Aaron Wilbraham hails Steve Cotterill’s ‘calming influence’



Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by PA

Aaron Wilbraham hails Steve Cotterill’s ‘calming influence’

Steve Cotterill’s half-time instructions from his hospital bed inspired Shrewsbury Town to a second-half turnaround against his former club Sunderland.

Goals from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and the in-form Harry Chapman cancelled out Aiden O’Brien’s opener to hand Shrews another scalp and stand-in boss Aaron Wilbraham revealed the calming influence of Cotterill, who is in hospital with Covid-19, was a key factor.

He said: “Again the gaffer was on the phone and he said they needed to show belief after conceding a scrappy goal.

“The lads were coming in a bit stressed having gone a goal behind and he was a real calming influence on them.

“He calmed it all down, kept them believing, gave some individual messages to players in the right way and you could see how it just lifted them.

“We then came out for the second half and went full throttle and it was a great win.

“It was key to get on terms early, you want to score early and it gave us that momentum going forward.

“We kept pushing and that is what the gaffer says, to keep pushing, keep going and when you get in front, what you have done keeps you in front.

“We got level, went again and our game management was good and we threatened again.

“The winning goal was again a great goal, their manager has just complimented us on that too. It was a great move and just a great team goal.”

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson said his side showed ‘a soft underbelly’, adding: “I am mega disappointed after that one.

“The lads are in there thinking we should have maybe got a draw but I’m not so sure.

“We scored a good goal, a really good finish and we hoped the lads would settle but they showed a bit more hustle in the middle than we did.

“We lost too many duels, got outnumbered and I’ve just said we have to bring it a lot earlier and be more aggressive.

“Often we take a punch – as in a goal – and it costs us, individual errors cost us again today and it was on the back of losing too many duels, they skipped past us too much.

“I think we showed a slight soft underbelly. I’ve not been here that long but you’re looking to manage the big moments in the game.

“We’ve still got enough games and I believe in the team. It would be easy for me to say, ‘look, to be honest they are not my signings,’ and all that.

“But I do believe in them as a team, I believe we can be successful. We just have to be steelier at times, certain moments in games.”

Jordan Willis was forced off early by injury and Johnson fears the defender suffered a ruptured patella.

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