Sam Ricketts criticises first-half intensity as Town draw again
Sam Ricketts says "poor" Shrewsbury Town must be better as a creative force after his side's home draw against Gillingham.
The Town boss was unhappy with the edgy first-half display against the Gills, who are below them in League One, and led through a Stuart O'Keefe penalty before the break.
Omar Beckles netted the crucial equaliser with a well-taken finish after the hour to settle the home fans' nerves and the hosts went closest to a winner as Dave Edwards and Fejiri Okenabirhie sent stoppage time headers wide.
Shrewsbury have tied six of their 13 League One games this season and sit 14th having managed just 11 goals and Ricketts knows his side must be sharper going forward.
He said: “It’s two points dropped. We were poor, really poor in the first half. We didn’t play with any real speed or intensity.
“We never got going in a game where I thought we could have taken it by the scruff of the neck and just waiting for things to happen, as opposed to making something happen.
“I asked for a reaction at half time. We got that in the second half and the longer it went on, the more positive and on the front foot we were.
“We had more crosses coming into the box and that finished off with Fejiri and Dave having good chances to win us the game. You always fancy one of those to go in from those two players.
“Ultimately the first half was not anywhere where we want to be. We probably raised it from 70 percent to 85 per cent – that’s nowhere near where we can be.”
Town lost Daniel Udoh after half an hour to a tweak of his medial ligament that is not likely to be serious.
Home fans were unimpressed with a poor first-half display and it took until the hour mark - and the introduction of Shaun Whalley from the bench - to spark the hosts into life.
Asked if he was seeing enough creativity in his side, the boss replied: "No, not in the first half.
"We were passive, slow, too many backwards passes. We're trying to be positive, to play and run forward. We need to threaten the opposition more.
"We end up with two crosses from the right on the byline, great crosses, that what we need earlier."