Shrewsbury Town's Shaun Whalley back and ready to play starring role
Shrewsbury goalscorer Shaun Whalley is ready to play a starring role on the pitch rather than a supporting cast from the stands after returning from his latest injury nightmare.
The Town favourite marked his first start in almost four months with the first goal as Town drew 1-1 at rivals Bristol Rovers.
Whalley, 31, netted the opening goal in the first half but Sam Ricketts’ side were powerless to stop the hosts peg them back through former Salop man Alex Rodman after the break.
The Town winger’s last start was against Sunderland in October. He has since been out with groin and hamstring injuries, but insists he is poised to play a big part in lifting his side out of the League One drop zone.
“These things happen. Last season I played nearly 60 games and I wasn’t injured at all, including training,” said Whalley, who scored his third goal of the season.
“It just happens like that sometimes, we’re professional footballers and people get injured.
“I’m back now, so I’m looking forward to it.
“I don’t really like watching when I want to be out there.
“I’ve obviously been supporting the lads, but now I can really help them instead of just cheering us on and really help us try to climb the table.”
Town climbed a place to 22nd with their point but remain with just one league win on the road all season. They are one point from safety in a tight bottom of the table.
Whalley added: “I’d like to see us move up the table and out the relegation zone. We have to take each game as it comes.
“It’s Burton next and I don’t see why we can’t get three points there.
“Since the gaffer’s come in he’s always said I’m part of his plans, it was just a case of getting minutes into me which is frustrating for me but I obviously understand why.”
Boss Ricketts, who was unhappy with the standard of officiating in the lively Memorial Stadium clash, has said a fit Whalley will be like a new signing for Town.
He said: “Shaun has got undoubted quality.
“He’s a player we’ve been missing, I’ve not been able to pick him, it was nice to be able to pick him from the start for the first time.
“I’m delighted to have him in, you have very good players to score you those goals, individuals bits of skill. That’s why he’s so good to have back around.”