Bernard McNally column: Let’s believe Shrewsbury Town can create another shock

By Bernard McNally | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

I’m looking forward to feeling the electricity of the FA Cup at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Gary Hackett enjoyed a Cup run to the quarter-finals – and remembered his goal well!

The competition is special. I know there’s debate with top clubs, but from the mid-Premier League downward it’s still a magical Cup to be involved in.

It just generates so much enthusiasm. It’s tremendous Town have got to this round.

We know everything has to be aligned and we’d need a massive, massive slice of luck to have any success.

I think we’ve got to hope Wolves come and think they’ve just got to turn up, with a bit of complacency. Then our players need to be on absolute top form – every one of them.

We know it’s a big ask but we can go without the pressure, enjoy it and take the game to them.

If we try to sit back and shut up shop for 90 minutes we’ll come unstuck. We should just say ‘we’re in it, a one-off shot, a sell-out crowd’, these games don’t come very often.

Enjoy the occasion too, this is a great game, after beating Stoke away to reach this stage – and dreams to come true on occasion but this will be a very, very tough ask.

Wolves fans will be up for it, it’s little old Shrewsbury, isn’t it? But we’re close to each other. The atmosphere with a packed house is something I’m really looking forward to and I know all Town fans are.


These are the things to saviour as a player, especially if you get on and are a part of it. You don’t want to come off and think you could have done 10 or 20 per cent better.

I was very fortunate with my FA Cup runs as a Shrewsbury player.

I was coming up to apprentice age in 1979, so the Wolves quarter-finals were just before my time. We had Ipswich twice. In 81/82 we played Leicester away at Filbert Street in the quarters, I was involved in those – the touch of class of the competition is the same now as then. It’s such a big game for the club.

Gary Hackett enjoyed a Cup run to the quarter-finals – and remembered his goal well!


The excitement may have even been more then, back then there were only three channels to watch football! It was great if you made Match of the Day.

Those memories are real fond ones, particularly for the guys who scored – I remember Steve Cross and Gary Hackett scoring against Ipswich, two great goals that took us through.

It was great for Gary, what a goal! I remember him talking on Match of the Day. Steve Cross said on the Monday ‘You said you didn’t remember much, but you said you beat two players, came from the wing and bent it into the top corner’. He really did remember it!

Wolves had conceded and at times been a little frail defensively. Hopefully we can find a little chink in the armour.

Players can feel the atmosphere in the build-up, they will, you can start to sense the excitement. There are always those giant-killings. We’ve got to believe it will be us.

Bernard McNally

By Bernard McNally

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


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