Shrewsbury Town fortunes on the up ahead of Mansfield Town FA Cup visit

Sam Ricketts manager of Shrewsbury Town (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).
Sam Ricketts manager of Shrewsbury Town (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).

Mansfield Town will face a Shrewsbury side on the up in Saturday's FA Cup tie as the Shrews build on last season's near brush with relegation.

Boss Sam Rickett's task this campaign was to improve on last season's campaign, where it took until the penultimate game of the season to secure League One survival, and most would have said mid-table - where Town currently find themselves - is a sound enough achievement.

Ricketts is already close to celebrating one year in charge at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The first half brought mixed fortunes, some brilliant memories in the FA Cup, where they made the fourth round, but not as convincing league form.

Big changes were made over the summer and Ricketts has improved the side.

A total of 13 players arrived and double figures went in the opposite direction as Ricketts put his stamp on in his first summer at the club.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell is a centre-half brought in from Wolves in the summer and, alongside his impressive defensive colleagues, has helped make Town impressive defensively.

Central midfielder Josh Laurent has hit a purple patch with three goals over the last few weeks and is a danger with his running from deep while Scottish international Jason Cummings, who arrived on deadline day from Nottingham Forest has gone a few games without a goal and will be desperate to get back on the scoresheet against Stags.

Striker Daniel Udoh (knee) and midfielder Sean Goss (knee and toe) may have a chance at returns for the weekend, but Ryan Sears (ACL) is a long-term absentee.