Competition for places is healthy
Jordan Hugill netted his first league goal after coming on as a substitute on Saturday and assistant manager Mark Grew welcomed the pressure he has started to put on the other strikers.
He rightly believes competition for places all over the pitch is the way to motivate players and as such, the team can only benefit as a whole.
Grew said: “When we went to Crawley and Tom Pope was dropped it was certainly a kick up his backside and Tom realises now that if your form dropped there will be somebody snapping at your heels.
“Gary O’Neil is coming back now. We expected big things from him at the start of the season but he had that bad injury – he is starting to look good and he will be pushing the midfield players.
“Nobody’s position is secure, as long as you win football matches then they know their place may be secure, but as soon as they leave the door open like they did at Swindon the other week, places are available.”
One player who took advantage of the unfortunate circumstances of a teammate on Saturday was defender Richard Duffy, who stepped in at short notice when Liam Chilvers reported in with a stomach bug.
Grew continued: “Duffs has said all along that he is a probably a better centre half than he is a full back and he defended exceptionally well on Saturday and showed composure.
“Before the start of the game I thought Liam Chilvers was a big loss for us, but looking ast it now Richard Duffy came in and had a super game and for me it gives us other options when players are injured.”
Could Duffy keep his place for the game at Crewe this weekend? Grew didn’t give too much away, but the defender hasn’t done his chances any harm with his display against Shrewsbury.
The same could be said for winger Jennison Myrie-Williams, who since coming back into the starting eleven has netted three goals in two appearances.
Grew said: “If the gaffer feels he needs to change the formation, or players to win the game against Crewe he will do - he is never frightened to do that.
“You can go back to Chris Lines – he got left out of the side and look at him now. He has come forward, he realises what he was doing wasn’t good enough, he came back in and has never looked back.
but again didn’t drop his chin, he has got on with it and worked hard in training. “Jennison was left out of the side, he was disappointed
“He waited for his opportunity, which is what you have to do when the team is winning football matches and he has come back in and scored a wonder goal on Saturday and his overall performances have been super.”