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Aaron Wilbraham: Steve Cotterill 'put his body on the line' to inspire comeback win

Aaron Wilbraham hailed Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill for putting his body on the line from hospital for the club as his side recorded a stunning comeback victory over Sunderland.

Aaron Wilbraham the assistant head coach of Shrewsbury Town (AMA)
Aaron Wilbraham the assistant head coach of Shrewsbury Town (AMA)

Cotterill gave another stirring speech to his Town players at half-time as they trailed at home to Sunderland, and Shrewsbury produced a belting second-half performance to turn the scoreline on its head.

Town's stand-in boss was keen to remind everyone of the astonishing effort put in by Cotterill, despite 40 days bedbound due to a serious case of Covid-19, with the detail and words of encouragement to the team.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell bundled in an equaliser for Shrewsbury before star man Harry Chapman thrashed in his fourth goal in four games for a memorable victory - which means Town's first 12 league games under Cotterill is a record-breaking start.

"The gaffer has come in and put a lot of detail into the lads, even now, when he's not around, he's putting so much time and effort in," Wilbraham said.

"Considering the situation he's in, for him to still be doing that is unbelievable from him.

"I think we all need to realise the gaffer is still in hospital, he gets out of breath when he's speaking to the lads, he's putting his body on the line from the team even though he's not here.

"I know when he sees us all on iFollow he feels a million miles from it but he's so heavily involved for the detail in training and pre-match and post-match talks.

"A lot of people wouldn't be able to do that because of the condition, but he's pushing himself for the fans, club and team, I think that's massive in his condition.

"He's in hospital, 40 days in bed now, it's unbelievable from him."

The superb comeback victory means seven wins from 12 and 24 points from 36 available since Cotterill's appointment.

Shrewsbury remain 17th in League One but have now put nine points between themselves and the drop zone - with just 10 separating them with the play-offs.

Wilbraham said of the team's comeback and Cotterill's impact at half-time: "The character we showed to come from behind and win the game was unbelievable, a proper team effort.

"The gaffer got on (the phone) again and he said 'listen, you need the belief to win the game because you've done alright'.

"It was a scrappy goal we conceded and he was a really calming influence at half-time, players were coming in all stressed as they do when they're losing, but he calmed it all down.

"He told them to keep believing, that it was a winnable game, he sent a few messages to individuals in a calm manner and you could see how the boys came out full throttle second half for the victory."

Chapman came off after rolling his ankle but said he felt fine afterwards.

Of Salop's goalscorers, the stand-in boss added: "The gaffer gave Ethan a bit of banter, saying it was about time he stuck his head on something, that he's a bit too pretty with those green eyes.

"It was great from Ethan, bandaged up with stitches from Saturday, and Curtis putting his head where it hurts, that's the type of things these lads do from each other.

"It (the winner) was a great move, gaffer spoke about, their manager complimented us, it was a great move, great ball in and great finish, a great team move."

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