Wembley win is all that matters for Shrewsbury's Alex Rodman
Having soaked up the experience once already this season – all Alex Rodman cares about at Wembley is winning.
Town are avoiding the glitz and glamour of the national stadium ahead of kick-off this time. They will not be familiarising themselves with the settings before the big day as Paul Hurst’s players did before last month’s heartache against Lincoln.
Hurst, whose side do battle with Rotherham in the League One play-off on Sunday week, believes that the experience and familiarity will serve his troops well.
Winger Rodman, 31, did not start for Town at Wembley last month as he was struggling with back spasms. For him, this time is not about the occasion – it’s about the outcome.
“It’s a phenomenal setting and one I want to soak up, but do whatever to get the win,” said the wideman.
“I’d rather not take it all in and not enjoy the moment as much if we came out on the other side with a winners’ medal.
“I think it (last month’s Checkatrade Trophy final) stands us in great stead to be honest. It was almost like a dress rehearsal.
“We’ve been there, tasted defeat, we’ve got the cobwebs away from the charisma of the place, the bright lights at Wembley – and we know fully what to expect.
“It’ll be a touch bigger crowd but that won’t make the difference. It’s a big difference to a lot of the boys who were going there the first time and soaking it all up.
“It’s not about going there and enjoying it like we did last time. It’s about going and putting in a performance and winning.”
Town fans were ecstatic to see see their side return to the impressive, high-intensity form in the two legs against Charlton they showed earlier in the campaign.
After a dip in performance and results – partly down to Hurst chopping and changing his line-up with little on the line – supporters were concerned ahead of the knockout clashes.
But the ex-Notts County winger remained confident, alongside his team-mates, that there was still plenty in the tank.
“The confidence has always been high with myself and some of the boys in there,” he said. “I’ve always understood what we were doing in the four games before the play-offs, resting players and trying formations, doing everything we needed to do to be in the right frame of mind for how we can play and played at the start of the season.
“Everyone saw in those two performances against Charlton we were back to where we were. We sensed a bit of negativity and lack of confidence from the fans leading into it because of the games that meant nothing in the lead-up to it.
“But in that changing room we had every confidence to perform like we did and the lads went out and did that.”
Town memorably won 2-1 at Rotherham with 10-men in November. The Millers got revenge at Montgomery Waters Meadow in February, winning 1-0. Rodman remembers it well.
He said: “It was a bit of a strange game at our place. The pitch was shocking, all bobbly, it was a hot, sticky day and it was ‘who could lump it the most?’
“They came out on top. It won’t be that type of game at Wembley. We’ll be able to assert ourselves, get on the ball more and play football which will suit us.”