Shrewsbury Town have appointed Steve Cotterill as their new manager.

The 56-year-old has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the League One side, who sacked manager Sam Ricketts on Wednesday.

Cotterill has been without a club since being sacked by Birmingham City in March 2018, with Shrewsbury the ninth English team he has taken charge of.

The Shrews are on an eight-game winless run in the league and are one point above bottom side Wigan Athletic.

Cotterill led Bristol City to the League One title in 2015, having previously won League Two with Notts County in 2010.

He also took Cheltenham Town from the Southern Football League to the English Football League in the late 1990s and has had spells in charge of Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth, Burnley and Stoke City.

“Steve brings a wealth of managerial experience with around 700 games to date,” Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell told the club website.

“He has had a lot of success during his managerial career including five promotions, an EFL Trophy win, and three Manager of the Year Awards.

“It has been a whirlwind 48 hours but with matches coming thick and fast, we felt it was vitally important to appoint as quickly as possible.”

Shrewsbury’s only league win this season was on 17 October when they were 1-0 victors at AFC Wimbledon after a last-minute Leon Clarke goal.

A four-game losing streak followed that success before three draws in their past four League One matches.

Those results have seen the club, who finished 15th last season and secured an FA Cup fourth-round replay with then world and European champions Liverpool, drift to four points from safety and a point ahead of financially-troubled Wigan, who prop up the table.

Steve Cotterill has the experience that Sam Ricketts did not – 700 games as a manager with the likes of Birmingham, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth and with several promotions to his name.

Now 56, he arrives at Shrewsbury with a job to do – get them clear of the League One relegation zone.

He has met the players, and his enthusiasm for what he wants to do was clear for all to see.

He will watch the side in FA Cup action first, at home to non-league Oxford City on Sunday, and then it’s straight down to the nitty gritty with a League One game against Accrington three days later, when Shropshire’s placement in the middle coronavirus tier means some Town fans will be allowed back into the ground to see their new manager in person.

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