Sam Ricketts has early chance to run rule over Shrewsbury supporting cast
The new Shrewsbury manager has an immediate opportunity to run the rule over some of his team’s supporting cast with changes expected for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy knockout tie.
Sam Ricketts is set to ring the changes for the visit of Walsall to offer Town’s regular starters in League One a breather.
The new Montgomery Waters Meadow chief is keen to follow Danny Coyne and Eric Ramsay’s philosophies. It is likely that the side who have impressed with five wins from six will get the nod for Saturday’s League One trip to Burton.
But, as against Crewe in the Trophy three weeks ago, Town will field a changed XI and it will provide Ricketts a chance to assess Shrewsbury’s back-up boys.
“I have been talking with Danny and Eric a little bit and we will probably be sticking with that philosophy for a number of reasons,” Ricketts, who won the competition with Swansea in 2005/06, said of tonight’s tie.
“Firstly, there are a good number of players here and there are a good number of players who haven’t been starting who are more than good enough to be playing.
“Secondly, we can give the lads who have been playing a little breather because there have been a lot of games lately and we are about to enter a particularly busy period with Christmas in mind too.”
Ricketts’ new side made it all the way to the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley in April.
Shrewsbury and Walsall are four wins from a repeat of reaching that final stage. The new Town chief said his focus on winning a game of football does not alter dependant on the competition.
Ricketts will line up against his Wrexham predecessor Dean Keates for his Shrewsbury Town bow tonight.
“It was a really good story for Shrewsbury last year, but they couldn’t quite finish it off,” Ricketts added.
“We are going into tonight hoping to win the game, as I will with every game. It is a home game as well, so I am really looking forward to it
“Dean Keates is obviously at Walsall. They will try and open you up with the ball and with a little bit of movement. “It certainly won’t be an easy game.
“This is an opportunity to win a competition. As a player I won this tournament, so it is important.
“It can be a great day out but, as Shrewsbury are aware, it is only a great day if you win.”