Shropshire Star

Dave Edwards: Under-strength Shrewsbury find trip to big boys unforgiving

Shrewsbury were not quite at it on Saturday and Portman Road can be an unforgiving place.


It is a long old trip and Ipswich are a team I have covered a few times this year. On their day I think they are the best team in the league.

I know they are third in the table, but the way they play and with the squad Kieran McKenna has at his disposal, they are a top, top team.

For Shrewsbury to get anything out of the game they were going to have to be at their very best, and with the injuries and perhaps not being 100 per cent at the races it was always going to be a big ask.

Sadly they could not quite rise to the occasion to try and halt Ipswich and try and nick a goal to make it difficult for them.The hosts scored at good times of the game as well, which knocked the stuffing out of Town.

It is one of those games they have got to try and forget about as soon as possible. It was a great occasion for them to play in front of more than 25,000 at Portman Road, but when you are on the wrong end of the result it is not pleasant.

They have got to get over it as quickly as possible and make sure they can refresh and get some bodies back in and try really hard to have a strong finish to the season.

The news about Tom Bayliss’ injury must have impacted the group, the same way as the problems Dan Udoh and George Nurse had early in the season would have. The morale would have been affected – he is only going to miss nine games and they will be hoping they can get him back ready for pre-season.

But he will be a huge miss, he has been one of the stand-out players this season so far, he has that little bit of creativity and he has able to receive the ball in between the lines and make things happen.

There are not a lot of players in League One who can do the kind of things he can do so he will be a huge miss and when you put that alongside Killian Phillips, who has been imperious since he arrived at the football club, it leaves a big gaping hole in your team.

The manager has had some rotten luck this year. They have got themselves into a position where they are really competing at the top end of the table, but they have been handed these injury blows.

And when you have the resources and the squad size Shrewsbury have, trying to replace those players is very difficult.

The team has been doing so well in recent months because they have options off the bench to come on and change the game whereas all of a sudden, they have not quite got those game-changers to bring on from the bench.

The players will want to keep on playing and would prefer not to have had the game against Bristol Rovers postponed.

They had a free week running into it so they would have had a bit of time to recover.They now have eight games in April and Steve Cotterill will be determined to make sure their season does not fizzle out.

n There will be some football at Montgomery Waters Meadow this weekend though, as Wolves legends take on Shrewsbury legends in my charity game. The support for the game has been amazing, and I am hoping the fans will be coming out in their numbers to come and support two amazing causes.

I am very grateful for the people and the volunteers who have worked really hard to make this the best occasion possible so if you can spare some time on Sunday afternoon, it is something I would be very grateful for. It will be a great day.