Matt Williams: Shrewsbury chief confident of League One success

Greenhous Meadow
Shrewsbury Town are expecting 1000 more away fans to visit each week in League One next season

Newly-promoted Shrewsbury Town have learned lessons and are better placed to be successful in League One, says chief executive Matt Williams.

Saturday's win over Cheltenham Town clinched Shrewsbury's place back in the third tier, 12 months after getting relegated at the end of last season.

"We're probably better equipped to deal with the rigours of League One," Williams told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"There's nothing like experience - hopefully we can stay up."

Town sealed their automatic promotion with victory over the Robins - their eight win in their last nine games - and take on play-off contenders Plymouth Argyle in their final match of the season at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday with a real chance of becoming League Two champions.

"We hope it'll be a sell-out and Plymouth are coming for a party so it'll be a real carnival atmosphere," Williams said. "If we can nick three points, and Cambridge can do us a favour, then the trophy's ours."

Shrewsbury's success caps a remarkable turn around in their fortunes since Williams joined from Blackpool last summer, inheriting a club that had just been relegated at the end of 2013-14 and had only four players on their books.

Former Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon was brought in as manager and quickly assembled a successful squad.

"It was a blank canvas," said Williams. "We must have seen 50 or 60 players last summer. Micky treated them all like a job interview. He looked into the whites of their eyes to see if they were hungry enough and would buy into what he wanted."

Shrewsbury's League Two title equation
Town will be crowned League Two champions if they beat Plymouth at Greenhous Meadow and leaders Burton fail to win at Cambridge.
Anything other than a Shrewsbury win and Burton will take the title.

Williams admits Town's success has come at a cost, relegation last season having lost the club £285,000 and more financial pressure with it.

"It's probably cost us more to get promoted because you have bonuses to pay," he said. "It's more expensive in League One. There're are some big clubs like Wigan Athletic, former FA Cup winners, coming into the division with massive parachute payments."

Nevertheless, Williams is confident, with Mellon at the helm, Town can make long-term plans to grow the club.

"The chairman's bought into Micky's idea to assemble a team of assets rather than relying on loan players and short-term contracts," he added.

"The club's learnt an awful lot of lessons from the time in League One last time. Hopefully we can go up and then try and get into the Championship."

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