City’s first league match since the club issued a statement regarding Gary Caldwell’s future couldn’t have been against worse opposition than a rampant Bolton, but nobody expected the 7-0 capitulation that followed causing the vultures circling Caldwell to be replaced with albatrosses. City don’t do sackings, but a poor result and performance against Shrewsbury on Tuesday night will only amplify the calls from City supporters to dish out a first P45 since Neil McNab in 2003. One of the more baffling selections on Saturday was Cheick Diabate starting up front – granted City have been unable to hit a barn door all season but, even though he had played there in the second half of the EFL Trophy match against Swindon, not many would have bet on that being with a start on Saturday in mind. Yanic Wildschut is surely in line for a start against Shrewsbury, while Reece Cole and Dion Rankine may return to the starting XI after their injuries kept them to a place on the bench on Saturday.
Having surprisingly dispensed with popular manager Steve Cotterill in the summer and replaced him with the “other” Matt Taylor, whose previous management role had been rather mediocre, the pundits tipped the Shrews for a season of struggle. However, while consistency has been an issue, Taylor’s side is currently sitting reasonably comfortably in mid-table following a 2-1 win over Port Vale on Saturday. City will hope that with a trip to Notts County in the FA Cup on Friday night Taylor will look to shuffle his squad somewhat, although he will probably hope that Daniel Udoh’s new-found confidence in front of goal for a side that has scored just 11 league goals all season will continue. One name hoping to be on the teamsheet will be Ryan Bowman, who has been in and out of the side this season and has just one league goal to his name.
The corresponding fixture last season won’t live long in the memory as it produced a 0-0 draw. That was in contrast with the reverse fixture where City raced into a 2-0 lead through Sweeney and Grounds only for Pennington, Bayliss and Dunkley to pull things around for a 3-2 home win. That win gave Shrewsbury the edge in league head to heads with 18 wins to City’s 17, 15 matches finishing level.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Alan Young
Assistant Referees: Justin Amey and Steven Plane
Fourth Official : James Durkin
The last time Alan Young refereed an Exeter games, was Boxing Day last year when we drew 0-0 with Portsmouth at St James Park.