Sam Ricketts: Shrewsbury must be at peak
Sam Ricketts has called on Shrewsbury Town to rev into top gear for the visit of Coventry City tomorrow.
The Town boss admits his side must play at their limit to get a positive result against the promotion-challenging Sky Blues.
Ricketts, who goes up against the club he finished his playing career at through injury, added that it is ‘impossible’ to expect a team to be flat out in every match.
But home victories against the likes of Portsmouth, Sunderland and Peterborough have helped inspire confidence Shrews can see off another ambitious League One rival.
“We know we can perform and give anyone a game but we also know we can’t step off at all,” said Ricketts. “We’re not that team that can play in second or third gear and still get results.
“We have to be flat out at it and that’s the hard thing, to try to get to that level every week, because it’s impossible – we’re all human and have good and bad days.
“The more players we can get towards the top of their game we know we can certainly give anyone in this league a game.”
Ricketts countered those suggesting his side, currently 12th, do not score enough goals as they strive to improve on last season’s 18th-placed finish.
He added: “Our aim is to improve on last year and it’s obvious to see we’re doing that while also trying to get better again.
“Points are being made about not scoring enough – I think we scored in the seven games previous (to Oxford).
“OK it might only be ‘ones’ or ‘ones or twos’ but it’s not as if we’ve not been scoring. But it’s obviously something we want to address. Coventry saw off Ipswich easily in the week. They’re a good team.”
Town are five games into a run of eight fixtures against top-half opposition. They have taken seven points from 15 on offer so far.
Ricketts said: “Performances have been good. We got beat at Wycombe and we didn’t deserve to.
“We won a couple of home games. Losing against Bristol Rovers was the most disappointing performance – certainly first half.
“Consistently our performances are steady but I’m always trying to improve.”
Coventry have had no luck at Shrewsbury historically. The Sky Blues have won just once in 17 attempts at Town, way back in the Division 3 (south) in 1953.
Forward Shaun Whalley is likely to be back in contention following a calf injury.
Midfielder Louis Thompson looks further back after returning to training yesterday.