Fans, players and staff deserve it. It’s the first time for eight or nine years they have put together a winning run like this.
You look at the performances throughout the run, and the games before that, it’s on merit.
I wouldn’t say they’ve rode their luck at times – but have come under pressure at times – but they have answered it with a resilience. And not only that, they carry this threat on the attack too. Maybe that’s something we’re not used to at Shrewsbury.
Everything’s going well, I’m adamant this comes down to Steve Cotterill now having more players available to himself.
He has a few more things he can do in game to change the way it’s going. He hasn’t had that at all since he’s been at the club and he has benefited from that. It’s a real positive place to be at the moment.
The recruitment to get these characters in has been excellent and the attitude and application has been first-class. I know a lot of time has been spent on homework on what these players are like away from the pitch.
You can see now he has a team who absolutely fight for each other, I think the fans really appreciate that.
In these tight games that is enough to get you over the line at times. It wasn’t a classic on Saturday at Oxford, Town had to come under some pressure in the first half when Marosi made some saves, but when they did get their noses in front they saw it out seamlessly.
When you look at the stats, Town have conceded just two in five games, that’s promotion-winning stuff, you will win games like that. It’s a team effort to limit teams like that, to get bodies behind the ball and be difficult to play through.
Losing Matty Pennington in the lead up to the game would be disastrous in recent months.
But at the moment, with the greater depth and form, it allowed the ever-reliable Taylor Moore to come in at centre-back.
He’s someone who took a bit of criticism at the start of the season. I’ve played against him a few times and know what a good player he is and met him since he’s been at Shrewsbury – what a great lad.
I’ve been very impressed when watching him live. The way he organises and leads off the ball, and his quality on the ball is excellent.
The manager was able to bring on Elliott Bennett at half-time, Tom Bloxham came on and did well and obviously Ryan Bowman strikes the winner.
Cotterill has worked hard to get a squad ready, not just the formation but knowing tactically what is expected to make a difference.
You look at how these close games have been won, the substitutes have been involved.
Beyond this season he now has a group of players he can add to, not having to do a big revamp of the squad. Contract renewals are coming up and there will be lads he’s keen to keep but there shouldn’t be an overhaul for another couple of years, just adding to the squad, that’s a real positive for the whole situation.
The synergy between players and fans is led by commitment on the pitch. When you have that togetherness and belief it can help get over the line in games, it’s the first time I’ve seen that since Paul Hurst was in charge.