Bernard McNally: Shrewsbury Town won’t slip up at struggling Plymouth
A year-and-a-half ago you could see Town going to rock-bottom Plymouth and slipping up.
However, at the present time, with how Paul Hurst wants to play and his personality, I can’t see us slipping up against them.
I know that’s putting a banana skin there for the players but, considering the way we have approached each game, I don’t think the Pilgrims will be relishing the visit of Town.
With the results being picked up and the record Paul’s team are producing – this really should be three points as long as Town go about their jobs and get that mental side right. That’ll be reiterated to them.
The bonus now for Paul and Chris Doig is that they can say ‘everybody wants to be the first team to beat us’. Wherever we’re going now, we’re there to be shot at – and what a position to be in.
I’m sure the players will go with the right attitude. I think they showed that strength, discipline and resilience last weekend in the 1-1 draw at Walsall.
Let’s face it, I think the players and management will have been a little disappointed with the result...and that’s great. Going away from home and thinking ‘we’ve only got a draw’, that shows the strides Town have made in recent times.
I thought the team’s defensive display at Walsall, with Toto Nsiala and Mat Sadler at the heart of it, was really, really good.
Toto has certainly become an eye-catching player because of his physicality in particular. He really is commanding.
Stefan Payne netted from the spot to draw Town level, his seventh goal in 11 games. He’s doing incredibly well. You can see why strikers get paid the most money, to put that ball in the net is the hardest thing.
His penalty was coolness personified. It’s great having a player that you know can score. His confidence is growing each game.
It reminds me of a season or two with Gary Stevens and Colin Robinson, you just knew at some point they’d nick it for you. All the players did all the hard work stopping the goals but you have players to put it in the net. We had Gary who was six foot-plus and would head balls down at the back post and Colin would just run all day. He’d cover every blade of grass.
Town have two players in Stef and Carlton Morris who are more than capable of hitting 20 goals.
My former manager Ian McNeill sadly passed away last Friday. I remember Ian with fondness.
There aren’t many managers I could say I ‘loved’ playing under, but he’s certainly one of them. He wanted to play football – my type of manager – to be creative, play from the back.
He was so positive, I remember him with a big smile, the type of manager to speak to you as an individual and give you a boost.