Shaun Whalley targeting late Shrewsbury goal flourish

Shaun Whalley is eyeing up a 10-goal target to end the season after boosting his tally in Shrewsbury’s fine Easter Monday victory over Plymouth.

Shaun Whalley of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 (AMA)
Shaun Whalley of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 (AMA)

Town’s No.7 insists he netted a double against the Pilgrims as Steve Cotterill’s men claimed their biggest win of the league season, although the game’s opener went down as a Will Aimson own goal.

A brace would take Whalley, who is out of contract in the summer, to eight goals this season – all in the league – which matches his best league haul for Town from the 2017/18 campaign, where he netted 12, but four in cup competitions.

Town are up on 49 points, 12 clear of the drop zone, with nine games to go, leaving Whalley – who made just his second start in six games – ample opportunity to reach double figures.

“I think we just have to go into every game working hard and trying to get the three points and see where that takes us in the end,” said Shrewsbury favourite Whalley, 33.

“Me personally, I’d quite like to get to 10 goals if I could. I’m on eight now, the same I had in one other season.

“I’d like to get to double figures, but we’ll see.

“I’m obviously not going to put a huge amount of pressure on it because the team comes first and I want us to keep winning.

“But, yes, if the chances come along then I’ll back myself to take a few.”

Whalley conceded that Town’s memorable victory against the Pilgrims, where the visitors were swept aside in a clinical second half, was soured somewhat by the lack of supporters enjoying the occasion of Town’s biggest league win for three-and-a-half years.

It was the winger’s first home goal since netting in early December, in the 2-2 draw against Accrington in front of fans, who were permitted to enter.

He added on the absence of euphoric Salopians in the stands at Montgomery Waters Meadow: “One hundred per cent, I can’t say that enough, it does put a little bit of a downer on it even though everyone’s used to it now.

“Even when we had a thousand or two thousand in at times it was still a brilliant atmosphere and great to play in.

“It’s just disappointing that the fans can’t be here.”

Whalley has become content with a lesser role for Town in recent weeks, having been battling with Blackburn loan star Harry Chapman for a role as a deep, supporting forward in Cotterill’s front two.

Whalley, who turns 34 in the summer, admitted he has no issues with Shrews’ boss rotating his forward options and it is up to the players to stake their claim.

“The manager’s just been rotating the team a bit and he’s well within his rights to do that,” Whalley said.

“I felt good, I felt fresh, so it probably worked really.

“We’ve got a good changing room full of good players, it’s up to the manager who he picks, you’ve just got to impress.

“It’s up to the manager, he picks the team, it’s up to me when I’m on the pitch to do the business. It is what it is, we’ll see what happens over the nine games.”

Asked if Whalley and partner Daniel Udoh staked a claim against Argyle, assistant Aaron Wilbraham said: “They always work hard when they play together, everyone who comes into the team and has played this season has tried their best. No-one’s ever sacked things off or not given their all.

“Dan and Shaun came in and were a catalyst for the win.”

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