Bernard McNally: Sam Ricketts must be the one to give Shrewsbury players confidence
Who motivates the motivator?
I remember when I was with Bobby Gould at West Brom when we were going through a slump and he asked the question to us.
It was a good question and I can understand what he was saying.
As players you are very greedy and you are looking to someone to spark something. And if you haven’t got that in a player on the field, then you’ve got to have it from the manger.
It’s going to have to come from the manager and staff.
He’s got to instil some confidence from somewhere – he’s the one that has to motivate people when things are at their worst.
Losing to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday was a really disappointing night for Shrewsbury Town.
That has put pressure on.
Everybody was hoping we would pick up points from the last two games against sides that are in and around us.
That’s going to be very frustrating for the fans.
If they could have got a win on Tuesday it would have elevated them, but losing drags them back down.
They’ve got to try to put the brakes on to get out of this slump.
After the Liverpool ties and Bristol City before that, there seemed to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
I think everybody was thinking that would help them to progress in the league and motivate them to move forward.
It sometimes happens like that, the after the Lord Mayor’s show kind of thing. People who have been following the game for 20, 30 years will know things do happen like that.
They’ve really got to pick themselves up and I think going to Portsmouth on Saturday will be a welcome relief, there will be no expectation.
The pressure will be off and let’s hope they go and give a good performance and get a point or a 1-0 win.
Sometimes it can be easier to go away from home where there’s not as much pressure.
Sam has been rotating his side recently with the number of games Town have been playing.
I know that fans will say ‘stick to the same side’ but that is very difficult. If you do that and it’s not working then you get a lot of stick for that.
Maybe he’s got to change something around, just alter little things in order to produce a result.
Maybe a change of shape – or maybe something drastic.
When I was manager of Newtown I had a centre-half (Andy Jones) who I shoved up front and he ended up getting a hat-trick!
Sometimes doing something different or a bit unexpected can raise morale a little bit.
Things like that can change the course of events, but you have to be strong enough to do it. This is part and parcel of being a manager.
It’s difficult times, but let’s hope for a change in fortune this weekend.