Sam Ricketts: Shrewsbury Town side are still in their infancy
Sam Ricketts has issued a reminder to Shrewsbury Town fans that his side are in their infancy as they drew another blank in front of goal.
Town were held to a Montgomery Waters Meadow stalemate by Rochdale, who could have stole the three points late on but for a disallowed offside goal.
Shrewsbury had clear chances through strikers Steve Morison and Fejiri Okenabirhie but a point was probably fair on reflection.
Town, whose starting line-up contained just three players from last season, have just one goal in their opening four games of the season - three in the league.
But Ricketts was encouraged by the spell his new-look side enjoyed in the latter stages of the first half before being on top after the break until Rochdale came to life late on. And the boss believes his side will get better with time and experience together.
"I'm delighted with another clean sheet. A point is a good point (heading) in the right direction," said Ricketts.
"But we're in the very infant stages of what we're trying to do. It took 25 or 30 minutes to see what we're trying to see.
"We ended up the first half how we want to play. But with so many new players in it's really hard.
"We've got players coming in today more or less on their first day. To get that integration and understanding is going to take some time.
"But there was a brief little spell of what we're trying to do and we look very good when we're doing that.
"There's spells where we're not but the character during that time to make sure we work hard, defend and keep a clean sheet was excellent.
"Steve Morison's header off Gossy's free-kick – I thought it was in.
"Steve went to head the ball, I thought he'd get enough on it to go in at the back post. I was half-celebrating.
"That's probably where we're at. At times it it looks very good and we're a very front-foot and progressive team but when we don't we're still learning and understanding each other.
"I'm not surprised. You go through the team. Max, Donald, Ethan, Pierre, Gilo and Gossy are new.
"Dave Edwards has been in but hasn't really played. Luke McCormick is new, Louis Thompson is new, Steve Morison is new. Shaun Whalley has been here and Fey's had a year.
"We're a completely new side trying to get a slightly different way of playing but that'll take time, we're three games in.
"We've beat one of the best sides, lost one where we shouldn't and drawn today. It's good to keep clean sheets while trying to implement what we're trying to do."
Rochdale players thought Callum Camps' late effort was incorrectly ruled out for offside but Ricketts felt a visiting player attempted to divert the ball – meaning he was active in an offside position.
Ricketts handed a full debut to new midfielder Sean Goss, signed from Queens Park Rangers and sent fellow new boy, on-loan Norwich man Louis Thompson, on as a sub.
Supporters are concerned by Town's early lack of goals, while Ricketts remains active in the transfer window for another centre-forward.
The boss, meanwhile, is confident there is enough creativity and firepower in his ranks as it stands.
Asked if he was content with the potency, he added: "Yes, I think everyone can see when we move the ball well we're opening up opposition well, getting crosses in the box.
"We need to be better at the final bit, whether it's the final ball or final movement with people attacking the box. That's clear to see.
"But we've got new players throughout the team that'll only get better."
Ricketts confirmed midfielder Romain Vincelot missed the stalemate with a neural injury.