on Tuesday night we’re back at that two-points-per-game average that is the benchmark for anyone in the league, whether you’re fighting to stay up or go up, that’s really important.”