Shrewsbury fan Glyn Price from Blue & Amber Fanzine gives us the lowdown on Sunday’s opponent, with both sides looking to seal a place in the FA Cup third round.
Following such a good year last season, it must be a bit of a comedown to be languishing in mid-table this term. Why do you think it has been such a slow start and what are your aims for the rest of the season?
Mid-table is recovery really after only just getting to 16th on Tuesday night – our highest place of the season. Under Askey, we had been down in and on the fringe of the relegation zone but a run of four wins in five has seen us shoot up to breath a little easier. However, last season seems like a dream now. The best season in a generation, a manager we loved, a team we believed in. All destroyed for one reason or another in the summer,
The slow start was because we were essentially rebuilding from scratch and Askey didn’t quite have it to get the best out of what was a decent crop of players.
John Askey got the boot earlier this month. Where did it all go wrong for him and why did the fans turn on him?
It was the third shortest reign of a Shrewsbury Manager in history so it has been quite the rollercoaster start to the season for Salop fans. Askey came in with all the charisma of the grandad from the Worthers Original adverts and got duller.
As a manager, it was hard to warm to him after a stilted fans forum followed by a record-breaking bad start to the season without a win in the first 10 games. Four games in, fans chanted you don’t know what you’re doing at one sub – looking back that was telling.
It seemed like the step up from Macclesfield to Shrewsbury and the expectations being higher and more of a media scrutiny (we are a one league club county) found him wanting. In the end what did for him was sheer lack of consistency and at times naive team selections and formations (particularly at Fleetwood and Oxford).
Failing to beat Salford at home was the nail in the coffin when we were rubbish and fans turned vocally at the end on him which is not common for town fans.
Danny Coyne has picked up a few decent results in temporary charge since then, so is it fair to assume Askey had lost the dressing room and Coyne is getting a bit more out of them?
Its been interesting let’s say that. There were rumours that the methods of Askey were hands off, and not as intense as some of the players, particularly the ones from last year were used to. It was clear on the pitch that Askey’s team were not as fit as last year either.
As soon as he went and Coyne reverted to what I would suspect is more of what we did last year, things picked up immediately. There was a spring in the step, players upped their levels and over the last couple of matches, fitness levels seem to be recovering.
It’s not just Coyne that takes credit but our 27-year-old Academy manager has been doing amazing work and is now being tipped for the job. A football league manager at 27! That would be crazy.
Are you any closer to naming your new boss? And do you have any preferences as to who you would like to see charge?
No. It took us 18 days to get Hurst which was ages and resulted in fans turning on the chairman back then (we did lose 4 of 4 during that time). By the time we play, it will be 21 days, but the run that Coyne/Ramsey have taken us on with only one loss since Askey went on has brought us more time.
Its been a tale though of who doesn’t want it with Bowyer, Ricketts, Flynn front-runners who seem to have ruled themselves out. Hurst and Doig threw their hats back in the ring but as they burned all the bridges when they left the CEO is not having that. Coyne does not want it as he’s a GK coach.
Seems we’re left with a beggers mix of Ferguson, Nolan, Hasselbaink or Cotterill. God help us! That’s why fans are seriously contemplating Ramsey. Fowler turned up to watch our game on Tuesday and was immediately into third favourite for the job, but considering Sky Bet still have Mick McCarthy at 12/1 I’m not sure that means too much.
Is a cup run of importance to you this season considering the slow start in the league?
Massive, and we are a club that still treats the FA Cup with respect and, as a fanbase, is a highlight of the season. After finally dispatching with Salford with ease at their place, we then looked forward to the next round with yourselves which for us seemed like a good draw considering we are hitting form and you are down the bottom with us.
For both clubs, there is that carrot of one win from the third round and a glamour tie and all the potential money-spinning rewards that could bring with it. Should be a close game but one we should be fearing after our most east win of the season on Tuesday vs Plymouth.
Who are the players we should look out for in the Salop side?
Two players have recently hit form and at times can be unplayable.
The first is Greg Docherty who is on loan from Rangers and is a special little player. Stong as an Ox, the CM can be seen mopping up trouble at the back before driving on with the ball knocking players out of the way and firing shots in with power. The Glaswegian Freight Train. His eye for goals has been really important recently scoring different types of clever goals. Becoming a favourite as we all start to worry if his loan lasts all season or Rangers will recall in January.
Alongside Greg, a goal scorer has finally emerged this season. In the early part of the season, we rarely troubled the net. In the last four games, we have scored 3,3,2,2, which is quite rare for STFC. The man firing them in has been Fejiri Okenahirhie or “Fey” for short. Sort of player we havent had for a while. Quick, direct runner with a good dribble and when he gets in on goal he looks clinical. He has scored five in the last four games and is really starting to look like a lad who can go places.