Shrews El-bent on payback bid

Adam El-Abd battles with Fleetwood Town's Ashley Hunter for Gillingham last term
Adam El-Abd battles with Fleetwood Town's Ashley Hunter for Gillingham last term

Shrewsbury captain Adam El-Abd may not be particularly up for the cup but he is definitely keen to get some payback on Fleetwood.

The Shrews have picked up cup wins against Premier League outfit Middlesbrough in the Checkatrade Trophy, League Two club Barnet in the FA Cup and Championship side Huddersfield in the EFL Cup.

But after only picking up three wins in their opening 20 League One games, they are rooted tothe bottom of the table and El-Abd says he would happily swap all of those cup wins for points.

But he added that the Shrews owe Uwe Rosler’s men one after their dismal display at Highbury last week, when Fleetwood won 3-0, and are looking for revenge in tomorrow’s FA Cup second round clash at Greenhous Meadow.

Egyptian international El-Abd, who has played for five clubs in little over two years since spending more than a decade with hometown team Brighton, said: “We’ll be preparing for the cup game, which is obviously a break from the league and we’ll be giving it our all to stay in the competition.

“But I’ll be totally honest – the three wins we’ve had in cup competitions I’d change for league wins and be out of all the cups.

“We’ve got to realise that the league is the most important thing. It’s all very well to play nicely in the cups, which we’ll try to do on Saturday against Fleetwood because we owe them one from the previous game.”

And the 32-year-old knows all about Town, having played against them last season for both Swindon and Gillingham on loan from Bristol City.

He added: “Fingers crossed we can build on the Port Vale performance (a goalless draw last weekend) and go one better in getting the win.”

The Shrews were reportedly much-improved in their home clash with the Valiants and El-Abd says nobody is pressing the panic buttons yet, despite their precarious league position.

He said: “We’ve got to understand the position. There was a good atmosphere and intensity against Vale but that must be the minimum now. “Every game’s a derby game for us, that’s it ... fact.

“We’ve kept four clean sheets in seven, so the signs are there that we’re becoming more solid.

“If we can build on the positives we can get ourselves out of trouble.

“There’s a long way to go and panic buttons have not been hit.”