‘Last season was hard to watch at times’ – We have Shrewsbury supporters assessing the upcoming season

Shrewsbury fans are a keen lot – we’ve got two Salop supporters answering our questions for you this morning.

What is your name, Twitter or site address and how long have you been a fan of your club?

Ollie from Salopcast (Shrewsbury Town Podcast). I have been a fan since I was six years old when I moved to Shrewsbury.

I’m Ian James @1886stfc on Twitter, been following Shrewsbury since Dec 1979 as a 6 yr old watching Salop beat West Ham 3-0 in the old division 2.

Sum up last season for us from your perspective.

Last season was solid but an uninspiring 15th place finish. Around Christmas, we had hope of a playoff run, but FA Cup replays stretched the squad and poor results meant Salop dropped down the table. Sam Ricketts opted with a three at the back system as a solution to our troubles in 2018/19. This worked as it made Shrewsbury hard to beat but consequently our attacking play left a lot to be desired, earning the manager a boring tagline. Only Bolton scored fewer goals than Shrewsbury last season. After losing to Liverpool in the FA Cup the manager flipped to a four at the back system that favoured more attacking play and results picked up.

IJ: Last season was a mixed bag with the great cup runs being balanced with some of the dullest league football ever seen. It was unfortunate that the season finished when it did as we had really started to find form, but Covid-19 put pay to that.

What has your transfer business been like this summer?

It has been fairly low key so far. Three loanees and two gamble signings that are probably low risk. I would expect us to sign quality before the window closes in October. I would like to see a left back, another winger and a striker. A quality number ten or attacking 8 would be welcomed.

IJ: The Transfer window is looking promising so far, Marlon Fossey on loan from Fulham for the season stands out.

How has pre-season been for you?

There have been no streamed games and only brief highlights shared. Results have been mixed, for example, we beat Burnley but lost to Walsall.

I would like to have seen more, but I appreciate we don’t have the equipment to stream games.

IJ: Pre-season has been a bit of a mixed bag as we have beat Burnley and wolves but lost to Walsall and been hammered at Stoke.

Which players are looking like they’ll stand out this season?

I expect Aaron Pierre to carry his strong form into this season. He is one of the best central defenders in the league. I would hope to see more from midfielders Josh Vela, who was signed in January, and Sean Goss has bags of potential. Ollie Norburn was out of action at the end of last season and I am looking forward to him coming back into the side, my money is Norburn impressing.

IJ: Stand out players are obviously Dave Edwards who is a talisman for the side and our superb back 3 of Williams, Ebanks Landell, and especially Aaron Pierre.

Have you tried our League One and Two scorers quiz?

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Can you identify this player who finished last season on 10 or more goals in either League One, or League Two?

Any players likely to explode onto the scene from nowhere for you?

We signed Josh Daniels from the League of Ireland. The winger scored 15 goals in 13 appearances for Glenavon last season. Deployed as a left winger/forward he can score goals with both feet. Daniels will need some time to get acclimatised to English and full-time football.

IJ: Players expected to explode are Dan Udoh a striker we signed from Telford last season who was really finding his feet playing alongside Jason Cummings before the season was cut short and new signing Josh Daniels from Glenavon in Ireland who is a pacey winger which we have been screaming out for.

Which matches are you most looking forward to this season?

I have been asked this question in the past and I always struggle for an answer, for starters we don’t have a local rival. A train ride to Crewe at the end of the season should be fun, a few beers in the sun. New grounds are good to tick off – I haven’t been to Hull away.

IJ: Matches to look forwards to include Ipswich at home as we have developed a bit of a rivalry against and Crewe away on the last day of the season as they are the nearest thing we have to a derby match. Most importantly though is the first match we are allowed to attend whoever that is.

What can teams expect from you this season?

Hardworking, organised and potentially boring. Sam Ricketts has promised more attacking football and hope he delivers. Last season was hard to watch at times.

IJ: Teams can expect from us a good solid defence, and some real unpredictability up top with the aforementioned Mr Cummings especially.

Where do you think you’ll finish?

14th (I hope for better).

IJ: I think we will not be a pushover at all and should be aiming for the top half of the table.

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