Sam Ricketts: It feels like Shrewsbury Town are cursed

Mystified Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts feels a curse has been set on his side after they were condemned to back-to-back home defeats.

Sam Ricketts the head coach / manager of Shrewsbury Town. (AMA)
Sam Ricketts the head coach / manager of Shrewsbury Town. (AMA)

The Town chief is at a loss to explain his side's lack of goals after he quoted having '19 or 20' attempts at the Rochdale goal as the visitors earned a 2-1 Montgomery Waters Meadow victory.

Shrewsbury have now taken just one point from their opening four home League One games after reverses to Bristol Rovers and Rochdale inside five days.

But Ricketts feels his team did more than enough to take something from a contest in which they fell behind to two sloppy goals inside 36 minutes and had Aaron Pierre reduce the arrears before half-time.

And, after saying Town 'dominated' with '98 per cent of the performance very good', he quipped that the lack of points and goals feels like a curse.

"It's a very hard one to sum up at the minute. Again, it's a game we've dominated," Ricketts said.

"We're not dominating with possession playing out of our own box, it's generally in the opposition half.

"(We had) Twenty-odd attempts at goals with only one (scored) is a problem. We need to score more than that.

"But we're giving teams cheap goals. We have to be really careful on that, because 98 per cent of the performance is very, very good.

"It's just that little bit in both boxes to score a little bit more and keep the score against us to zeros and ones.

"We are going to be a little more open than last year but we're controlling the ball, so the amount of chances we're having to defend is minimal really.

"We have to persevere with what we're doing, because there isn't a whole lot wrong really.

"We're looking a very, very good side in a number of ways but we have to maintain that but also improve it.

"We had another 19 or 20 shots, that doesn't include balls going across the box with no-one on the end of.

"We have to persevere with that and keep going and, in effect, turn the screw in both ends. We need to be keeping zeros and ones and putting the ball in the net in the other end.

"We can't keep creating this many chances and not scoring. I don't know, has someone put a curse on us at the minute? It's an unbelievable run of performances which have been very high but not getting the performances they deserve."

Town were missing goalkeeper Deyan Iliev, who had a place on the bench, with injury. Harry Burgoyne was recalled between the sticks.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell was ill and, after testing negative for Covid, only well enough for the bench.

New left-back Charlie Daniels was handed a debut and was a rare bright spark with a positive display.

Ricketts condemned the manner in which Rochdale went two goals to the good.

He added: "We got caught on a sucker-punch, two direct balls we should be winning the first ball on and then for one flick to be in (on goal), I'm extremely disappointed with that. That isn't good enough.

"There won't be many games where teams have 19 or 20 shots. We have to improve and put the ball in the net more than we are."

Shrewsbury created few clear-cut chances when a big second half was required. Marlon Fossey was denied by a stunning Gavin Bazunu save eight minutes from time.

The only other clear chance fell the way of Ro-Shaun Williams from an uncleared corner deep in added time.

Ricketts added on his side's home form: "Home and away at the minute is very similar.

"There aren't crowds here, like away. It's more a fact we're playing well but not getting the points we deserve.

"We should be winning the game and be on a roll. We shouldn't lose the positives from it because when it does click, and it undoubtedly will, then we'll be on a good rhythm.

"There's no way we can play like that and not turn the performances into wins."

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