Shrewsbury Town missing powerful pair

Sam Ricketts is longing for the return of powerful frontmen Leon Clarke and Rekeil Pyke as he seeks a presence in his forward line.

Leon Clarke and Rekeil Pyke. (AMA)
Leon Clarke and Rekeil Pyke. (AMA)

The absence of strikers Clarke (hamstring) and Pyke (thigh) have proven a blow to Shrewsbury Town this term.

Veteran forward Clarke, 35 was brought to Town as a free agent in September and last played in the defeat at Fleetwood on October 27, while Pyke, 23, has been missing since late September with a muscle problem.

While Ricketts has been boosted by the return to fitness of Shaun Whalley, Dave Edwards and Matt Millar, he feels his side are missing the presence of Clarke and Pyke in attack.

“It’s a huge boost and you can see the difference,” Ricketts said of his fit-again players. “Obviously it would be nice to have Leon Clarke, Riki and a few others back as well, and get them back as soon as possible, but unfortunately they are still four to six weeks away.

“Just that presence really, as a big No.9 who we can play off sometimes when we do want to see a game out in the channels and learn to control latter stages of the game.”

Pyke last played for Town two months ago tomorrow, the thigh injury limiting the striker to just three appearances for his new club since joining from Huddersfield Town in the summer.

Ricketts does still have Daniel Udoh and Jason Cummings available in his striking ranks, but neither has been selected regularly in that role this season.

The Town boss has opted to use no recognised centre-forward in his last two games, against Crewe in the EFL Trophy and Swindon in League One, with Josh Daniels and Marc Pugh acting as makeshift strikers.

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