Shrewsbury ‘playing with one hand tied behind back’ – Sam Ricketts
Frustrated Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts feels injuries and coronavirus-related absences have left his side playing with one hand tied behind their back following their 1-1 draw with Gillingham.
Brad Walker gave Shrewsbury a 12th-minute lead when he headed home from Shaun Whalley’s corner.
But they were pegged back four minutes into added time when Jordan Graham smashed home after Connor Ogilvie’s long throw-in caused chaos.
“It is bitterly disappointing to concede late in any game,” said Ricketts.
“It is frustrating to lose the points, but ultimately I thought the players stuck to their task well.
“They had a lot of long balls to face and dealt with them well.
“We were hanging on a bit at the end, but we are playing with one hand tied behind our back at moment.
“We lost players before the game and Shaun Whalley at half-time. We didn’t have the options we wanted. We have lost players to injury and Covid.
“When you lose that amount of players it is hard and hard to change the game.
“We had a lot of changes forced upon us. We just needed to make a change at the end to see it out but it wasn’t possible.
“Whalley started the game so well and we dominated in the first half.
“We could have scored more and it was a good first half, but losing Shaun and his energy was hard.
“It is hard to defend against a team that goes route one and it was hard to get pressure up the pitch.
“We have had a lot of impact injuries and there is not much we can do.”
Gillingham boss Steve Evans felt his side would learn from the draw.
“I think we were sloppy in the middle of the park in the first half so we changed it,” he said.
“The later the game went I always thought we would score.
“We brought the cavalry on and fought like the cavalry, we dominated the second half.
“We need to get Jordan Graham working hard, he is a natural talent.
“He was to work as hard as he can. To have the composure to turn and bend the ball into the corner was a sublime finish.
“Sometimes you get the breaks when you gamble in the box.
“It is frustrating to concede the goal that we did, we got outmuscled.
“We will make mistakes with young players. They are learning their trade and learning from their mistakes.
“We are a very young side, but we will get better and improve.
“They will learn that if they work as hard as they can they will get points but the minute we drop our standard we can get beat.
“We have to apply our own standard of commitment, passion and work rate.
“If we had got a goal earlier we would have gone on to win because we were so much in control, we would have gone on to win 3-1.”