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Sam Ricketts: A perfect start at Shrewsbury

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published: | Last Updated:

New boss Sam Ricketts hailed his first win a 'perfect start' as Shrewsbury made it six wins from seven games.

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

Town downed rivals Walsall 2-1 with goals either side of half-time from Alex Gilliead and Doug Loft to reach the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Ricketts, the first Town boss to win his first game in charge since Graham Turner in 2010, was pleased with the application of his players.

Salop survived Walsall's late consolation but, after 10 changes, Ricketts had a reaction from his Shrewsbury supporting cast.

"It was the perfect start to win a game, but it's not about me, it's about the team and momentum," said the Shrewsbury chief.

"Players who haven't started recently, it's really important for them.

"That's six wins from seven now which keeps the momentum going, it keeps building.

"A real good performance with some quality and plenty of hunger and desire which pleases me more than anything."

Ricketts added on his changes: "It was probably a really good opportunity to see players that haven't had a chance recently.

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"To show myself and the staff what they can do. We're coming into a busy period where we're going to need players, more than the 11 who start on Saturday.

"There'll be injuries, suspensions and back to back games over Christmas. An awful lot are needed."

Former Wrexham chief Ricketts was particularly pleased with the application his side showed in the final stages as Walsall rallied.

A much-changed Town XI, who had not played much football heading into the game, dug in and defended admirably.

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He added: "You can do all the training sessions in the world, but when you go out into the game you can learn more.

"You see players' characters, Can they pass, can they tackle? I like to see can they grind and grit their teeth in the last 15 minutes when their legs are aching?

"Can they make that run? I like to see who does.

"I was delighted with how hard they all ran. It's like a 400m runner running to the line, he doesn't know where his feet are, but I saw a hunger to make a tackle and make a block."

The Checkatrade Trophy third round draw is Saturday lunchtime. Town, finalists last year, are three wins from another Wembley visit.

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Trainee 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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