Matija Sarkic tasked with learning new Shrewsbury style

Matija Sarkic must learn Shrewsbury Town’s style, insists new boss Steve

Shrewsbury Town's Matija Sarkic (left)
Shrewsbury Town's Matija Sarkic (left)

Cotterill, after the young goal-keeper’s eye-catching return to action.

The on-loan Wolves shot-stopper had been missing for two months with a muscle injury but returned for Town’s new manager’s first game in charge, which they won in extra-time against Oxford City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Cotterill believes the Montenegrin has a big future and was particularly impressed with the way the 23-year-old claimed crosses against the non-league side.

It was apparent early on that Sarkic was being tasked with playing short passes out from goal to defenders and midfielders.

Cotterill said the keeper’s job is to ‘scan’ the pitch and that his distribution is an important part of how the manager wants his side to play.

“He was good when he had to be, but what he was good with, I felt, was his distribution and us getting out from the back,” said Shrewsbury chief Cotterill, who oversees Town in League One action for the first time at home to Accrington Stanley in front of 2,000 fans tomorrow.

“I still think he’s got to get what we’re trying to do. He hasn’t got it yet. I thought he made some innocent errors in the first half. That was because he hadn’t scanned the pitch enough, it’s all about the goalkeeper scanning the pitch.

“He’s got to have options from his defenders and central midfield players, but it’s about him scanning the pitch, especially when it comes back to him because he’s got time. And that pass he is going to make, that kick-out, is going to be really important to us.

“For those trying to get a clear idea of what we’re trying to be, that’s it, these are the rules, that is what we’re trying to do.”

Sarkic arrived on loan from Molineux with a big reputation having opted to swap Villa for Wolves in the summer, but picked up the injury in just his fourth game for Town.

“The thing that stood out to me was the shot he saved with his knees at the near post. But the best thing was the catch at the end of the game,” Cotterill added.

“When there’s a minute on the clock, the last thing you want is your goalkeeper to come off his line and then to drop it.

“When he first came, I thought he was going to punch it – I was hoping it wouldn’t be to anyone on the edge of the box.

“But when he took it and caught it, that’s great.

“He will go on and have a good future in the game, as long as he carries on working hard and learning.”

Meanwhile, Town are to appeal the red card handed out to Aaron Pierre in Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Oxford City.

Pierre appeared to be hit with a deliberate boot thrust towards his face by the non-leaguers’ James Roberts.

TV replays showed Pierre appeared to have been very hard done to with Roberts’ reaction to the incident looking way over the top. Town said in a statement yesterday morning: “Shrewsbury Town Football Club can confirm that Aaron Pierre’s red card in yesterday’s Emirates FA cup tie with Oxford City will be appealed.

“We are now gathering evidence and grounds of appeal to submit to the FA in order for this to be lodged as soon as possible for Salop to get a preferred early hearing.”

Pierre stands to receive an automatic three-match ban if the red card is not rescinded.

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