Rotherham v Shrewsbury preview: There’s no doubting Ollie Norburn's will to win

In his own words, Ollie Norburn was ‘back with a bang’ for Town this week.

Ollie Norburn returned to the team against Wimbledon on Saturday – then scored against Southend in midweek (AMA)
Ollie Norburn returned to the team against Wimbledon on Saturday – then scored against Southend in midweek (AMA)

The midfielder is the heartbeat of Sam Ricketts’ side. The driving force. The motivator. With a will to win that surpasses most.

He capped his return to the side, after 79 minutes at AFC Wimbledon last weekend, with a crucial and well-taken strike in the 4-3 win over Southend on Tuesday.

Norburn, 26, was handed the captain’s armband in February and has not looked back. In fact it clicked him through the gears. It is the measure of a man that grows with that responsibility rather than shrinks.

It can boil over, Norburn admits, he can make ‘hot-headed’ calls, but they are all in the team’s interest.

The all-action midfielder, who signed a new and improved Town contract in the summer after heavy speculation linking him to Peterborough, is the type that would not take well to losing a game of football in the garden to his little daughter – once she is old enough to dare take on her dad.

And that willingness to come out on top in everything he does is why Norburn will play a key role if Town are to take anything from a tough fixture at the much-fancied Rotherham tomorrow.

The skipper, who is likely to keep the captain’s armband over local hero Dave Edwards – a measure of his attributes – responded quickly to a question that didn’t quite fit in with his winning and ambitious ideology.

When asked if he thinks hosts Rotherham have the ability to be fighting at the top of League One, Norburn quickly retorted: “Yes – but I think we have.

“It doesn’t really matter to me they’ve come (down) from the Championship.”

“We’re going there to get something, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got enough in that squad now, enough players from the bench to make an impact.

“It’s a good set of lads and we’re ready to fight for each other.”

On leading the team out as Shrewsbury’s Mr Motivator, Norburn continued: “He (Ricketts) probably likes the way I try to get everybody going.

“It’s a role I’m honoured to do because I thoroughly enjoy it.

“I think the first occasion was Wolves away in the Cup and it felt like a bit of added pressure which I relished and felt I needed.

“Since then I think I’ve thrived from it and it’s something I really enjoy doing.

“I’m two different people off and on the pitch, as soon as I cross the white line I’d like to say I’m a different animal.

“That’s in the changing room and on the pitch. I want to win, that’s what I want others around be to be like. Whatever it takes to do that I’m willing to do.”

Of that there can be no doubt.

Predicted line-up:

Shrewsbury (3-5-2): O'Leary; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love, Laurent, Goss, Norburn (c), Giles; Cummings, Lang.

Subs: Murphy, Beckles, Edwards, Thompson, Whalley, Udoh, Morison.

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