The Opposition View: Shrewsbury Town

Last updated : 26 April 2013 By Jim Bonner

How satisfied have you been with your first season back in League One?

The main objective was to stay up and that has been reached but the way we have gone about this campaign has disappointed me. We lost the spine of our promotion winning side, obtained a better goalkeeper in Chris Weale, better centre midfielder in Luke Summerfield but have fallen short at centre back and up front where we lost James Collins to Swindon and didn't replace him.

Graham Turner was in the same position as manager of Hereford a few years ago, played the loan system and got relegated. At Shrewsbury he has more money but has used the same tactic and almost ended up with the same result. Even more baffling was he said he had 'underestimated the division'.

What do you think of the Football League's decision to deduct ten points from Portsmouth now when it will make no difference instead of carry them over to next season?

I must admit I think youve got off lightly as, like you say, the 'punishment' is having no effect. Were it to come into effect next season then it would seem 'fairer' but the authorities are a law unto themselves and there is no point in trying to second guess them.

Pompey will be playing in League Two next season. How difficult was it for Shrewsbury to get out of that division and do you fancy our chances next year?

We had a good few tries to get out, two play-off final losses and another play-off semi-final defeat. We were perceived to have a big budget, and whilst there is probably some truth in that, I don't think it was as high as many thought, and certainly nowhere near Swindon's last season. 

As to your chances, I think you will start favourites for promotion. Starting on 0 points will be a huge bonus, your crowds will bring in a great deal of revenue and this should transfer itself to the pitch

Many Pompey fans will be travelling to Greenhous Meadow for the relegation party. What is the stadium like and where are the best pubs nearby?

There are many knockers of the Greenhous but I am not one of them. Yes it's an identikit stadium thats out of town but with a bit of planning there is no reason why any visiting fans shouldnt have a good day.

Compared to Gay Meadow the views are good, though you will be looking into the sun (should it be out), seats are comfier, toilets nicer, the cottage pies are tasty and you can have a pint under the stand.

As for nearby pubs the Brooklands or The Charles Darwin are the closest, about 10 minutes away for the former, nearer 15/20 for the latter. Both have parking but I couldn't tell you the cost of it. I think that the parking fees can be recouped in the pub.

Who are the key players in this Shrewsbury side?

Goalkeeper Chris Weale has been immense, without him we would have been joining you in League Two next season. In midfield, Luke Summerfield has more than filled Nicky Wroe's boots and but for a mid-season injury would have been pushing Weale for fans awards.

It will be interesting to see the side as on Tuesday I think we had 7 of the starting 11 under- 22 and 4 of them were under 20 yearsold.

What are the biggest weaknesses in your team that Pompey could exploit on Saturday?

That depends on the side put out. If we go with our youth then experience in your side could be a factor. We don't have a dedicated left winger so your right side could have some joy against the stand ins although Joe Jacobson is a very competent left back. The pitch isn't the best with lots of sand going down. 

What kind of match are you expecting with both teams having nothing to play for on the final day?

I'm hoping for an entertaining game with players having a bit of freedom and some playing for contracts. The Oldham game wasn't the greatest spectacle due to the amount of changes in both sides but it was good to see the younger side of Shrewsbury Town. Pompey's recent form has been impressive, none more so than last weekend against Sheffield United so we need to be aware of that.

Predict the outcome of the game.

2-2, Asante and Taylor for Shrews.