Shrewsbury Town v Coventry City preview: Ethan Ebanks-Landell happy and settled at Town
Dominant defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell feels like he has found a new home after his ‘happy change’ in the summer.
Ebanks-Landell, who turns 27 next week, has been a big hit since heading along the M54 from Wolves to Shrewsbury Town.
He was the first signing of the summer made by boss Sam Ricketts, a former Molineux team-mate, as the dust was barely settling on last season.
Ricketts leads his side out into a home clash against Coventry at Montgomery Waters Meadow tomorrow, with Ebanks-Landell hoping to play his role in what would be a 13th clean sheet in 27 games this season.
The tall stopper, who stands at 6ft 2in, enjoyed and endured mixed fortunes on loan away from Wolves, from League One promotion success at Sheffield United to League One relegation with MK Dons.
Now – having finally moved away from his boyhood club, who he joined aged nine – Black Country-born Ebanks-Landell is enjoying life with Shrewsbury.
“I wouldn’t say it felt like a big moment, it was just a happy change,” he said of ending his 17-year association with Wolves.
“I’d been at Wolves so long it got a bit stagnant. I knew I was never going to get in that team.
“I needed a new challenge and way to progress my career and Shrewsbury was a good way to do that.
“Wolves have come on leaps and bounds. They’re a massive club now. Where they are heading you can only congratulate them.
“I’ve been really enjoying it here. I’ve really enjoyed my football for the first time in a long time. I enjoyed last year (on loan) at Rochdale but it was just a loan. Now I’m here and you could definitely say I’ve found a home.”
Ebanks-Landell, alongside Aaron Pierre, Ro-Shaun Williams and Omar Beckles, have proved a very solid foundation this season.
Ricketts was determined to make Town a tougher prospect and turned to the defender for his first signing. Shrews have conceded the fourth-fewest goals in the division (19) this season and boast the joint-second most clean sheets (nine).
Their resolve is likely to face another stern test tomorrow. After keeping out promotion-chasing Oxford last weekend, Mark Robins’ sixth-placed Coventry arrive high on confidence. But Ebanks-Landell admits Town must do more at the other end of the pitch.
“It’s always good to get a clean sheet as a defender,” he added. “We’ve had a few this season. The more clean sheets the better as a defender so it looks better on me!
“As a back five the team have defended very well, but we need to add a few more goals and I’m sure we’ll be on the right way.
“It’s all about getting on a run. We haven’t had two league wins on the spin yet and that’s what we’re working towards. We’ll take it step by step.”
The Sky Blues have sold their 1,500 allocation tomorrow.
Boss Ricketts said: “It’ll be a good game and good atmosphere.
“It’ll add to the game, the better atmosphere in the ground the better it is.
“It’s a bit different here, we have two pockets of fans to be vocal which is good. We want to start well and give them something to cheer.”
Shrewsbury Town (3-4-3): O'Leary; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love, Norburn (c), Laurent, Golbourne; Edwards, Cummings, Giles.
Subs: Murphy (gk), Beckles, Walker, Goss, Whalley, Udoh, Okenabirhie