Shrewsbury Town aiming to beat the odds
Bullish boss Sam Ricketts has backed Shrewsbury Town to prove the bookies wrong this season.
Ricketts admitted to being a little surprised by the fact many outsiders are tipping his team to struggle – with Town among the longest odds for winning League One and among the shortest to be relegated.
And the boss, whose team kicked off the season at Portsmouth today, says it is up to the players to change perceptions by doing their talking on the pitch.
“I think top 10 is realistic – I think every club going into the league would say it’s realistic,” said Ricketts when asked about targets for the season.
“Ultimately my outlook is to improve on last year. We came 15th, the second-best finish for 30 years, which is good but I just think there is more to come.
“There is more possibility. No guarantees but aspiring to be as good as you can each year. Try to push new boundaries.
“The big thing is we have to change peoples’ perception of us and what they see us.
“If you look at all the bookies (odds), how low down we are in those, that’s peoples’ perception of us. That’s what they think of us.
“That is where we are perceived to be. We have to change peoples’ perception and the only way to change any preconceived ideas of us as a team and individuals is by performing on a Saturday.”
Town made a mockery of the bookies odds when they were tipped second-favourites for relegation before the 2017/18 season, where they went all the way to the play-off final at Wembley.
Wycombe Wanderers, promoted to the Championship via the play-offs last season, were also a short price for relegation before an improbable campaign.
Several media outlets and lower league experts have also charted Salop to be among the third tier strugglers this term.
Ricketts admitted he was surprised by some of the bookmakers odds, but added: “I like being the underdog as well.
“You generally say bookies aren’t too far wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t be around, but we have to prove people wrong. Prove there are misconceptions about us as a team and individuals.
“Everyone can talk the talk but ultimately it’s when the games come and how we perform over a season that will change perceptions.”