NO-ONE was more shocked than Mickey Thomas that Sam Ricketts was asked not to attend Saturday's FA Cup second round tie with Newport County.

The duo spoke on Friday evening with Wrexham boss Ricketts asking Reds legend Thomas to join him in the dressing room and do a team-talk in front of the players in the run-up to kick-off.

There was drama on match-day as Ricketts, linked heavily with the vacant manager's job at Shrewsbury Town, was told not to come to the game - his future remains up in the air - but Thomas still addressed the players ahead of the second round tie.

"I am surprised that Sam has gone because I had a phone call off Sam on Friday night asking me if I would have a bit of a team talk in the dressing room about the FA Cup and what it means to this football club," said Ricketts.

"I didn't see it coming to be honest, it was out of the blue; I couldn't believe it when I saw he was not being allowed to the game.

"I just went in and said what the FA Cup means to this club financially. I said don't wait for it to happen, make it happen, and I thought the application from the players was fantastic.

"Obviously he has made his decision which has not gone down well with Wrexham fans, you can understand that.

"The fans have come in their numbers but there is a lot of bitterness around the football club as you saw with fans' reaction."

Former Wales international Ricketts only took charge at The Racecourse in May and while Wrexham are challenging for promotion from National League, Thomas says he is still making his way in the game as a manager.

"It is never a good time to leave a football club and he has made a big decision," said Thomas.

"He is only new in the game in terms of management so it is a gamble by Shrewsbury as well to be honest.

"It is very disappointing but unfortunately that is the modern game now. There is no loyalty about.

"He is obviously thinking about himself and not Wrexham Football Club.

"Of course he is entitled to do that but it has come at a bad time.

"Can you blame him? If he has got a better offer or if he has got a club in the Football League he is not going to turn that down I suppose but I am surprised because I thought there might be one or two people before him, he has not done anything yet."

Wrexham, with assistant manager Graham Barrow at the helm, were the better team and came closest to scoring as the game finished 0-0.

Thomas believes Barrow would be the ideal replacement if Ricketts is unveiled as the Shrews boss.

"We played great and deserved to win the game," said Thomas. "Wrexham were the better team and had two great chances.

"How much this will derail our ambition to get promoted, only time will tell but with Graham Barrow at the helm at the moment, it shows that the players are going to play for him.

"Graham for me is the one who can stabilise the ship, he has been around the block and if you don't want to disrupt it too much, my opinion would be stick as it is because the players proved they will play for him.

"Long term you have got to think, not short term, how it is going to react."