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Steve Cotterill provides injury update on absent Shrewsbury midfielder Josh Vela

Shrewsbury Town will monitor midfielder Josh Vela's knee problem after he was forced out of last night's home defeat to Wycombe.

Josh Vela of Shrewsbury Town and Scott Robertson of Crewe Alexandra.
Josh Vela of Shrewsbury Town and Scott Robertson of Crewe Alexandra.

Vela limped out of last Saturday's 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon after taking a bang to the knee in the second period. Manager Steve Cotterill admitted his absence is a 'tough one to take'.

The 27-year-old was unable to feature three days later against the Chairboys, where he was missing from the matchday squad, albeit he did watch on at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

It remains to be seen whether last season's player of the year will be fit for the trip to his former club Bolton on Saturday.

Boss Cotterill brought left wing-back Luke Leahy into Vela's central midfield void, with George Nurse filling in on the left as Town went down 2-1 to the visitors, with Shrews old boy Joe Jacobson and birthday boy Ryan Tafazolli the Wycombe match-winner.

"(He's) OK – just not OK enough," Cotterill said on the midfielder's fitness.

"We just have to monitor him over the next few days and see how it is and how it settles down.

"It's a tough one for us to take really, but having said that last night – while we didn't want to have him missing – nobody let the team down. I thought they were excellent to a man."

Cotterill reserved praise for his team's performance despite defeat and was unhappy with referee Ross Joyce and his officials after the loss, which ended a run of three games unbeaten.

Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth, meanwhile, was extremely complimentary of Town and manager Cotterill.

Ainsworth argued Town are not 'one of the lower sides' in League One and that the physical threat they pose is a difficult one.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted because I knew it would be tough here, don’t look at Shrewsbury’s league position and think they will be one of the lower sides in this league because they are not.

“Steve Cotterill is a good manager who has them well organised, and we knew it would be tough.

“They offer a big physical challenge like we usually do, and they back power up front with Cosgrove and Bloxham on the bench.

“We also knew that the team who produced the magic moments would be the victors and at half time we demanded a bit more from the play.

“(Assistant) Richard Dobson has been doing some great sessions and he said can we be more confident and inventive and then Sully Kaikai produced the cross which caused chaos and then it was a great strike from JJ (Jacobson), and then it was a bit of skill that won the free kick and Sully produced a great ball again.

“And those moments are important on a night like tonight when winter has set in, it’s cold, I’ve got the jacket on for the first time.”

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