Sam Ricketts: Shrewsbury Town draw brings 'more than a point'
Shrewsbury Town leave Fratton Park with 'a whole lot more than a point', believes boss Sam Ricketts after an impressive season-opener against Portsmouth.
Town and Pompey played out a goalless draw in the League One curtain-raiser which could have gone either way with decent chances at both ends.
Ricketts' side caught the eye particularly in their first-half display, with an intensity to their new pressing game proving tough for Pompey, last season's beaten play-off semi-finalists, to cope.
Salop - who finished the game with 10 men after Aaron Pierre's second yellow card in added time - went close as Brad Walker headed against the post and dragged a shot wide after half-time, while Craig MacGillivray kept out Rekeil Pyke.
Town's other standout star was debut keeper Matija Sarkic, given the nod over Harry Burgoyne after one training session with Town. The Montenegro international was calm and assured in all he did and made a fine last-gasp save to preserve the clean sheet.
Ricketts was delighted with what he saw. "We've come away from here with a point but I actually think we come away with a whole lot more to be honest," said the Town boss.
"The overall performance was very, very good and we also know we've got a lot more to come.
"We've come away with so much more because there are so many positives to take from the game.
"We changed the way we're going to play and we put a team that I think are going to end up in the top six on the back foot.
"It wasn't until five minutes before half-time they got a little foothold in the game.
"I'm delighted with the point. Coming away with anything is a good result.
"We could've, maybe should've, scored a couple. Brad Walker hit the post and had another good chance and there were more half-chances and blocks (from them).
"We went toe-to-toe with a top six side and didn't look out of place in any way, shape or form."
Ricketts confirmed midfield pair Dave Edwards and Sean Goss missed out through injury, while Town are keeping their fingers crossed over Ro-Shaun Williams' hamstring tweak with Pierre suspended for next week's home game against Northampton.
Sarkic, a loan signing from Wolves, only returned from international duty towards the end of the week and had one training session at Sundorne before being handed his bow.
"I'm pleased for him. It was really hard for him. He's a young player who hasn't played a lot of games," Ricketts said of the 23-year-old.
"To step into a side where he doesn't know anyone, on the back of one training session, I thought he did very, very well.
"You can see there is a lot of potential in him for the rest of the season."