By Jon Harries
Saturday was always going to be a massive test against a Hull City side that have retained the majority of their Championship players and quality. Granted we gifted them 3 goals in typical “Milky Dons” fashion, but they were clinical, efficient, and played the game perfectly for a visiting side. Josh Magennis with two goals in five minutes, with a poacher’s finish equaliser from Stephen Walker in between, and in all honesty, it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes when Hull scored their third through James Scott that we looked threatening again. This for me was like the Sunderland game in as much as any points gained would have been a bonus leading up to our Tuesday night fixture with Shrewsbury Town.
Currently sat in 22nd, Shrewsbury Town travel to Stadium MK having no win in their last seven League One games. The pressure really is on Sam Ricketts to turn the form around. The fans want a change with his “negative tactics” and playing players out of position being the fans main gripe. On Saturday they narrowly lost away at Ipswich, Ollie Norburn put Shrewsbury ahead after 4 minutes from the penalty spot and a shock win looked on the cards until the 75th minute when MK Dons cult hero Ethan Ebanks-Landell scored a comedy own goal. Ipswich then made their dominance count with a 97-minute winner from Jack Lenkester. I can only imagine the scenes if fans had been present.
Shrewsbury Town normally line-up in a 3-4-3 formation with their back line of three physical specimens in Ro Shaun Williams, Aaron Pierre, and Ebanks Landell, with Charlie Daniels and Matt Millar as wing backs and are very organised and efficient. Ollie Norburn is their creative hub with Shaun Whalley providing the width on their right-hand side. Josh Vela and Jason Cummings are two players to watch out for on Tuesday, both were on the bench on Saturday so Ricketts might want to freshen up the squad with the creative guile of Vela and the poachers instinct and tenacity of Cummings. On his day, and if he’s not played out wide, Cummings is more than capable of causing Lewington and Keogh massive problems with his pace.
The main man Tuesday for Shrewsbury Town will be experienced Dave Edwards. The former Welsh International provides stability, calmness, and all-round tempo to Shrewsbury. If the players aren’t performing Edwards is not afraid to let the young players know to step up their game. A lot will depend on whether we can control and dictate the midfield.
Poole – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – Sorinola
Houghton – Gladwin – Fraser
Jerome – Walker.
More creativity on Tuesday is vital as this is a game we really should win, we have to dominate, and we have to make a statement. The opposition, no disrespect, is there for the taking. Low on confidence and self-belief Shrewsbury will likely sit back and try and absorb the pressure. It will probably take time to break them down, so an early goal for the Dons would be nice for a change and bust the game wide open, but I feel we have the quality to go and win this game comfortably so I’m going for a 4-0 home win.
I know this is bold given the result on Saturday but quite honestly, I really do not see the threat that Shrewsbury pose. I expect Stephen Walker to get a couple of goals and a big boost going into Sunday’s FA Cup game against Barnet.
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