Shropshire Star

Dave Edwards: Problems for Shrewsbury Town to fix at both ends of the pitch

For the majority of the season, Shrewsbury’s defensive record has been excellent and their home form solid.

Shrewsbury Town's Carl Winchester reacts after Blackpool's Kyle Joseph (not pictured) scores their side's third goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Blackpool. Photo credit should read: Tim Markland/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications..

But it was a really disappointing afternoon for Town as they fell to defeat at Blackpool.

Matt Taylor aired his frustration in the press after the game and really questioned his players’ attitude towards the game, saying it wasn’t acceptable.

Blackpool are a good team at this level and it’s never an easy place to go, but it’s such a shame to put on a performance like that when so many Shrewsbury fans made that long journey.

The manner of the goals they conceded will probably be the most disappointing thing.

Blackpool didn’t have to work extremely hard for the goals. The first one was a penalty, which can be avoided, while the second was a mistake from Joe Anderson. The third and fourth goals were just as poor too.

Then, the problem all year has been at the other end and not creating enough chances.

Tom Bayliss had a chance early on in the game, but it was a half chance at best and he had to make it himself. Dan Udoh had a long-range effort second half too, but Shrewsbury didn’t really lay a glove on Blackpool. That needs addressing.

They’ve been relying on their defensive record all season because they haven’t scored goals, but at the moment that’s being put under a little bit of pressure.

From a defensive point of view, the record has been fairly consistent at conceding one a game, which is good considering the position Shrewsbury have been in.

But in the last four games they’ve conceded 11, which is a drastic change.

Moving forward, for Town to pick up results, they have to get back to those clean sheets and not gifting teams goals.

Not scoring goals puts a lot of pressure on the defence and as a whole they have to get back to being more solid, which gives you a platform.

When you look at Shrewsbury’s six wins this season, five of the following games have been a loss, and the other a draw.

They haven’t been able to back up a win and build any momentum. Those five losses are damaging as you know what a good week in football can do for a club.

That’s something that has to be addressed. It can help with the points tally firstly, but also confidence.It’s difficult for Matt Taylor to find the formula to fix it.

The other disappointment, as shown at Bloomfield Road, is the away form. It’s one of the worst in the league. They’ve lost seven out of their nine games, with one win and one draw in there.

They’ve only scored two goals on the road, which is really poor, and they’ve conceded 18.

It’s good that Town’s home form is competitive, and you want it to be a hard place to come, but you have to be picking up points in the road as well.

Moving forwards they have a bit of a local derby next against Port Vale, which will be a big game with a good atmosphere.

Vale are near Shrewsbury in the league, so winning that game not only pushes Town up the league, but it limits the teams around them.

A mid-week trip to Exeter follows that, before the FA Cup trip to play Notts County.

I watched Notts County on Saturday and they’re a very, very good League Two team, so that will not be an easy game.

But let’s hopefully try and start building some momentum, some positivity and hope the injury to Tom Bayliss isn’t too bad.