SAM Ricketts is full of praise for Oxford United ahead of visiting his old club for the first time as a manager tomorrow.

The former Wales international came through the youth system with the U’s but will be plotting an upset with Shrewsbury Town.

They have lost just one of their last seven matches, but Ricketts reckons Karl Robinson’s men are the top dogs in Sky Bet League One.

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He told the Shropshire Star: “It’ll be a good game. I think they’re the best team in the league.

“They’re unbeaten in ten and scoring threes or fours most weeks.

“It’s a test we’ll get ready for and be ready to go.”

Ricketts is not the only familiar face in the Shrews’ coaching set-up.

Dean Whitehead, who was in the same United youth side as Ricketts, joined as a first-team coach last month.

While the stadium will be the same as when the pair were making their senior debuts, there is plenty about the club which is unrecognisable.

Ricketts said: “I saw an awful lot – different owners, moving ground, not having a training ground.

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“It was the norm because that’s all we knew.

“The club were on the verge of going bust a couple of times.

“Myself and Dean, who is here now, were in the youth team and we ended up doing everything at the whole club – we had the keys for everything at the ground at one point.

“When I joined I was put on Dean Windass’ boots.

“There was Matty Elliott, Joey Beauchamp, Phil Gilchrist, Paul Powell, some very, very good players.”