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Milne: We've Got the Top Manager in His Age Group
Wednesday, 30th May 2018 10:43

MD Ian Milne believes Town have appointed “the top manager in his age group”, Paul Hurst having been confirmed as the Blues’ new boss earlier this morning.

Former Shrewsbury manager Hurst, 43, has joined Town on a three-year deal alongside Chris Doig, 37, his deputy at the the Montgomery Waters Meadow and also previously at Grimsby.

“We’re very pleased to announce that Paul Hurst is going to join us with his assistant manager Chris Doig. We’re very excited,” Milne told BBC Radio Suffolk.

The appointment of Hurst ends a two-month search for a new Town manager, it having been confirmed that Mick McCarthy would be moving on at the end of the season in late March, although the former boss ultimately departed with four games of the campaign still remaining.

Milne, who was involved in the recruitment process as was academy manager Lee O’Neill, says owner Marcus Evans spoke to figures throughout the game as he looked for his new boss.

As TWTD reported in April, the club received around 100 applications, while agents were among those asked for their thoughts regarding potential new bosses, as were experienced bosses.

Ex-Tottenham manager David Pleat is known to be among those with whom Evans liaises, while we understand former Scotland manager Craig Levein was another of those he spoke to during the process

Jack Ross, who was on Levein's staff at Hearts early in his coaching career, was the leading contender to emerge from the interviews until he opted to move from St Mirren to Sunderland.

Ross was interviewed twice by Evans, while TWTD revealed that former England internationals Frank Lampard, Scott Parker and Tim Sherwood also held talks, while ex-Dutch international Jaap Stam is also believed to met with the Town owner.

“It’s after a very extensive search by Marcus,” Milne added. “He’s discussed with a number of professionals in the game, managers and what have you, and has had a number of important meetings with likely candidates and it was worth the search.

“And with Paul and Chris we’ve got a couple of young guys, who have got the experience, they’ve done very well to get in the League One play-offs, and he’s been Manager of the Month a number of times. I think he’s going to be fantastic joining us and giving us a new young face at the top of the football management.”

Reflecting further on the search, Milne said: “There were a lot of names down there. I would say, and talking to Marcus, there were probably five or six who are excellent potential candidates but Paul really was Marcus’s first choice after the search.

“And, as I say, the important thing is that he took the opinions of the football managers and the professional people he knows in the game, so it wasn’t just a Marcus Evans decision and he’s going to be a very much younger face for the club.”

Milne says the appointment was made with Town’s traditions in mind: “We’ve been looking to build the club’s history of playing an attractive, winning style of football, developing youth through our academy and getting the most out of every player we have here.

“Hopefully Paul will be part of meeting those objectives with his detailed knowledge of the English leagues and his experience.

“I think it was also very important to find somebody who is practical, who has got a good understanding and knowledge of the English game because there are 90-odd clubs and there’s a lot to take on board.

“He’s done his research over the years, who the players are, the clubs and all the rest of it. We’re very pleased that Paul has joined us.”

Despite today’s announcement, there will be no press conference for a few weeks with Hurst currently away on holiday in Dubai.

“There will be an unveiling at some point,” Milne continued. “He’s currently on holiday and I think he said he comes back for a coaching course [LMA Football Diploma] and should be with us around June 18th, that’s being nailed down at the moment.”

Regarding money to strengthen the squad, the Blues chief added: “I think we’ve got a very good squad anyway, vast amounts of money hasn’t done Aston Villa, Middlesbrough etc much better with their parachute payments.

“I think really it is [down to] the experience of the scouting team, and Dave Bowman is going to continue with us, and with Paul’s experience we will build the team that way.

“And yes, if there’s funds needed there’ll be a discussion between Paul and Marcus and that will come to pass. But I think we all agree, we have a very good squad.”

Given his experience working in the lower leagues, Milne says Hurst may well be aware of players he believes can step up to Championship level.

“I think that’s very much hoped for and I think he’s got that broad experience and I know that Marcus and Paul have got on very well in the conversations they’ve had thus far,” he said.

“And also they’ve had similar reports from other people who know Paul and Chris very well have come through to Marcus.”

He added: “I think we’ve got the top manager in his age group and with the experience he’s got. I think it has been out there with the fans and the feedback we’ve got so far has been very enthusiastic. I think it’s plus-plus-plus here.”

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midastouch added 10:51 - May 30
So Paul isn't going to be given much in the way of funds then. Going to make it that much tougher for him. Money isn't always the be all and end all in football but it can still often help to be able to make at least 1 or 2 quality signings.

homer_123 added 10:55 - May 30

No, the Club and Marcus made that patently clear a long time ago. Any new incumbent would be working under the same financial constraints as Mick was.

bluearmy78 added 10:58 - May 30
He won’t be given millions but I’m sure he’ll get a few quid, getting in a few of his Shrewsbury lads (Nolan & Nsiala) will do nicely! COYB

midastouch added 10:59 - May 30
@ homer
I realise the funds are tight, but surely if there is a bargain to be had like Waghorn it's worth the investment? Sometimes you can't always get the necessary standard from the academy. I'd always try the academy players first and give them a fair chance but say we lost Waghorn to injury and none of the other options were scoring and we were badly dropping down the league through lack of goals. Would the club not think it worth backing Paul to buy a new striker rather than greatly increasing our odds of relegation by doing nothing?

StringerBell added 11:00 - May 30
I think we all know that the budget is tight and that won't change.
However, as with McCarthy, if good investments at reasonable prices are discovered - a la Huws, Waghorn, Garner - then I think players of this quality will be brought in to bolster the squad and raise the overall quality.
It's really encouraging that we now have a manager who has a proven track record of discovering these gems and developing them.
Money isn't a panacea - look at Keane and Jewell.......

BrightonBlue added 11:03 - May 30
Milne catchphrase bingo:
"...and what have you...".
"as i say"
"talking to Marcus".
"i think.... i think... i think"

They are all there.

Top appointment in Hurst though. Onwards and upwards.

BlueTractorBoy added 11:07 - May 30
Not the best manager in his age group (Howe) but certainly the best appointment we could make, will do well with knowledge of league one to recruit from and hasn't taken a step back in his career thus far.

floridaboy added 11:09 - May 30
The only one who could and it a big could leave is Bart and if that happens the club will move on and the new boss will get in a keeper he likes and knows ie Henderson.

Time for some fans to lose the obsession with Bart. If he can get a move to bench warm in the premier league then good luck to him but if he wants to play regular games then the choice is simple. STAY!

roytheboy added 11:17 - May 30
Looking forward with optimism to seeing some good football this season.

TR11BLU added 11:19 - May 30
Tried to give you 2 'ups' their @floridaboy

Nail on the head, he is good, v good, but replaceable if he wants to benchwarm. If he truly wants to play for his country, his current selection position is proof he is at the right club.

Jonnosdreadlocks added 11:28 - May 30
It appears trendy to appoint 'young, relatively in experienced' managers. Personally, id have gone for Burley but good luck to Hurst, its nice to have an English manager who has got some promotions albeit a lower league level. He is probably a cheap option too but as long as we play a decent style of football, not only play his mates, takes cup competitions seriously and reconnects with the fans, he will do alright

timspencero added 11:29 - May 30
Good, I hope Hurst starts his homework asap and gets to grips with our squad and what he'll need to improve it.

Creativity is almost a certainty for the recruitment list.

All this talk of knowledge of lower leagues by the club makes it almost certain that Evans wants to bolster the squad from the lower levels.

Really hope our quality players, the likes of Waggy and Bialkowski, are on board

BobbyBell added 11:47 - May 30
Maybe now we will let others worry about us and how we play instead of over rating our opponents week in week out.

iaintaylorx added 11:53 - May 30
Does anyone think Milne was told about this, or did he only just found out last night?

rollercoastertown added 12:00 - May 30
A day of reflection...for the first time the Town manager is younger than me!!!

bristol_tractor added 12:05 - May 30
He's done brilliantly already. According to Sporting Life we're already promoted!

runningout added 12:12 - May 30
Honestly have no idea what Milne knows about football. Give us a clue... Our squad needs changing more than those that be thinks

homer_123 added 12:16 - May 30

That's the point, Mick had 'limited' funds - this won't change, in short, the financial landscape remains the same as when Mick was in charge. You won't see us shelling out millions. A few hundred K here and there for the likes of Waghorn or Huws, that will be it.

Mark added 12:40 - May 30
I think we have got the top man in his age group too. I also liked Ross, but Hurst has the better CV with success at more than one club. Brilliant!

Palestine added 13:08 - May 30
Poor bloke. It really sounds like Milne doesn't have a clue what he's talking about..!

"There are 90-odd clubs..." Er, so what?

Happy with Hurst! We got our man, and some people on here owe ME an apology (from when they were crying after we lost Ross.....!

bigolconnor added 13:59 - May 30
This guy is a success so far in his career if we’d of got basically any other manager their appointment by ME would have been in part down to their most recent failure as opposed to their recent success.

tractorintheloft added 14:07 - May 30
Pleased with appointment but I think Eddie Howe might have something to say regarding “I think we’ve got the top manager in his age group"

Bergholtblue added 14:26 - May 30
"Milne, who was very much involved in the recruitment process".....

Was he?

"It’s after a very extensive search by Marcus,”,,,,,, "and talking to Marcus, there were probably five or six who are excellent potential candidates but Paul really was Marcus’s first choice" ..... "after the search he took the opinions of the football managers and the professional people he knows in the game,"....

Doesn't sound like he had much of an input.

NBVJohn added 14:28 - May 30
I like this appointment - I think he's a good fit. If he can keep players like Dozzell, Adeyemi and Huws consistently fit, and have sufficient influence within the club to get the pitch to a decent enough level for some pass and move football, I have some optimism.

One thing I cannot fathom however, is why it is apparently such a newsworthy thing to have the 'best manager in his age group'. Why is his age group relevant? The best manager we could get, regardless of age was surely our best outcome?

I agree that Eddie Howe might have a different view and Pep Guardiola isn't that much older, but none of this is relevant!

Why not say that we have made an appointment that fits the long term vision of the club, and that we are confident that he can build on previous [quite impressive actually] successes, and leave it at that! Too many words again Mr Milne!

Bergholtblue added 14:31 - May 30
Bristol Tractor..........Love it!

Perhaps that is why ME has no money for players. He's been giving bungs to the EFL!

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