Midfielder Nicky Wroe wants Shrewsbury Town’s Carling Cup battlers to build on the confidence taken from giving mighty Arsenal a run for their money as he targets payback time on his former club Torquay United.
Although disappointed to come away from the Emirates with a 3-1 defeat on Tuesday, Wroe was pleased how Town performed in front of more than 46,000 fans and he’s keen to hit the ground running again when Torquay head to the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday.
It’s a game Town would dearly love to win given how Torquay dashed their promotion hopes last season by getting the better of them over two legs in the play-off semi finals.
Wroe insisted he relished having the chance to pit his wits against the star-studded Gunners in midweek and felt Town emerged with plenty of credit but not it’s back to the reality of life in League Two.
“I was disappointed we didn’t nick a result but it was a great place to play and we really enjoyed it,” said Wroe.
“We couldn’t get a touch for the first five minutes as they kept the ball so well, but slowly we grew in confidence and put together a couple of good passing moves.
“It was great when James Collins gave us the lead and goals breed confidence. We started to knock it around well then and had a couple of other chances.
“We put a lot into the first half in closing them down and hitting them on the break, and in the second half we tired a bit and it’s a big pitch that Arsenal really use well as they get their full
“But we went there to enjoy it after doing well to beat Derby and Swansea and there was no pressure on us, which was a different situation to the league games.
“It was a great experience for all of us and the pitch was amazing, the best I’ve ever played on by far.”
Wroe and his team mates are now keen to maintain their encouraging start in League Two at the expense of Torquay this weekend.
“We owe them a couple of results after last year, especially with it being my old team,” said Wroe, who helped the Devon club regain their place in the Football League during his time at Plainmoor before joining Town in January.
“We need to rest up and put what happened at Arsenal into the memory bank and keep getting good results in the league.”
Wroe said he was pleased with his own early season form and that he was enjoying life alongside Sean McAllister in the heart of the Shrewsbury midfield.
“I’ve come back this season feeling really strong and the gaffer’s shown a lot of faith in me,” he said.
“I’ve managed to nick a few goals, three so far, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a few more.
“I’ve got a good understanding with Sean and it’s working quite well so hopefully that can continue.”
Town will be boosted by the availability of striker Terry Gornell after a three match ban and he will be seeking an instant recall as boss Graham Turner looks forward to a league return.
“The Carling Cup has been a nice competition to be in, a bit of glory for the players, but the nitty gritty is Saturday and Torquay,” said Turner.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of coming back down to earth after being in a stadium like that on Tuesday. It’s about getting the players rested and ready for action.
“It’s the amount it’s taken out of the players. We had one or two fatigued players and you could see that in the second half (against Arsenal). When you’re chasing the ball like we had to, it doesn’t half tire you.
“We’ve just got to be careful in training between now and Saturday and make sure the players are refreshed.”
Turner said skipper Ian Sharps (calf) is making better progress than fellow injured defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (hamstring) although he thinks Saturday may come too early for both of them.
By Stuart Dunn