Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst has praised the impact of Canaries loanees Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris as Salop prepare for Sunday’s League One Play-off final.
Shrewsbury face Rotherham at Wembley for a place in the second tier of English football for the first time since the 1988-89 season, and Hurst says Godfrey and Morris have made a big contribution to a campaign that has exceeded expectations.
“Both lads have integrated into the group fantastically well,” Hurst said. “They’re genuinely good people, which is something we look for, and they’re a credit to the football club.
“I never said to them when they joined that we’d be challenging at the top of the league, I was saying we were hoping for a better season, so it’s worked out better than we all could have imagined and the two of them have had made a big contribution.”
The pair have made a combined 103 appearances for Salop this season, with Godfrey earning plaudits for his holding midfield role and Morris scoring the deciding goal in the second leg of their play-off semi-final win over Charlton Athletic.
“Ben’s had a huge role this season,” said Hurst. “He’s a young man and because of his physicality you have to remind yourself what age he’s at. He’s had a very slight hamstring injury but other than he’s been available all of the time.
“I think he maybe benefited from coming out for a couple of weeks with the injury and he came back stronger. In both play-off games he was outstanding and we’re hoping he can put in one more big performance.”
Morris has found the net 10 times this season, and Hurst has also been impressed with his allround contribution to the side.
“Another forward I have here and had at Grimsby, Lenell John-Lewis, the first season he didn’t score a vast amount and the second season he got 20. But I’ve always said it’s more about what you bring to the team – how they work with the team and the group and Carlton has done extremely well on that side.
“From January onwards he’s really kicked on and put in some big performance. His goal against Charlton in the semi-final was a fantastic finish.”
Like all of City’s loan players, Godfrey and Morris have returned to Colney throughout the season to take part in training and Hurst is pleased with the relationship between the two clubs.
“Norwich have monitored Ben and Carlton very closely and we’re very grateful that we got them in the first place, with Neil Adams coming over initially and having a look at us,” Hurst said. “I’m really pleased they did that because I’m confident about what we are and what we do.
“I never made any promises about the lads playing all of the time, and Norwich really understood that the lads had to earn the right to play and both of them have certainly done that.”