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Sam Ricketts: A good point for Shrewsbury

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

Sam Ricketts came away from a goalless draw at Rotherham delighted with his side's 'excellent team performance' and resilience in defending.

Sam Ricketts (AMA)

Town put in one of their soundest defensive displays in recent times in the shutout at the New York Stadium where hosts Rotherham could simply find no way through.

The Town boss altered his side's shape from 3-5-1 to 5-4-1 and Ricketts felt his gameplan worked perfectly in South Yorkshire, as well as defending superbly,they led a number of breaks into threatening positions but were unable to capitalise.

"It's a good point. I thought it was a real, real good performance, an excellent team performance," said Ricketts.

"We set up with a game plan which was very evident as the game went on. We frustrated Rotherham into shooting from longer (range).

"I think Max probably only had one save to make. We had the better chances in the game to be honest.

"We broke and caused problems. Ryan Giles weaved his way through and got into a one-v-one, if he keeps it low he scores.

"On top of that we got into three or four unbelievable positions on the break but we just couldn't capitalise on it.

"We made the point our defending certainly deserved."

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Keeper Max O'Leary only had one save of note to make, from a second half Michael Ihiekwe header, with his defenders making clearance after clearance.

Town had the better chance on goal, certainly in the first period, through Shaun Whalley and Ryan Giles. After the break they broke as Rotherham searched for the killer goal and almost struck on the counter.

"There was one off a free-kick that he pushed around the post and it was his only save of note."

Ricketts added: "It probably sums up the level of performance from the players, it was a really, really top performance.

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"This is somewhere that really isn't an easy place to come against a team that were a Championship side last season and weren't hanging on.

"Yes we sat deep, we invited them on to break and counter quickly and the game plan worked perfectly for brilliant situations unfortunately we couldn't quite make them count."

Ricketts feels that the clean sheet, a fourth in nine league games that makes his team three games unbeaten, if a sign of the progress they are making on the training ground.

"What you are seeing, regardless of personnel, there's a team of resilience and work ethic," Ricketts continued.

"Them following out the level of detail is excellent. I'm delighted with the performance, pleased with the point - even though we wanted three.

"We were back to being solid, organised and winning our tackles and headers and not just the back three.

"Two of the back three were limping for the last half hour or so. Unfortunately Aaron Pierre got injured yesterday so we couldn't involve him.

"What you saw here was a team with real togetherness, commitment and knowing what is required."

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.

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