Shropshire Star

Micky Moore: Don't judge Shrewsbury now

Shrewsbury Town have had a challenging start to the football season.


Although their points tally of nine is the same after seven games as last season – the mood around the Croud Meadow feels very different.

In a chat with the Shropshire Star, Shrewsbury Town director of football Micky Moore discussed some of the challenges the team have faced in the opening few months of the EFL season, Ollie Westbury reports.

One of the hardest things to do in football is to put the ball in the back of the net, and Matt Taylor’s Town have struggled to do this of late.

They have scored just four times this season, only clubs in the bottom three have scored less and Blackpool have managed the same.

“It is the hardest area of the pitch to get right,” Moore said when asked about the team’s issues in front of goal.

“The team cannot score a goal, it takes one person to actually score it. It takes the whole team to get you into that position and it is the hardest thing in the world to score a goal but we are going to need to find ways on how we can improve.

“Matt is well aware of it, the coaching staff are well aware of it.

“I do see, and we do see as a football club, what the supporters see. We are not blind.

“We know in the final third we are not creating enough and it is the one area of the pitch that is the biggest concern. As I have said before, do not judge us now. Everyone asks for the same thing, time. People don’t want to give you time they want instant success.”

There have been some good performances this season, they played well when they beat Burton Albion 2-1 earlier in the campaign.

They were excellent in the first half against Leeds at Elland Road and there have been other moments of promise.

Equally, there have been times when where Town have been well below par. Where they have trailed in games, and have not looked like getting back into them. These moments have led to criticism of the team lacking an identity or a plan something which Moore was asked his thoughts on.

He said: “I think we do have an identity and I think we do have a plan. Our identity at the moment is we play 3-5-2.

“So we have a clear shape, we have an identity on how we want to play.

“Fans might be looking at this and reading this and thinking ‘how are you justifying your identity on the pitch?’

“We have played seven games and we are averaging 49 per cent possession. That is a fact.

“What I would say to them is, our possession is in the back third and the mid-third of the pitch.

“And the game is won mainly in the final third. We have created an identity in those areas as we are keeping the ball – we are playing football.

“We want it to be further forward and that is where we have to translate it into the final third. This is an area that Matt has alluded to in his interviews – we have not got this right.

“That is not a criticism of the centre forwards or any individuals. I am talking as a team, we have got to be better in the final third.”

Last season under Steve Cotterill Shrewsbury played a 3-5-2 formation – something that Moore said he wanted to continue when he was given the job as director of football.

With the Shrewsbury players still at the club being familiar with the system and with the success they had playing in it last year – Moore recruited players and a manager to maintain the consistency, but ultimately if Taylor thinks it needs to change, it is his call.

He said: “When I was leaving my previous club to come here, what you have a look at, is you have a look at the club and what they do.

“Shrews had a good season last season and finished 12th in the league, that is a fact. So you look at it and think ‘what worked really well.’

“They always started games in a 3-5-2, this only changed when there were injuries or suspensions.

“So the players that were in place here were used to 3-5-2 and had just had a successful season playing that formation. So you do not want to change too much too soon.

“So we have recruited this summer for 3-5-2 but what we have done is to try and cover two players in every position, theoretically.

“If Matt and the coaching staff believe that during games, to either win a game or close a game off to tweak the system – that is completely up to them, it is nothing to do with me.”

Town have struggled in the second half of games and Moore said they have had ‘meeting after meeting’ to try and rectify it.

When asked about their second-half problems, he said: “Great question. It is something we have had meeting after meeting about.

“We are well aware that we have not conceded a goal in the first half yet. Can we put our finger on it? No. Is it a crisis? No. Is it an area of concern? Yes. You have to look at it, but at the moment we do not know the solution ourselves.

“Matt and all the staff, including the medical team are all looking at it. Is it a fitness thing, is it a mentality thing? It is something we are aware of and something we need to address 100 per cent.”