It was somewhat surprising when Steve Cotterill arrived to take the reins at Shrewsbury Town in 2020 after a two-year spell away from management.
But the experienced 57-year-old has shown he still has plenty to offer in the game with an impressive tenure at the Montgomery Waters Stadium.
That has been despite suffering from severe symptoms of Covid-19 last year which brought an extended period in hospital.
Prior to securing survival for the Shrews in back-to-back campaigns, Cotterill managed nine other clubs including Cheltenham Town, who he guided out of non-league and into the third tier. He can count Stoke City, Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City among the clubs he has managed.
Cotterill on Friday’s last gasp defeat to Sunderland:
“We did play well, especially in the second half when I thought we were really good, and we were good after the first 20 minutes.
“It took us 22 minutes to put together our first movement, and it took us 26 minutes before we played with any arrogance on the ball. So, that was the only disappointing bit for me, and the goal in injury time.
“Sunderland had a couple of opportunities when it got back to 2-2, where they got in and got overloads and ended up flashing a few balls across the box, and we didn’t want any of those to be an easy tap-in.
“We made a slight change at half-time because we have to get back in the game then. We were really good in the second half, and I’m so disappointed for the lads because they’ve given so much in that game, and we’ve got a long journey home with no points.”
On holding heads high after the Sunderland performance:
“At the end of the day, we’ve created enough to score at least another goal, and another goal is difficult when you come away to clubs this size because then all of a sudden – when it gets back to 2-2 – the 30,000 or so fans can drive them on and it’s always difficult for the opposition when you come back into it.
“After that, the lads won’t quite know the magnitude of that performance.
“All they’ll see is the result. They’ll see we lost 3-2. What they won’t know is what they’ve used and how well they’ve done to come back from 2-0 down.
“So, there are a few lessons in there for them, but I can very rarely fault them, and I can’t fault them.
“I’m disappointed for the lads. Not with them – for them.”