Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury v Bristol Rovers preview: Town will leave nothing on the table in the final week

Steve Cotterill insists Shrewsbury will be committed right through to the end as they head into the final week of the season aiming to bounce back from a disappointing run.


Saturday’s defeat to promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday made it eight games without a win for Cotterill’s team, but focus now turns to tonight’s final home game of the season against Bristol Rovers before heading to Lincoln City on Sunday.

“We are back in and working this week and will see this all the way through,” said the Shrewsbury boss.

“I know people have asked about whether the lads would be committed but they were committed on Saturday and they will be committed to the end.

“If you listen to the really top managers, and I heard Pep (Guardiola) say it, they talk about fighting all the time.

“You have to fight, and that is what we have to do until that final whistle at Lincoln.”

While it has been a difficult time for Shrewsbury with recent results, there has been mitigation in the form of injuries affecting an already depleted squad, and a run of games against League One’s promotion-chasers.

“It has been tough and feels like we have been going uphill for the last six weeks or so,” adds Cotterill. “Everything is uphill at the moment, but we are tough and we will see it out.”

Cotterill will assess his options for the visit of Bristol Rovers, having lost Matt Pennington to injury prior to Saturday’s game.

Striker Christian Saydee was restored to the starting line-up against Wednesday, but withdrawn at half time.

“Maybe he will be better for the 45 minutes he has had but he just wasn’t sharp,” said Cotterill. “When we had those couple of moments that we had we need him to be sharp because we know what he can do.”

Opponents Bristol Rovers could heap more pain on 13th-placed Town by leapfrogging them in the table – something the Gas would achieve with a win by two clear goals.

But Rovers are on a poor run themselves – no win in five – though they did dent Peterborough United’s play-off ambitions with a creditable goalless draw on Saturday

And boss Joey Barton told the Bristol Post: “We knew this would be a tough contest against a highly-motivated Peterborough side with the division’s top scorer leading the attack.

“We knew we had to defend properly in order to take anything out of the game and, as a team, certainly in the second period, we were excellent.”

Town are without a win in the ‘Weetabix Derby’ since February 2020 – and have not won one at Montgomery Waters Meadow since October 2017 when Alex Rodman, Carlton Morris, Jon Nolan and Junior Brown scored all the goals in a memorable first half.