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Stratford Town v Shrewsbury Town - Emirates FA Cup - First Round - DCS Stadium

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Fan Focus: Shrews fan Glyn says “it won't take much” for fans to turn on Steve Cotterill!

Ahead of Sunderland’s match with Shrewsbury tonight, we spoke to Glyn Price of the Blue & Amber Fanzine to discuss how Steve Cotterill’s side have performed so far this season in League One!

Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: Shrewsbury have won just four of your opening 17 League One matches - what are the main factors behind your slow start?

Glyn Price: A terrible summer transfer window which left us very short in a couple of vital areas, the most of which was attacking midfield.

This had led to lots of players playing out of position meaning the team is unbalanced and very very poor going forward. That can’t change until January.

MC: On the back of your poor form, is the fanbase still behind former Sunderland assistant manager Steve Cotterill?

GP: Kind of. There have been a few games this season where a poor result would have seen mega negative match day responses but he’s just avoided it.

A better run before losing at Cheltenham settles it a bit but it won’t take much of a bad run to see fans fully turn. That would be fair too; most of this season has been abject.

MC: Nearly all of your summer recruits came from superior leagues, is it a case that your new players have been underwhelming?

GP: No, the signings we made were decent. Leahy, Pennington, Bowman, Bennett, and Marosi have in general been good.

But it’s the fact we attempted to keep trying to get players way out of our league and then by the end of the window didn’t, that was the problem. I mean what team goes into a season with one right back and not a number 10?

Though one player who is from a higher league who’s been worse than underwhelming is Sam Cosgrove - an absolute joke of a player that someone once paid £2m pounds for. Madness.

Shrewsbury Town v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One
On loan Birmingham forward Sam Cosgrove has scored just two goals for Shrewsbury this season.
Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

MC: Ryan Bowman had a heart scare recently, what exactly happened, and is he okay to continue playing as usual?

GP: During a game he had an unusual heart rhythm that required a defibrillator to shock back into natural rhythm.

At the time we worried if like Aguero that might be the end of his career. Thankfully it’s not something that’s a major concern apparently, and since he’s been excellent, including scoring a perfect hattrick vs Cambridge.

MC: Which Shrewsbury players do you think the Sunderland team will have to be wary of during the match?

GP: Luke Leahy has been in some great form in recent weeks but it’s Dan Udoh who’s seemingly finding his feet up front, partnered with Bowman, that’s the one to watch.

His hard work and increased aggression has seen him stand out and he is absolutely becoming a fan favourite. He scored at Cheltenham and looks in decent shape for Tuesday.

MC: On the other hand, where would you say are the weak spots in your side?

GP: I’m still not really clear on exactly why this is happening as the keeper and defenders are good, but we have only had ONE clean sheet in 23 games.

Keeping the ball out of our net is the clearest problem we have had this season (though we don’t score many either!)

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Shrewsbury beat Sunderland 2-1 during our last visit to New Meadow.
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

MC: What style of play can Lee Johnson’s team expect to encounter?

GP: I suspect it will be five at the back. Sit deep and hope to spring Bowman and Udoh on the break. That’s about all we have. Our ONLY attacking midfield player (Whalley) got injured last week and is out for 4 months, so we have even less options now.

MC: Who are the eleven players that you believe Cotterill will select?

GP: (5-3-2): Marosi (GK) - Pennington - Ebanks Landell - Pierre - Nurse - Ogbeta - Davis - Vela - Leahy - Bowman - Udoh.

I would say that’s absolutely nailed on to be honest.

MC: Shrewsbury beat Sunderland in our last trip to New Meadow - what is your honest prediction for the score this time around?

GP: Not another win, would be delighted with a point. Looking at it positively, let’s go for a 1-1. We won’t keep a clean sheet, that’s for sure.


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