Shropshire Star

Matt Taylor pleased with Shrewsbury Town defensive solidity

Matt Taylor is really pleased with the defensive side of Shrewsbury’s game after they kept their third clean sheet of the season on Saturday.

Morgan Feeney of Shrewsbury Town has a shot at goal. (AMA)

Town have failed to score in their last six matches across all competitions, meaning they have not netted for a whole calendar month.

But in defence, they have been good, and their record of goals conceded is similar to the sides who are setting the early pace in League One.

They have let in just nine goals in as many games – which is less than the four sides in the play-offs, apart from Stevenage, who have conceded the same.

Taylor said: “I look at the areas in which we have strength, and I believe that is out of possession.

“I believe we are really resolute, we keep a very good shape, and we have got players who are willing to put their bodies on the line within a structure.

“I believe if we work on that metric and that metric alone then we will get 15 clean sheets this season – which is at least 15 points.

“They are facts, can we get better at it? 100 per cent. Are the players taking on board everything we are saying? Yes, they are.

“We make tweaks for certain games players are still asking questions and they are still doing their jobs.

“I am really pleased with that perspective, I think there are still areas for improvement we can still be better and they can still demand more out of each other.

“Defending starts from the front. Our number nines have undergone a lot of education about what we expect from them out of possession.

“For us, there is not a free position in our team, every player has to defend, likewise every player has to be part of an attack well.”

They will not be getting any defensive reinforcements any time soon, though.

Elliot Thorpe is yet to make his Salop debut since joining on loan from Luton in the summer window – he has been out with a stress fracture to his back.

And Taylor says talk of the energetic wing-back being back in October might be ‘optimistic’ with the medical staff taking it ‘day-by-day’ with him.

He continued: “I think that is optimistic as I am led to believe. His injury with it being a stress fracture of his back. He is not back on the grass yet, he is working on the bike at the moment.

“It is baby steps with him, with that type of injury we need to make sure there is no undue stress put on his back. For everything you do as a person, we all use our backs so we have got to be careful. As it stands October would be great but I have not spoken to the medical staff purely because we are treating it day by day.”

Town make the trip to Oxford United tonight as they seek to add to the four goals they have already scored in the league this season and get their second victory away from the Meadow.