Pompey v Shrewsbury: the opposition view

Shrewsbury fans have lapped this season up '“ and rightly so.

Saturday, 27th January 2018, 12:00 pm
Shrewsbury Towns Ebou Adams, right, battles for the ball with Nottingham Forests Apostolos Vellios

They’re third in the league, one game away from an appearance at Wembley after reaching the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final following their win over Oldham on Wednesday, while they pushed West Ham all the way in the FA Cup in their two games.

It comes after a few seasons of being down near the bottom of the table.

They started the campaign well and have kept it going throughout, and there is a genuine belief they can go up after just falling out of the automatic promotion places recently.

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Under previous boss Micky Mellon, the signings he made were to keep them in the division and he didn’t expect his side to do much else.

However, Paul Hurst has done an excellent job since arriving from Grimsby as manager and has made some good signings.

Recently, he was linked with the Sheffield Wednesday manager’s job before Jos Luhukay was appointed, as well as the Sunderland vacancy.

Shrewsbury have had a busy fixture period and have played eight games in the past 25 days.

In the win against Oldham, central-midfielder Abu Ogogo was given a rest, while Ben Godfrey was suspended.

The Shrews are defensively solid and have some good players in their squad.

Ebou Adams has come in from Norwich on loan and has really impressed.

The deal with him was due to expire this month and there were fears Shrewsbury would lose him, but they have done well to keep hold of him until the end of the season now.

Godrey is another from Norwich on loan who has impressed.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson is also on loan from Manchester United.

He is a really confident player – almost coming across as arrogant at times, although that’s not how he means to be.

Henderson has ambitions to turn himself into a Joe Hart-type goalkeeper – obviously, he is a well-regarded figure in this part of the country and is tipped to go on to much better things.

Nevertheless, Henderson didn’t cover himself in glory in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Doncaster for their equaliser.

In terms of strikers, there aren’t any prolific goalscorers.

Stefan Payne is the top marksman with 11 in all competitions, but Carlton Morris tends to be the man who leads Shrewsbury’s line.

His hold-up play is probably better than Payne’s.