Shropshire Star

Steve Cotterill: Game time key for Shrewsbury Town trio

Steve Cotterill hopes the performance of the three Shrewsbury Town players who are returning from injury will improve with game time.

Aiden O'Brien of Shrewsbury Town (AMA)

Last weekend at Cheltenham, Elliott Bennett got through his first 90 minutes of the League One season after recovering from the minor ankle surgery he had during the summer.

Aiden O’Brien and Julien Dacosta made the squad after recovering from a hip problem and hernia a respectively.

The pair both made late substitute appearances, and Cotterill is hoping the more minutes they get, the fitter they will become.

“We are hoping with all the players that have been injured that they’ll get better and their performances will get stronger, and so will their fitness,” the boss said.

“When someone has five or 10 minutes or 20 minutes – whatever it is, you are always worrying about when you can start them.

“Pre-season is five or six weeks.

“And when the minute the season starts, it’s almost as if you haven’t got those six weeks.

“Theoretically, you have, but you want to try and get people out on to the pitch, so you have got options.

“What we do not want is to have our options taken away from us because we bring them back too quickly. It’s a bit chicken and egg.”

Meanwhile, the boss is still hurting from the defeat and the performance last weekend at Cheltenham.

A goal before half-time and immediately after was enough to see Salop go down 2-0.

For large parts of the campaign, Town have been impressive, which is why they sit 12th in the League One table.

But last weekend in Gloucestershire, they were well below par after a week of disruption – with the announcement of George Nurse’s ACL injury being a huge blow and Jordan Shipley leaving the squad at late notice after his wife went into labour.

“I wouldn’t say it’s particularly been a good week,” Cotterill said.

“It’s been a long one that’s for sure because our performance last week wasn’t anywhere near what we have shown.

“It was the basics of the game they let us down. I know we had all those issues – but I still think we could have performed better than we did.

“Last week was last week, there were a few reasons, but I don’t know if they were valid excuses.”