Shrewsbury face Bristol Rovers this weekend in a huge six pointer at the foot of the League One table, but they’ll be without one of their recent additions for the critical clash.
Both sides are firmly ensconced in the relegation mire and defeat for either would see them in further trouble at the foot of the table. Both recruited in the recent transfer window, but Shrewsbury won’t benefit from one of their acquisitions.
Striker Stefan Payne left the Shrews for Rovers in the summer, but has now been loaned back to Sam Rickett’s side for the run-in. However, Rovers manager Graham Coughlan has suggested that despite Payne’s talents, he won’t be playing this weekend.
“I am sure there is a clause. I am sure any club worth their salt would enter a clause for obvious reasons and I think that is right,” he told Bristol Live.
“Stefan is a good player, he is dangerous, he is big, he is mobile, it hasn’t just happened for him here at the club but he is a dangerous player.”
Former Dover striker Payne came out of the National League to join Barnsley, but struggle to adapt to Championship football and made just nine appearances from the bench. he’s now in his third spell with the shrews, having scored 16 times during a loan and permanent transfer.
He’s scored twice for Bristol Rovers, one of those goals coming against Shrewsbury in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Payne is a decent striker, but I’m not sure he’s League One quality. He would be suited to an aspiring promotion side in the division below, but he’s not proven himself in spells at either of these clubs, nor Barnsley.
He scored 33 in 85 matches for Dover, but when some of your opponents are part time it’s easier to find space in the dying stages of the game. He’s not going to be a big player in the Shrews battle against relegation.
At the minute, neither of these sides look like staying up, with or without Stefan Payne.