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SAINTS are gearing up for a tough test on Saturday as they continue their pre-season preparations against in-form Conference visitors Shrewsbury Town at Treflan (kick off 3.00 pm).
Two 16-year old Academy youngsters - Darren Lawrence and Edward Davies - have been drafted in to bolster the squad, with John Toner and Tommy Holmes both fitness doubts for the game.
Michael Wilde also faces a morning fitness test after picking up a knock in the 2-0 defeat at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night.
Under new manager, Jimmy Quinn, the Shrews have made an encouraging start, beating Rhyl 3-1 at Belle Vue and thrashing Derby County 5-0 at Gay Meadow.
On Tuesday night they beat Ludlow Town 7-0 away in the Shropshire Senior Cup.
Goals from Jamie Tolley, Colin Cramb, Luke Rodgers (2) and a Steve Watts hat-trick ensured the home side were sent packing.
Despite losing their last two warm-up games, boss Ken McKenna is confident TNS can enhance their credentials as they get in shape for next month's Uefa Cup showdown with Premiership giants Manchester City.
"We see this as a very important game as far as our preparations are concerned and we're looking to put on a good performance and show our capabilities," he said.
"Despite two defeats, I'm quite happy with the way things are going although we know we've still got a lot of work to do."
With defender Steve Evans recovering from his groin operation, new signing Jimmy Aggrey is likely to start in central defence.
Saints will be holding a draw during the game in which tickets for next month's Uefa Cup tie will be up for grabs.
Six winners will receive VIP tickets for the second leg of the club's clash against Manchester City at Cardiff's Millennium stadium on Thursday 28 August.
Shrewsbury could give a debut to former Walsall and Birmingham midfielder Martyn O'Connor (pictured), who turned down moves to Wrexham, Port Vale, Peterborough, QPR and Lincoln to join the Gay Meadow men.
25 July 2021