Dave Edwards: System switch could help Shrewsbury Town to turn the corner

I’m hoping the point from Saturday’s 1-1 draw will be a corner turned for Shrewsbury – not that it was a performance which set the world alight.

Sam Cosgrove of Shrewsbury Town celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0. (AMA)
Sam Cosgrove of Shrewsbury Town celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0. (AMA)

But in the situation Town are in, with the way confidence is at the moment, it was vital they didn’t lose that game.

We have ambitions to be higher up the table but at the moment it is about getting more solidity in the way we play to get results, every point matters.

Steve Cotterill lined us up in 4-3-3 and I think that system probably suits Town the most at the moment with the players we’ve got.

The goal was a result of playing 4-3-3, rather than 3-5-2. With the latter, if you’re going to put crosses in – which you want to do because of the size of Sam Cosgrove – they often come from a lot deeper.

I know it wasn’t the winger who put in the cross for the goal, but having the movement on the wing and inside it unsettles defenders and we’re getting a cross in from a really good area.

The manager wants crosses from great areas, they create chances and look what happened.

I’m quite surprised it’s the first time it has been used for a while from the off after it’s successes early on under Steve.

Everyone knows his system is 3-5-2, but I don’t feel we quite have the personnel to do it consistently at the moment.

We used 4-3-3 quite a bit and were on a really good run using it last term. I think Shaun Whalley’s our most exciting attacking player, but he’s an out-and-out winger. He will always be lively as a ‘No.10’ but you need to more comfortable with your back to goal. I think it really helps Shauny and, in doing so, helps the team.

We lost 2-1 at Bristol Rovers with a real off-day last season playing 4-3-3, it seemed to be the end of it that season for the manager, who was away ill at the time

But I think the system makes sense, you might even get the best out of Natty Ogbeta when his opportunity comes, in that left wing role. Elliott Bennett gave a very controlled display in central midfield, he looks comfortable in there.

We got what we’ve been crying out for this season, to score the first goal. It was good to see Cosgrove notch another goal, hopefully his performances lift as his confidence grows and he can offer more to the team.

It was a terrific goal, a lovely ball from Josh Vela to Luke Leahy, whose cross was spot on.

If Town had got in at half-time at 1-0 it could well have been a different outcome to the game, they’d have gone in and reset to go again second half.

But conceding just before half-time is a really poor time and that’s where game management comes into play. I’ve been in lots of teams where we didn’t quite have that and we’d concede at poor times, like just after you’ve scored or before half-time, they’re massive in games.

I’m pretty sure with the manager’s half-time organisation we’d have been able to see the game out.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, it’s a point and something to build on ahead of an exciting trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

Hillsborough is an amazing place to play football, it really is. There’s not many of those old-school stadiums out there.

It feels huge when you’re on the pitch, there’s that big Kop end behind the goal. Even in the dressing room it feels quite old, it’s got real character to it.

The players will get a bit of extra motivation, it’s different to Accrington and Morecambe – and it’ll be a good day out for fans, who will hopefully see that first away win.

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