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Bernard McNally: Shrewsbury Town bond growing with every good result

By Bernard McNally | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published: | Last Updated:

I can really see John Askey’s Shrewsbury squad starting to grow.

Fejiri Okenabirhie of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 6-0. (AMA)

The 6-0 domination over Micky Mellon’s Tranmere on Tuesday followed what was a pivotal home win in the league over Accrington Stanley.

We can’t get too carried away with the midweek hammering. There were a lot of changes. Having said that, what a confidence boost it’ll be.

It puts the fringe players in John’s minds. They’ve said ‘I am here. I can score goals’. It’s confirmed to the manager that he has strength in depth.

Fejiri Okenabirhie celebrated with the match ball after his treble. His self-confidence will be sky-high, it’ll have done wonders for him. If he can come on at Fleetwood in the league on Saturday, then his fresh legs can be so important. It’s not all about the first XI. It’s about 15, 16 or 17 lads – you need impact.

When a player comes from a lower league and is settling in, it may take a couple of months to get to grips with the pace. You do that in training, if it’s sharp and the player is bright, they’ll sharpen up day-by-day, without realising.

When you score goals – I didn’t score many myself – but when I did, it gave me an extra 10 miles per hour. You feel terrific, like walking on water.

The majority of people see ‘Shrewsbury 6-0 Tranmere’. Not the amount of changes.

The thrashing will be good for the squad bond and morale.

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Sometimes it can happen after a slower start. The bond seems to be growing and they’re moving in the right direction.

Most people can see they’re turning a corner. They’re adding results to performances.

Hopefully we can take it to Saturday at Fleetwood. There’ll be pressure on the hosts, hopefully we can take the momentum there.

Early doors, in the first few games, we all said Shrewsbury needed that bit of luck. They were playing some good football but not getting the final result.

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John and the players will take that fortune with Stanley’s keeper Connor Ripley dismissed. Sometimes you have to take those opportunities.

Make no bones about it, they were under pressure there. The result comes over the performance. It was really vital they won.

Having 10 men can galvanise teams. People think you should win three or four. I was delighted Alex Gilliead got off the mark, it should give him confidence. I think in Gilliead, Shaun Whalley and Lee Angol there’s a potent trio.

The amount of times I played games, people would say ‘what a rubbish game that was’ – but we won. They needed that.

Wasn’t it great to look at the League One table to see Town jump up? We all look at it and it doesn’t half look a lot better.

It breeds confidence, even if you win and it hits the referee’s ear and goes in, it builds confidence.

Bernard McNally

By Bernard McNally

Former Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford player and manager, offering his thoughts on Shropshire football.

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