Proud Sam Ricketts reflects as Shrewsbury Town defy worst away record in League One to make point at Sunderland
Shrewsbury Town have the worst away record in League One yet they left Wearside having made their point.
Sam Ricketts heaped praise on his players after they executed his game plan in the 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland fans will point to their time-wasting tactics from as early as the first half.
But credit to well organised Shrewsbury - who have only won once on the road all season - they were worthy of a point and could have snatched all three at the death, Jon McLaughlin making a superb stop to prevent Jack Baldwin from scoring an own goal.
The attendance of 33,288 was the largest crowd Shrewsbury, who lined up in an unfamiliar 4-3-3 system, had played in front of during their 69-year Football League history.
“I’m delighted with the performance,” said a proud Ricketts.
“I asked the players to carry out a game plan, tried to make it as clear as I could for them, and they were outstanding in carrying it out.
“We’ve deservedly come away with a draw, I think we had chances to score two or three more which I don’t think would have flattered us at times.
“You are going to have to come here and defend, throw your body on the line, block shots, but that’s football.
“I said to the players with all due respect if you want to go and win every week play Sunday League football.
“We had bodies on the line, I spoke to the players after and said well done for carrying out the plan we requested and their outstanding discipline in doing so.
“And secondly they’ve set a standard for themselves now, they’ve showed everyone what they’re capable of. Now it’s just a question of consistently doing it.”
On Josh Maja’s equaliser just before half-time, Ricketts added: “I was frustrated, I wanted to get through to half-time. You have to accept they’ve got players with an abundance of ability.
“You could take one of their players and it would cover our whole squad’s wages. I thought the players were excellent,” he added.