Bristol Rovers' Mark McGhee: We were beaten by the better team
MARK McGhee made no excuses after suffering his first defeat since taking over at Bristol Rovers and admitted: "I thought we were beaten by the better team."
The Pirates' five-game unbeaten run came to an end after James Collins scored the only goal of a tight game at Shrewsbury – with his strike coming just four minutes from time.
Rovers had defended resiliently and looked like holding on for a useful point at a side who have not lost on their own soil for 11 months.
"It took them a long time to get the goal and we hung on and defended heroically at times with our keeper making a couple of decent saves," said McGhee.
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"But I thought we brought a lot of pressure on ourselves by not being able to keep the ball well enough. They came at us in wave after wave at times, particularly in the second half and I thought it was inevitable that eventually they would get a goal.
"It was disappointing, but Shrewsbury are a good team and I was impressed with them.
"I'd not seen that many teams in League Two before I took this job, but they are the best I have seen so far. We had an improved spell in the first 15 minutes of the second half because, in the first, we had stood off them a bit and didn't really stop Shrewsbury playing out from the back.
"But, in the second half, we encouraged our front and wide players to push on and try and stop them doing it.
"But then we got deeper and deeper and didn't keep the ball well enough. And if you keep taking punches, sooner or later they will land a knockout blow – that's what happened."
McGhee was full of praise for Graham Turner's side as they continued their push for the play-offs.
"It was a reality check for us and when you see a team at this level as good as Shrewsbury, that is what we have to aspire to. We have to pass the ball, keep the ball and be as energetic as they are," he said.
"There were positive things in terms of our effort, commitment and determination not to concede a goal, but we still saw things that reminded us how far we have to go.
"All runs come to an end and now we have to roll our sleeves up and start another one."