SHREWSBURY boss Graham Turner says he won’t let James Collins’ controversial move to Swindon or last season’s tempestuous clash at the Country Ground distract his players when the two teams meet tomorrow.
Collins, who scored 16 times during Salop’s promotion campaign last season, turned down fresh terms at the Greenhous Meadow last summer in favour of a move to Wiltshire.
The Shropshire side were angered when a tribunal set a fee of £140,000 for the former Aston Villa youngster, while they were also not happy to see penalty appeals turned down before going down to a 2-1 defeat on their last visit to Wiltshire in February.
“I don’t know if he’ll play, the manager there makes different decisions. James was brought off last Saturday after missing a chance, so it could be anybody’s guess what their team will be,” Turner told the Shropshire Star.
“But it’s all about us concentrating on what we want to do rather than the opposition.
“We mustn’t get too uptight about our rivalry last season. Obviously they took James from us and there was a little bit of ill feeling after we lost the game at the County Ground after what I thought were poor refereeing decisions.
“But that’s all gone and what we’ve got to do is focus on the game itself and not let anything get in our way.”
Swindon have adjusted better to life in League One and are currently 16 points better off than Shrewsbury, and Turner is expecting the Robins to make the play-offs.
“Swindon are a big club in this division, but the tendency is for us is to rise to the occasion and that’s what we’ve got to do again,” said Turner. “They’re a good team as the manager has had plenty to spend on fees and wages. He’s assembled a decent squad of players which isn’t going to be far off at least a play-off place come the end of the season.
“But there is the challenge for us. We’ve gone to Coventry and put in a good performance to get a win, so I don’t think we should be fearing going to Swindon.”