Shinnie overjoyed to be a Championship player once more

Andrew Shinnie interviewed on stage at the weekend
Andrew Shinnie interviewed on stage at the weekend

Midfielder Andrew Shinnie is thrilled to be back in the Championship once more after Town won promotion last week.

The 29-year-old had left the second tier of English football to move to Kenilworth Road, when former boss Nathan Jones signed him from Birmingham City in the summer of 2017.

He admitted that one of the main factors in dropping down the divisions was that he felt such a return was always a realistic possibility, saying:“That’s a massive reason why I came.

“I believe in the club and when I met the old manager, that was his vision.

“He believed we could do it and he recruited players for the higher levels, going up through the leagues.

“I thought it was a great club for me to come to and last season was great for me apart from the end was a bit difficult,but this season has been unbelievable and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

“I’ll have a break for a few weeks and then I’ll work hard in the off season, keep myself in shape and come back and hit the ground running in pre-season.

“I’m playing a different role and hopefully in the Championship it will suit me as well, nice stadiums and most games teams will probably fancy beating us.

“So they’ll come out, play open football against us and that suits us.

“I can’t wait for next season and it’s great to be a Championship player again.”

On heading back to the Blues, where he spent five years, playing 73 times, Shinnie said: “I had a good time at Birmingham, I enjoyed it.

“I had some tough times and some good times, but it was a great club and I’ll be delighted to go back there.

“It’s a good stadium, it will be good to see some familiar faces and that’s one I’m looking forward to.”

Shinnie is getting used to the feeling of success now, having won promotion in each of his last three terms.

He said: “Just three in a row, Hibs, Luton last year and then Luton this year. So if I can get a fourth next year that would be something.”

Although Town went up last year, they did so without a winner’s medal around their necks, finishing second to Accrington Stanley.

Shinnie confirmed that was something they wanted to put right this term.

He said: “Definitely, I think everyone thought that as well.

“We thought we were better than we were last year, as we thought we should have gone on to win the title, but Accrington did well, you have to give them credit.

“We didn’t want to let this one slip and it got a little nervy towards the end, it always is trying to get over the line, but to do it on the last day in front of all our fans was just brilliant.”

Town had already secured their Championship status in the week as both Portsmouth and Sunderland were beaten.

Shinnie revealed he couldn’t celebrate the success, as he said to save it all up for the weekend.

He added: “I was actually packing up my place to move house. I was dying to go out, but I had to drive to my new house in the morning, so I packed a few boxes and did it with a smile on my face.

“I was in the Enterprise van, I rented it for the day, so if Peterborough hadn’t won, I would have been a bit more nervous driving it.

“But it’s been a great couple of days, I’ve got a new house with my missus and the dog and promotion too.

“I was gutted to miss it (celebrating), but I wanted to focus on today (Saturday) as well.

“We wanted to end the season well, as I feel like we deserved it. It would have been a shame if we hadn’t managed to get it, but the boys played brilliant and managed to secure it.

“We’ve got to thank Peterborough, they did it for themselves, but we were delighted they did it for us as well.

“As it would have been a tough game (against Oxford), they’re a good side, they’re in good form, they were going well. It would have been a tricky match but it gave us a bit of freedom to play and I thought we did well.”