Steve Cotterill focused on small steps for Shrewsbury Town
Steve Cotterill is focused on improving Shrewsbury Town game-by-game, but admitted it could take some time for players to become fully tuned-in to a new style.
The new Town chief was left encouraged by what he saw from an impressive second-half display against Accrington Stanley on Wednesday, despite late drama robbing Shrewsbury of points yet again, writes Lewis Cox.
There is no let-up to the relentless fixture list as tomorrow brings Charlton Athletic to Montgomery Waters Meadow for the second of nine games in December.
Cotterill was satisfied as Wednesday’s second half left him with something to build on as Shrewsbury, still winless at home, crave the victories needed to pull them from the mire.
The boss reiterated that it could take some 12 months to fully get his methods across, before factoring in possible busy January and summer transfer windows, but that his focus is on short-term progress.
“You asked how do you want to play and how long will it take you? To get a proper idea to the players it could take a year,” Cotterill said.
“That’s without potential changes in personnel. It takes time. But Shrewsbury have always given their managers time and I don’t envisage Roland (Wycherley) being any different with me.
“So we’ve got to keep working at it and working at it and keeping our heads down and try to get us up another notch, again.”
Charlton head to the Meadow fourth in League One after a surprising home reverse to MK Dons on Wednesday. It heads up a daunting run of league fixtures for Town, who play five of the top 10 and four of the top seven before Christmas.
Cotterill added: “The interesting thing for me was how dominant we were in the second half, and yet we were not quite sure in the first.
“That’s the effort, energy and support that I’ve got to give them, because we wanted that in the first half. If we’d have played like that in the first half 100 per cent we’d have won that game, without question.
“But I get where they are, you have to be somebody who has been in the arena to understand what they are feeling right now.”
Shrews are set to welcome defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell back into their defence for the visit of Lee Bowyer’s men.
Cotterill is hopeful his side can continue progressing, once again playing in front of up to 2,000 home fans tomorrow. He said: “We could’ve won the (Accrington) game and then not end up performing in the next games. It’s about our performance at the moment.
“Our performance level, I thought, was much better than it was at the weekend.
“We’ve got something to build on, I think having the fans back in definitely helped the lads, give them that bit of encouragement.
“When the team’s positive, playing on the front foot, you saw them react to it. Hopefully the fans enjoyed their night out in the fresh air.
“I shouted to them to stay safe so we can keep the ground open and hopefully welcome more in.”