Sam Ricketts to trim his Shrewsbury Town squad and add in 'key' positions
Sam Ricketts wants to trim his heavy Shrewsbury Town squad and will target ‘key’ positions rather than a deluge of new faces.
While it stands to be a busy summer of transfers in and out of Montgomery Waters Meadow, Ricketts does not foresee an overhaul ahead of his first full Town season.
Ricketts has revealed he intends to stick with the three-man defensive wing-back system he ‘fell into’ and will shop to fit specific positions within that 3-5-2 system, with the manager favouring two centre-forwards in his team.
The Town boss, who said he won’t take risks with the transfer budget, believes honing in on key positions will help Shrewsbury’s recruitment staff focus in the market and build a squad greater than the sum of its parts.
Ricketts said: “I went to three (defenders) because it fell in with what we had at the time. We’ve fallen into it and I quite like it.
“It suits an awful lot of the players here already. Now it’s can we recruit into that? That’s the big one.
“Rather than just recruit players ad-hoc, we need to recruit into how we’re going to play. It does come down to a couple of key players.
After Town’s January business the boss switched to a back three with wing-backs and felt his team was more consistent for it.
Now he will be in the market to fill that formation with several changes expected.
“I quite like it,” Ricketts said of the recruitment style. “Because it focuses what we want – to try bringing players in who are going to fit the way we play and what we want from that position.
“The whole idea is you recruit smart, recruit what you need for that system to work.
“I like to be more specific if I can. Looking at clubs that have outperformed the sum of their parts, it’s generally been because they’ve recruited well to how they play.
Ricketts feels having a close-knit squad is a crucial factor in success. Town had a bloated squad under John Askey and, even in Ricketts’ tenure, a number of players were not involved in the matchday 18.
“I like a close-knit group,” he added.
“Ultimately the closer knit group the more everyone feels involved. If you’re not playing one week there’s a very good chance you’ll play next week with injuries, suspension or form.
“It is very important you have that collective togetherness and that’s something I really want to build and harvest between the team environment.”