Sam Ricketts: New Shrewsbury Town manager says 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'

Sam Ricketts is Shrewsbury Town's youngest manager in 40 years
Sam Ricketts has become Shrewsbury Town's youngest manager in 40 years

New Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts is to keep the backroom team he has inherited at the Shropshire club, saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

He is happy to rely on Danny Coyne and Eric Ramsay, who won five of their six matches in caretaker charge after John Askey's sacking on 12 November.

"I know them. They know me. We get on really well," the 37-year-old former Wrexham boss told BBC Shropshire.

"The current staff we already have here are a big part of my plans."

He continued: "If something's not broken, you don't fix it. Danny Coyne and Eric Ramsay have done a great job and I will be looking to lean on them and use their experience."

On his first day in charge of the League One club, Ricketts revealed that his only addition to the backroom team is sports scientist John Pitts, who used to work with Brentford, in a new role as performance coach.

Ricketts will take charge of his first game at home to Walsall in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday night, which pits him against his predecessor as Wrexham boss Dean Keates.

Shrewsbury recommended to new boss

Ricketts is the youngest Shrewsbury manager since Graham Turner began his first spell in charge of the club in October 1978 - and promptly led the Town to the old Division Three title in May 1979, pipping Graham Taylor's Watford.

Shrewsbury came close to emulating that under Paul Hurst last season, spending two thirds of the campaign in the top two, only to finish third and then lose in the play-off final.

Although a repeat this season seems unlikely with the team 10 points off a play-off place, Ricketts sees no reason why they cannot challenge again under his command.

"This club's been there once," he said. "To get two points per game and not get promoted is hugely unlucky. Why can't we get that points total again and go all the way next time?

"I'm not expecting the players here all to have the skill of top level Premier League players, although some will. But I expect full effort. I want the fans to see a side that works incredibly hard."

Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury Town to Wembley twice last season, in the EFL Trophy and again in the League One play-offs
Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury Town to Wembley twice last season, in the EFL Trophy and again in the League One play-offs

Ricketts said former Shrewsbury midfielder Dave Edwards, who is in the final season of his current contract at Reading and yet to play this season because of injury, was a key factor in him choosing to come to the Meadow.

"I speak to Dave an awful lot, at length," he explained. "We were team-mates for many years with Wolves and Wales. He is a good friend.

"It was through him that I have looked at Shrewsbury over the last four or five years and thought what a really good club it is. Well run, good facilities. A good platform for any manager to come in. I'm hugely fortunate and privileged to be here."

A wealth of experience

In an 18-year playing career, with nine different clubs, Ricketts played under 25 different 'gaffers'.

"I went through all five levels in six years, from the Conference all the way to the Premier League," he said.

"There's not a ground I've not been to. I've seen an awful lot at every level, and it gives me a broader aspect of what makes you successful.

"I probably made the most of my ability to get to the level I did. I wasn't a hugely gifted player who played at Premier League level all his career and can't translate to League One or the Conference. I've been there and played there."

While that list includes three different pairs of joint-caretaker managers, his CV is headed by Kenny Jackett, who signed him twice.

Ricketts was promoted under Jackett, with Swansea from League Two in 2004-05, and then again as skipper of League One champions Wolves in 2013-14.

He also won promotion to the Premier League with Hull City under Phil Brown in 2007-08, spending four seasons in the top flight, one with the Tigers and three at Bolton.

He was also in the Telford team that reached the FA Trophy semis in 2004 - and helped take Swindon Town to the League One play-off final in 2015,

Ricketts' 25 managers

  • Oxford United - Mal Shotton. Maurice Evans/Mickey Lewis, Denis Smith, Mike Ford, David Kemp, Mark Wright, Ian Atkins
  • Nuneaton Borough (loan) - Steve Burr
  • Telford United - Mick Jones
  • Swansea City/Wolves - Kenny Jackett
  • Hull City - Phil Parkinson, Phil Brown
  • Bolton Wanderers - Gary Megson, Chris Evans/Steve Wigley, Owen Coyle. Jimmy Phillips/Sammy Lee, Dougie Freedman
  • Swindon Town - Mark Cooper
  • Coventry City - Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus, Russell Slade. Mark Robins