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Sam Ricketts: I'm encouraged with another Shrewsbury clean sheet

By Lewis Cox | Sport | Published:

Sam Ricketts was left feeling encouraged with yet another clean sheet as his injury-ravaged Shrewsbury Town dug in for a home stalemate with Burton.

Sam Ricketts the head coach / manager of Shrewsbury Town (AMA)

Town took a point with a second straight home 0-0 draw after the same scoreline against Rochdale seven days earlier.

Both defences won out at a baking Montgomery Waters Meadow, where both Ricketts and Brewers boss Nigel Clough said the players were affected by the stifling 30 degree temperatures.

Good chances were few and far between. Dave Edwards shot over with Town's best opening while Lucas Akins headed wide from a corner for the visitors.

Shrewsbury welcome Josh Laurent back from an injury in midfield but at the same time added new boy Sean Goss to the ever-growing casualty list in that position.

And Ricketts focused on the positives: "I think we're getting there, slowly but surely. We're fighting an awful lot of outside things, with injuries and getting people up to speed.

"What we saw again today was players who gave absolutely everything to make sure we came out of the game with another clean sheet when the worst you'll get is a point.

"We still had chances. For the first 20 or 30 minutes we were the better team, we just couldn't convert chances and half-chances.

"We had decent territory without being really good with the ball.

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"I'm not making excuses but I think the heat killed us in terms of energy levels. We started giving the ball away, seven or eight times towards the end of the first half, which meant we had to defend.

"But we're getting there. Slowly but surely.

"Josh Laurent was back in today because he had to be, basically. He's been a big loss for us. He's played 70 minutes after two or three days training, which is excellent.

"Sean Goss unfortunately picked up a knock midweek and couldn't play. Louis Thompson is still getting up to speed.

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"We're still missing Ollie Norburn, there's an awful lot of things that when we first get back and up to speed we'll certainly improve."

Ricketts believes his side have enjoyed a good start to the League One season by collecting eight points from five games, including two wins, a draw and a defeat.

They have not conceding in three home league games but scored just once in that time.

Edwards could and should have sealed three points for his side today in his 150th appearance for Town.

"It was nearly a carbon copy of Fey's (chance) last week. I was just talking to him then. He practices every day just to side foot those in and for some reason today, just in the heat of the moment, he goes with his laces and blazes it wide," Ricketts added:

"Those little things we need to keep improving and get better at, then we can turn games like today into victories.

"That's three clean sheets out of five. Eight points from five is a good start. Ten points would've been a great start, but we're getting there, but we're seeing really good signs and slowly getting there."

Ricketts opted to stick with Steve Morison and Shaun Whalley up ftont despite Fejiri Okenabirhie and Daniel Udoh's heroics from the bench in Tuesday's comeback victory at Accrington Stanley.

"It was tough because Fey and Dan did very well, that's why I was so keen to get them on," he added.

"Dan, like Josh (Laurent), has only done a few days training so can't play at the intensity I want him to and be a nuisance from the start. Twenty was probably his maximum, he was shattered after because he gives everything.

"It was probably the best I've seen Fey play. He's a goalscorer and I get that but his all-round game - nicking balls, holding it up - was excellent when he came on.

"I was really pleased with him. It's a four-man job up there and whoever plays have to work extremely hard.

"You could argue that Moro and Shaun softened the team up on Tuesday and Fey and Dan come on and reap the rewards. Whichever way it goes we give everything we can."

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.

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