Sunderland point 'best result since I've been at club' says Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill

By James Hunter

Steve Cotterill hailed ten-man Shrewsbury's draw against his old club Sunderland as 'the best result we've had since I've been at the club', given the circumstances.

Cotterill, who had a spell as assistant manager to Howard Wilkinson on Wearside in 2002-03, saw his side recover after falling behind at home to the Black Cats, and then seeing David Davis sent off on the stroke of half-time, to claim a valuable point in their fight against relegation.

And the result was all the better for the Shrews given they went into the game with a squad severely depleted due to injuries and a suspension, which meant several players were playing out of position while Cotterill had to include three academy players on the bench to make up the numbers.

READ MORE: Lee Johnson admits Sunderland let ten-man Shrewsbury Town off the hook

"It's a very good point against a good team, under the circumstances as well, they were difficult enough before the game, losing three defenders from Saturday," Cotterill told the Shropshire Star.

"It got even more difficult with ten men for a long time in the game, some of the things from Saturday with ten men [when Shrewsbury also had a man sent off in their defeat at Cambridge], it looked a little bit like we'd learned from - not that we want to get to that by the way.

"I thought they were brilliant at times, it's the best result we've had - because of the circumstances around all of it - since I've been at the club.

"I'm very proud, I was proud of them Saturday, they were brilliant then, but last night they were double."

Alex Pritchard put Sunderland ahead in the first half but Shrewsbury also had chances in the opening 45 minutes.

Cotterill said: "We reckon there were three great chances we could've scored from that would've put us in charge. I felt at half-time we should've been leading the game. There should've been daylight before half-time.

"Their goal rocked us, and the sending off rocked us, but not for long - that was the most pleasing thing, the mental toughness of not letting that get to us.

"Going a goal down, that's enough, but you've got to stay in games, got to be tough, got to do all the horrible things, it's not always about having the possession and passing the ball, but having said that I thought we did that very well."

Davis' sending off for a late challenge on Nathan Broadhead looked harsh, but Cotterill said: "I haven't seen it yet, I don't know whether it's a red or not, I've got to look at it."

Sunderland were unable to take advantage of the situation they found themselves in at the start of the second period, and Dan Udoh scored the equaliser just after the hour.

"The reason Dan strikes such a good ball is he practices, he works really hard at his game," Cotterill said.

"The improvement he's shown in his game in a short space of time has been huge, huge. A really popular character, really popular in the dressing room, a special boy. I love him and I'm so pleased for him.

"He ran his socks off out here the other week, when we scored four, and he didn't get his goal. I said to him 'if you carry on doing what you're doing the goals will come for you' and all of a sudden he's got two in two, that means he's Dan Udoh prolific."

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