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Hurst: Proud, Honoured and Very Excited About Challenge Ahead
Tuesday, 12th Jun 2018 14:03

New Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst – only the club’s 16th in the 82 years since they turned professional – was officially unveiled at a press conference earlier today.

Hurst, 43, left Shrewsbury last month to take over from Mick McCarthy, whose five and a half year reign ended in April, and was making his first visit to Portman Road since landing the job.

“I am very proud, very honoured and also very excited about the challenge ahead,” he told a large gathering in the media suite.

Reminded about the Shrews’ extra-time defeat to Rotherham in the League One play-off final just over a fortnight ago, he was asked if things had worked out differently at Wembley whether he would have been at the club today.

He replied: “It would have been a very difficult decision but ultimately I think this football club, with its history and also the potential here, it would have been very difficult to turn this job down.

“I’m very excited about working with the group of players that are here. They had a good season last year, despite a lot of injury problems along the way, and given a bit more luck on that side I’m sure they would have finished higher up the table.

“There is a lot of potential here and I am keen to assess that very quickly, add to it if possible and see what we can achieve.”

Did he see the step-up from League One to the Championship as a big one? “I’ve said for a long time, even when I was in non-league football and certainly once I became a full-time manager, that with the work we do and the professionalism we put in there are not too much changes to be honest,” he said.

“What you do get is a lot more interest but a lot more resources and people to work with. We can complicate the game of football, the approach, very much and I like to strike a balance between what people might deem as old school with a lot of new school in there as well.

“I see it as a challenge, of course. I’ve got to earn the players’ respect and they have to earn mine and that of Chris Doig, my assistant who has come along with me as well.

“But in general it will be a very similar approach, which I guess is what’s got me to this point, to have such a great opportunity.”

Town are currently the Championship’s longest-serving club after relegation from the top flight in 2002 and several managers have been unable to turn the tide. Can Hurst be the one to get them out of the second tier?

He smiled: “It depends which way you mean. No, of course I believe we can do it. Every time you start a new season you’re hopeful that you can be fighting for promotion. I did see something where certain people (the bookmakers) have got us towards the other end and I take no notice of that.

“I had that at my last club and we certainly managed to show that wasn’t the case. We’ll approach it with optimism but what I’ve said already is that I’m not going to come here and make false promises that I can’t keep.

“What I can assure people is that we’ll do everything in our power – and demand the same from the players – to give the fans a team that they can be proud of, one that they can see giving everything to the shirt. Who knows where it can take you?

“It’s a very competitive league but at the same time this club has a very good history and we’d love to create our own piece of history moving forward.”

Like his predecessor, Hurst is a Yorkshireman, but does he share any similarities with the man he has replaced? He said: “Let’s put it this way – Mick was here a long time and did very well for this football club. There was obviously a change made but I have total respect for him.

“I think we have some similarities without knowing Mick personally, although I have spoken to him a few times, but naturally there are going to be things that are different as well. Every manager is different. I think we share values in terms of the work ethic.

“I’ve had nothing but good feedback in terms of the squad’s character, which doesn’t surprise me guessing what Mick would be like, so I’m grateful for the squad that’s been left behind.

“Along the way there will be changes but they will be done in time and I want people to have the opportunity to impress first and foremost.”

Hurst was also reminded of Town’s failure to win an East Anglian derby clash with Norwich since 2009 and asked if he could do something about that miserable run.

He responded: “I’d like to think so. I was watching one of the games back and they were talking about how long it had been and when the fixtures come out we’ll be looking forward to those games.”

Photo: TWTD

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StringerBell added 14:07 - Jun 12
Thought he came across excellently - intelligent and articulate and seems to already know what is needed (WINGERS - at last!)
Everyone will get a chance to impress but he made it clear that if someone doesn't pull their weight or has no end product they'll be gone - what a refreshing change from the previous manager and his proper blokes who played no matter what.
Impressive stuff - good luck Paul and COYB.

OwainG1992 added 14:10 - Jun 12
Really pleased with the way Hurst has come across here. Also regarding Mick isn't it nice that he has left the club in a much better state than the one he came into. Genuine excitement for this season and the future here.

dford7 added 14:11 - Jun 12
Very positive start, and he seems likeable. He knows a lot about the club's (or fan's) likes and dislikes and seems to want to acknowledge that and work on it rather than belligerently work against it.

not_a_witty_name added 14:14 - Jun 12
Sounds promising. Good luck Paul.

jdtractor96 added 14:16 - Jun 12
Hopefully very exciting times ahead everyone. We are an 'old school' club who give their managers time with very limited resources (forgetting Keane) - I absolutely love it and could not be prouder to be an ITFC supporter. I do not want to be seeing any negative comments on TWTD for the foreseeable future.

RoyalAscotBlue added 14:17 - Jun 12
I like him a lot. Not afraid to have a laugh at himself and obviously believes that the fans are important. Also, he said that he likes his team to pass the ball... which will make a nice change.

StokeHigh97 added 14:18 - Jun 12
In any job! Making a first impression is a lasting impression & Paul Hurst smashed it: very engaging very witty, well spoken & answered all the medias question confidently: saying the squad has a inbalance was 100% (no natural wingers) nice to see through watching games from last season he has already identified that: I like the sound of his playing style, being on the front foot & high pressing style: look forward to seeing who he signs first we all know his budget will be bottom half but plenty of lower league gems out there just wanting a opportunity plus Premier league loans: let's all support Paul & his team but I'm sure certain people here will find something to complain about which is sad: Paul Hurst Barmy Army COYB!!

Carberry added 14:18 - Jun 12
Seems very clear about his strategy and how players will to fit into it.
An impressive start

itsonlyme added 14:28 - Jun 12
Excellent first interview. Good luck Paul and Chris. Sounds like they want to play football but also defend properly and press the opposition - sounds like a good recipe and will be welcomed by the supporters.

runningout added 14:30 - Jun 12
Seems like a nice man ;-)

Cakeman added 14:31 - Jun 12
What an absolute breath of fresh air. I thought Paul Hurst came across extremely well.
One thing for sure is that he will get the full and patient backing of the supporters and his words today have gone a very long way with uniting supporters and club once more. Long may it continue.

12th_Man added 14:32 - Jun 12
Paul Hurst's Barmy Army

Tractorboy1985 added 14:34 - Jun 12
To Herman’s hermits (I’m into something good)
Woke up this morning feeling fine,
Got Ipswich Town on my mind,
Paul Hurst has got us playing... the way Ipswich should.. oh yeeeaaahhh,
Something tells me I’m into something good!!
Let’s all get behind this new era.. all the best Paul and Chris

BaddowBlue1 added 14:36 - Jun 12
Came over very well and lets face it sitting in front of the Press on your first day when you haven't seen everything must be a bit scary to say the least. Has already identified areas we need strengthening already just needs to have the backing of ME with his first actions in the transfer market. Being realistic he isn't going to have it running like a well oiled machine for at least 10 games if not more, we must be patient. McCarthy saved us from relegation and stabilised the club while the kids started to come through the production line (although probably stayed on a season too long). This has given PH a far better springboard that most of our previous managers so the omens are good. COYB

eMeM added 14:36 - Jun 12
Isn't he too old to become a player manager? Don't like this weird English custom of new manager taking photos with team's t-shirt.

jabberjackson added 14:43 - Jun 12
An honest and impressive 'presser'
I sensed a lot of goodwill in the room, so the first battle is going well
We all seem to pretty united in supporting the appointment, and we are realistic enough to know not to expect instant and consistent results (although I wouldn't be surprised)
He seems to suggest he has a few transfer targets, which suggests ME has at least given him a modest budget
Don't know why, but this time it feels different
And all in a very good way!

ChrisR added 14:44 - Jun 12
Sounds just fine , but surely the new manager should live in the area ( PJ and MM did not ) , difficult with young family , and uncertain contract length , but cant be good to have the Manager going home 100s of miles every week or so ?

bluearmy78 added 14:49 - Jun 12
A great first interview from what sounds a very grounded man. Welcome aboard Paul, I think there are good times ahead for Ipswich Town, COYB!!

Cakeman added 14:53 - Jun 12
ChrisR, forgive me if I misheard but Paul Hurst said he would be moving into the area but he wasn’t sure at this stage whether or not his family will follow just yet owing to his children’s schooling.

howdonblue added 14:53 - Jun 12
Welcome Paul

BlueandTruesince82 added 15:00 - Jun 12
I dont belive it!!!!!!

The happy clapper brigade are hailing this guy as the new saviour before his team has even kicked a ball in anger, can we please keep the hooligan like whooping until we have won something Let's rember what happened with the last Yorkshireman before start celebrating like the Germans after penalties.

Frankly those of us who are REALISTS will reserve our judgment until the end of the season as we want to see if we play like Barcelona, go unbeaten and get a place in Europe despite not being able to qualify and then we will see.

Frankly unless these completely unrealistic targets are hit I shall regard the season as a failure. That is the view of the realist without the warping vision of blue tinted glasses.

As a realist these are my expectations and though I intend to chastise you all about dreaming of such things (you must learn to demand them but expect failure instead) I absolutely insist on these things but my expectation is to be clear zero, thus allowing me to be both right and wrong in all eventualities thank you very much.

I don't belive it, I don't believe it, I don't believe it

Northstandveteran added 15:04 - Jun 12
Is that photo more to your liking @Bobble?

Hope he has an all over tan to match his face.


blueboy1981 added 15:28 - Jun 12
BlueandTruesince82 ........ maybe it's time you saw the Doctor - before you blow a gasket.

Keeping everything in perspective, anything mid table or above will be a huge success for Hurst in his first season.
The coming season has to be an improvement on previous seasons whatever - not my first choice of Manager, but I feel he may just be up to the job, I hope he is.

Comes across very well - I wish him much success with our Club.

midastouch added 15:30 - Jun 12
Liked what he had to say overall. Had never even heard Paul talk till now so was keen to hear what he had to say. And just like when I finally heard Marcus Evans have his say I was pleasantly surprised. Hoping this positivity bodes well for the season ahead. I'm not expecting miracles on the tight budget he's going to be given to work with but I would say anything above mid table in his first season on a small budget would be respectable. Of course I'm hoping he can pull out all the stops and do better than that but in fairness to Paul we probably need to remain more realistic. Good luck Paul, hope you can restore the pride back into Ipswich as there hasn't been as much to shout about in the last however many season as we'd prefer!

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 15:33 - Jun 12
Lots of high points from this. I like he's addressing the devastating injury issues we've been having.

I like that he calls Chris "not a yes man". Good, we don't need yes men.

Excited for next season. I'm liking the guy so far!

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