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Sam Ricketts: Shrewsbury players ran out of steam

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published: | Last Updated:

Disappointed Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts felt his players ran out of steam in the EFL Trophy penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City's under-21s.

Sam Ricketts (AMA)

Ricketts fielded a strong side and handed minutes to a number of players coming back from injuries including Lenell John-Lewis, Daniel Udoh, Sean Goss and Ryan Giles.

Scott Golbourne's first goal for Shrewsbury, a screamer from distance into the top corner, gave Town a half-time lead but Shrews were sluggish after the break and the young Citizens deservedly equalised through Tommy Doyle before almost nicking it.

Left-back Golbourne missed the decisive penalty in the shootout after 11 successful spot-kicks. Ricketts was frustrated to exit the competition but acknowledged it as a useful opportunity.

"I'm disappointed at going out. Disappointed it went to penalties," said Ricketts, who marked one year in charge of Town with the shootout defeat.

"In the first half we were good, the game panned out exactly as I planned it and players were prepared.

"We probably ran out of steam. We didn't pass the ball forward enough, maybe a little lack of energy, there were probably five lads who haven't played 90 minutes for a long time.

"It was great to have Lenny (John-Lewis) back for a first start in 10 months. Dan Udoh back in as well.

"When they were sharp and feeling good first half we were a threat. When they fatigued we struggled to hurt them where they were vulnerable.

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"We got minutes into five lads who needed it. We saw a lot of good stuff in the first half and clear areas to get better in the second."

Max O'Leary, who made a number of key saves in the 90 minutes, was unable to keep out any of the penalties despite getting a hand to two.

City's young XI, which included four who have first-team experience under Pep Guardiola, showed eye-catching technical ability.

When asked if his side could learn from anything, Ricketts added: "I wouldn't learn too much from them other than to roll around when you get a few free-kicks.

"The City lads need to learn - I was going to say real football - they're brought up in a bit of a bubble, no disrespect to them.

"They're fantastic players, it's a different style. They've spent big money on those players, you have to make your way in the game and everyone does it differently."

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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