Micky Mellon: Shrewsbury Town manager insists 'I wouldn't say we're a dirty team'
Shrewsbury Town manager Micky Mellon has defended his team for this season's poor disciplinary record following their recent spate of red cards.
Gary Deegan's late dismissal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Swindon Town was their third in just five matches.
On top of a season's haul of 23 yellow cards, it adds up to the worst disciplinary record in League One.
"I wouldn't say we're a dirty team in any way, shape or form. I wouldn't say we were overly physical," said Mellon.
"It's just the way things are going for us. We're being punished for every foul we make at the minute.
"We haven't got any for dissent and that's something," he told BBC Radio Shropshire. "But a lot of the bookings are all for nothing more than what you probably see at any other time as just being a free-kick.
"That needless first booking puts you under a lot of pressure if you're a player who makes tackles, or is expected to have physical contact. The next challenge you make, if it's deemed to be a foul, then you will be sent off.
"Everything I'm saying is probably getting used as an excuse, so I've got to be careful about what I say, but that's the way the game's going."
At least Mellon can feel encouraged by the reformed character of one of his midfield players, 31-year-old Scotsman Ian Black.
Last season, he had the worst record in League One, being sent off twice and booked 13 times. But he has only been booked twice this time round - and, on each occasion, he compensated with a goal.
Mystifyingly poor form at the Meadow
Shrewsbury's poor home form continued on Saturday as they failed to win in front of their own fans for the fifth time in six League One games this season.
That comes on the back of last season's efforts, when Town won only five of their 23 League One home games, picking up 30 of their haul of 50 league points on their travels.
In that time, the Town have twice upset high-flying Championship sides on their own patch - Sheffield Wednesday earlier this year in the FA Cup fourth round and Huddersfield Town in this season's EFL Cup first round.
Yet only two teams in all four divisions have won fewer home games and recorded fewer home points since the start of last season - Newport County and Aston Villa.
Shrewsbury now face the comparative respite of three straight games away from the Greenhous Meadow - but they are at League One leaders Scunthorpe in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, second-placed Bradford City next Saturday, then at local rivals Walsall the following weekend.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury have had summer signing Ryan McGivern and promising youngster Dom Smith called up for under-21 international duty next week, by Northern Ireland and Wales respectively.