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George Nurse eager to prove he's worth his place at Shrewsbury Town

George Nurse is looking to get one over his former boss Lee Johnson tonight after showing patience to kickstart his Shrewsbury career.

George Nurse of Shrewsbury Town and Lasse Sorenson of Lincoln City. (AMA)
George Nurse of Shrewsbury Town and Lasse Sorenson of Lincoln City. (AMA)

Defender Nurse, the summer recruit from Bristol City where he worked under now Sunderland boss Johnson, has impressed in his first few months for Town.

The 22-year-old had to wait a month or so to force his way into Steve Cotterill’s starting plans, and has occupied a few positions on the left side, but has settled into a left centre-half role in place of Aaron Pierre.

Nurse says he is achieving exactly what he wanted to with Shrewsbury, in playing regular football and achieving more exposure in the game after League Two loans.

The defender will face a stern test this evening as Sunderland head to Montgomery Waters Meadow. The Black Cats are sixth after a big 2-0 win over Ipswich at Stadium of Light on Saturday.

“The gaffer told me from day dot that I’m not just going to walk straight into the team,” Nurse said.

“He said it was something you need to work for, which I feel like I did do, I bided my time, worked hard and tried to get in the team. Now I’m in and trying to stay in there.

“I played a little spell at centre-half in my scholarship at Bristol City but never left of a three, which is new this season, but I’m enjoying it, I get a lot of time on the ball, which I like.

“I’m not as physical as those other boys, it’s something I need to work on in my game defensively, but I feel like it gives us a different outlet from the back, the gaffer tries to do that a bit more.

“We work on certain things, and going long as well which we need to do sometimes, but he likes to play it out from the back.”

Nurse’s performances have drawn rave reviews from Town fans impressed with how he has adjusted to League One after not making a competitive appearance for City.

Johnson, who joined Sunderland last December, sent the young defender out on loan three times, to Weston-super-Mare, Newport County and Walsall.

Nurse added: “For sure they’re a big club, Lee Johnson was my gaffer at Bristol City, along with the assistant Jamie McAllister, so it’s a bit close to home for me but I’ll be going trying to impress them.

“I worked with him for a few years so it’ll be nice to play in front of him and show him what I’m about.

“He’s quite strict to be fair! I quite liked him, but I’m here now and enjoying my time playing under Steve.

“They will be hard-working, he demanded that a lot there, he likes his players to work hard.”

Town assistant Aaron Wilbraham, meanwhile, praised the way Nurse – who has settled locally with his girlfriend and dog Stanley – carries himself at the club. He said: “He’s one of the quiet lads, gets involved with the banter but is not the loud character, he’s level-headed. He’s a good lad, I don’t think you’d hear a bad word about him from anyone in the squad.”

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