Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill believes it is ‘plain to see’ his side evolving on the pitch regardless of the club enduring a pretty dismal beginning to the campaign.
The Shrews have had a bleak start to the season so far, having lost all three of their opening league games, without even registering a single goal. The only result Shrews fans have been able to enjoy was a penalty shoot-out victory over Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup.
Their latest defeat came on Tuesday night at the hands of Portsmouth, early league leaders, and although unhappy to lose Cotterill believes Shrews performances are improving despite the results.
“I’m not stupid, we’ve just been beat 1-0. If you’re saying would I have rather not played as well and won 1-0? Yes of course I would’ve done, because we’d take the points and still work on the performance”, Cotterill said, as quoted by the Shropshire Star.
The Bristolian, though, is starting to see positive changes within his teams gameplay and believes it is just what they have been working together in pre-season.
“The trouble is, when you’re down the bottom of the table there and fighting for everything, to show some of the stuff we’ve worked in training from July 1 come out in that game on Tuesday, in a pressure environment, is excellent”, he added.
Injuries haven’t helped Cotterill’s case either with forward Shaun Whalley still unavailable after sustaining a bad handy injury against Burton on the opening day, whilst striker Ryan Bowman is also out (hamstring).
Town, however, are likely to be handed a boost ahead of their home clash with Plymouth at the weekend, as captain Ethan Ebanks-Landell looks set to make his return following a 10-day isolation period having contracted Covid-19.
This will be a challenging campaign for Shrewsbury and Cotterill knows it won’t be easy.
It’s very easy to look at results and a make a snap judgment but it’s clear to see when looking back over the games that Shrewsbury are making things happen on the pitch. They have high numbers passes in games and match their opponents for shots. But to achieve success in this league it’s going to be about making their chances count in games.
There’s no doubt that they are missing some players who could prove to play a vital role this campaign and with two forwards currently out, goals will be hard to come by.
If Town, though, can replicate their gaffers recent applaudable battle against COVID this season, then anything will be possible for them.