Jacobson wants Shrews to turn draws into wins

Joe Jacobson believes Shrewsbury Town can shed their tag as draw specialists and begin to move clear of the bottom four.

Football - nPower Football League One - Shrewsbury Town v Coventry City

Along with Sheffield United, Town have drawn more games, with 12, than any team in League One.

And their failure to convert some of those into victories has left them still harbouring concerns down in 18th place.

Half of those draws have come in their last nine games when notable points against high-flying Brentford (0-0) and Notts County (2-2) boosted morale.

Yet also there has been a sense of what might have been had they held onto maximum points at Crawley and Bury before succumbing to late sucker punches, both finishing 2-2.

Jacobson said: "We need to make that transition and turn those draws into wins now.

“Although, as long as we’re not losing it breeds confidence around the team and we know we’re tough to beat. If we go into games with that mentality it’s not a bad thing.

“I feel we started to turn earlier defeats into draws, particularly as some of the games we had over Christmas were against top teams.

"We have felt as players that if we can’t win then we must get draws out of those games.”

They are unlikely, though, to be treating tomorrow’s return fixture, with struggling Bury in the same light.

That's especially after Steve Schumacher’s last-minute equaliser left them in despair at Gigg Lane.

Kevin Blackwell’s side remain mired in trouble and have not won any of their four games since Shrewsbury’s visit.

However, they have improved their strike threat this week by signing Nicky Ajose on loan from Peterborough.

They hope the winger can make as decisive a contribution as he did during the Shakers’ 2011 promotion, while on hire from Manchester United.

But, arguably for Salop, tomorrow’s game – which isn’t expected to be troubled by the elements – is one they must expect to win.

Tough assignments against top five clubs Sheffield United, Tranmere and Doncaster to come in February.

Jacobson said: "The games against teams around us are very important. If we beat Bury it’s another three points we’re ahead of them. So it’s a massive game for us.

“We need to get a win – anything else would be a disappointment.”

Shrewsbury’s defensive solidarity, which saw them chalk up three consecutive clean sheets at the turn of the year, will be challenged by the loss of Jermaine Grandison.

The young defender was building a formidable partnership with Darren Jones before he was ordered to rest for up to a month by a specialist to prevent his hip problem worsening.

Jacobson said: “We will miss Jermaine massively as he’s been a big player for us this season.

“He feels his strongest position is centre-back and he’s been as solid as he ever has been.

"He and 'Jonah'  have had a great partnership which has coincided with us not losing.

“But I thought Yado Mambo came in and did well at Swindon last week and we know he’s more then capable of stepping into Jermaine’s shoes.”