Shrewsbury Town v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

Match Preview League One

By Simon Gray

League One strugglers Shrewsbury Town entertain Bristol Rovers this weekend hoping to climb off the bottom of the table.

Shrewsbury won last time out away at Millwall 1-0 but manager Paul Hurt has said that it’s a win that they must build on.

“There is still a long, long way to go. A lot of hard work. My initial focus, after congratulating the players, was ‘rest, recover and now we go to Fleetwood”, Hurst told the Shropshire Star.

“We have played them twice and not managed to beat them.

“We are going back to the place where I had my worst night since I have come in and we want to put it right.”

This was the FA Cup Second Round replay that Shrewsbury ended up losing 3-2 despite going 2-0 up but manager Hurst insisted his side were the better team.

“Maybe it wasn’t meant to be – if you look at the tie over the two games, the best side has gone out of the competition,” said Hurst.

“It’s a strange one. Like Sheffield United where we were 10 men, the first-half is the best we’ve played since I’ve come in – they were outstanding. If we do anything like that then we’ll be OK.

Shrewsbury go into the game without the suspended trio Ivan Toney, Gary Deegan and ex-Bristol City player Adam El-Abd after all Toney and Deegan picked up their 10th booking of the season with El-Abd getting sent off in the defeat to Fleetwood.

Bristol Rovers go into the game having won last time out against Bury.

The 4-2 win was Rovers’ first victory in five matches and manager Darrell Clarke said that he had to get into his players’ minds before the win.

“Management is a lonely place when results are not going well, but generally the mood in the camp has been good throughout,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“In fairness to our group, they have been through these periods before. They have been written off loads of times over the last couple of years and as a result they have developed a habit for bouncing back.

“We have a hard core of lads in the changing rooms who have been with the club for a while and have seen and heard it all. That is easier than having to work with a new batch of players who need the time to adjust.

Rovers will be without defender Connor Roberts after he returned to his parent club Swansea this week but with a win last time out, Clarke may name an unchanged starting XI, something he has not done much this season.

Stats

The last fixture at Greenhous Meadow between these two sides ended in a 1-0 win for Shrewsbury during the 2011/12 season.

These two sides met in the League Two Play Off Final where goals from Richard Walker and Sammy Igoe helped Rovers to a 3-1 win.

In the 14 matches played this century between the two sides, Rovers have the upper hand. Winning seven and losing just three times against Salop.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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