Shrewsbury Town target a statement win at Rotherham
Sam Ricketts wants his Shrewsbury players to relish the prospect of a ‘benchmark’ result against one of League One’s fancied sides Rotherham.
The Millers, relegated from the Championship last season, have had an indifferent start and are one place and one point below Town, having played a game fewer.
Ricketts – going for back-to-back wins for the first time this term – still expects Paul Warne’s side to be fighting for promotion this season.
But having found their scoring touch in midweek against lowly Southend, Ricketts is urging Shrewsbury to make a statement against one of the league’s big boys.
“Definitely I think it could be a statement,” Ricketts said of tomorrow’s New York Stadium clash.
“I still think Rotherham will be right up there at the end of the season.
“They’ve got two games in hand whereas we have one, which is probably why they sit where they do at the moment.
“It’ll be a real tough game for us. We went to Ipswich in similar circumstances and I felt that we should have been well in the game.
“The game got taken away from us for a number of reasons, but we didn’t go and get outplayed – it’s another opportunity to stake a claim and hopefully put down a benchmark about what we can do.”
That trip to Ipswich at the end of last month started badly for Town as Ricketts’ men found themselves 2-0 down inside 10 minutes at Portman Road.
“Keep it tight after two minutes and don’t let the referee give a penalty that isn’t against you,” Ricketts smiled when asked about lessons to take from the 3-0 Ipswich reverse.
“There’s a few things, but we have to learn from every game, including the other night.
“We’ll go there with confidence and also be very respectful of who we are against.”
It is the first time the clubs have met in the league since the 2018 play-off final, although Rotherham beat Town 4-0 in the League Cup last month.
Fejiri Okenabirhie (hamstring) is unavailable, but the striker is set to return to training next week.
The boss added: “I think there’s certainly belief we can go there and put a performance on. If you put a performance on then you are always capable of winning.
“It’s a game we should relish going to a nice stadium against a good side with good players.
“You want to test yourselves against one of the best teams in the league and say ‘Come on then, are we good enough to get a result?’”