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Steve Cotterill: No positives for Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill admitted it was hard to find any positives from a 2-0 defeat at Cheltenham which came at the end of a “difficult week” when he had to change his plans on three separate occasions due to injury and availability.

Elliott Bennett of Shrewsbury Town gets instructions from Steve Cotterill the head coach / manager of Shrewsbury Town.
Elliott Bennett of Shrewsbury Town gets instructions from Steve Cotterill the head coach / manager of Shrewsbury Town.

Goals for Cheltenham a minute either side of half time from Sean Long and Alfie May settled a hard-fought contest but one which was devoid of goalmouth incident at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.

The difficult week included the devastating news of the cruciate ligament injury which has ended George Nurse’s season, while influential keeper Marko Marosi missed out with a hand injury and Jordan Shipley, Nurse’s likely replacement, departed the squad hours before kick-off after his wife went into labour.

While Cotterill acknowledged that made life difficult for his team in adapting to the need to so many changes, he also felt the line-up should have done far better in a game effectively decided either side of the interval.

“There isn’t a lot to talk about from that game, there was nothing in the game,” said Cotterill.

“It has been a difficult week and that was exactly the same today – nothing changed.

“We never did enough today although even then without the long throw they wouldn’t have scored that first goal.

“There were just too many upsets during the week that changed what we had to do on the training ground.

“I had to pick three different teams this week with the setbacks we have had, but I am still disappointed because the team we had out there should have performed better.

“We made a mistake before half time and a mistake straight from the kick off and when you do that it is very difficult to recover.

“When you lose players it is difficult because it affects the functionality of the team but it just looked like we were moping from the setbacks we have had in the week.”

Cotterill admits it is a bitter blow both for Nurse and the club to see him join another first team regular Daniel Udoh on the long-term injury list.

“Dan and George played 50-odd games each for us last season and it’s so disappointing for everyone,” the boss explained.

“I spoke to George about it this week and I am sure he won’t mind me saying, like Dan, that he was in tears.

“These are two young men with so much of their careers ahead and they want to do really well and all of a sudden it has been taken away from them.

“But I said to George like I did to Dan, they will be well looked after with their rehabilitation back to health and they will both come back fit and strong.

“Unfortunately, that will be next season and not this.”

On a more positive note, with the good news from the day, Shipley’s wife has given birth and all is believed to have gone well.

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