Mat Sadler’s support for Shrewsbury Town prospect Christos Shelis
Club captain Mat Sadler has backed ‘winner’ Christos Shelis to recover from his error against Walsall.
Shrewsbury’s young Cypriot prospect was distraught after inadvertently helping a cross for Saddlers frontman Amadou Bakayoko to score a 90th-minute winner on Tuesday night.
Shelis, 17, is rated extremely highly by boss Paul Hurst and the Town staff and squad. He signed his first professional contract earlier in the season after shining in pre-season.
Experienced leader Sadler has no doubts that the former Arsenal trainee, who was in tears after the final whistle, has all it takes to shrug off the disappointment.
“First and foremost he is here on merit,” insisted the skipper. “He looks very, very good in training every day and we always get positive reactions from him.
“I’ve been where he’s been and made mistakes in first-team games when I’ve been a young lad.
“Unfortunately that’s part of the growing up period. I’ve got no doubts that Chris will learn from that. It shows lots about the lad that he’s distraught about it – it shows he’s a winner, which I think he is.
“We’ll rally around him because he’s part of our squad and part of us. I’ll be making sure he’s well-aware we’ve all been there, I’ve got a highlights reel of mistakes I can run back to him.
“There’ll be no issues with him getting back. He’ll be fine.”
Shelis, still a second-year scholar by age, will be a key part of academy boss Eric Ramsay’s FA Youth Cup squad that battles Crewe for a place in the third round at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Tuesday.
Sadler added: “When your pride takes a knock, you’re desperate to get back out there. He’s got a big game on Tuesday, another opportunity to show what a good player he is.
“As much as any of us can say to him, he’ll want to be out there putting things right. There’ll be no worries because he shows every day what a good footballer he is. He has a very bright future. He’s a mentally strong boy.”