New Boss Hurst Looking to Add Wingers to Town Squad
Tuesday, 12th Jun 2018 16:52
New manager Paul Hurst is targeting two wingers as part of his plans to put his own stamp on the side he has inherited from predecessor Mick McCarthy.
Hurst revealed today: “One thing I don’t mind saying publicly is that I don’t think we have, in terms of balance, wingers. I like wide players and I like players to carry the ball up the pitch.
“The only time I played here the lad who got the standing ovation [Jamal Campbell-Ryce] was a winger. Maybe he needed a bit more of an end product etc, but he definitely caught the eye at times and was a good player on his day.
“As fans we like those players because they can get us off our seats and excite people. There has to be an end product and I had a couple of lads last season [Alex Rodman and Shaun Whalley] who, in terms of goals scored and assists, contributed to the team.
“They also did the other bits and there was clear evidence that they were contributing. There’s no point in beating three players and then kicking it behind the goal.
“You might get a little round of applause but if you keep doing that it will soon stop. That’s an area where I’m keen to bring a couple of players in.”
Hurst has already appointed a new fitness coach in Nathan Winder and added: “I’m very pleased to welcome Nathan, who has worked at Barnsley and Leeds. He comes very highly recommended by Paul Heckingbottom [who managed both clubs last season].
“He’s another Yorkshireman but we’re not trying to take over the area, it’s just important that you click with people. Speaking to him in terms of how he works, he is very much aligned to what we did last season and what we’ll be looking to introduce here.”
Town also need a goalkeeping coach following Malcolm Webster’s decision to retire at the end of last season but Hurst revealed that Darren Smith will be working with the keepers in pre-season and could land the role on a longer-term basis.
Meanwhile, Hurst outlined to supporters his preferred style of play, adding: “You speak to people and depending what roles they are in they talk about it being about more than just winning. I’m not going to sit here and lie to anyone – I like winnings games of football because that brings you success.
“There are different ways of winning and we like to try to pass the ball whenever possible and we like to press. I’m bored with watching games on TV where players have the ball and no one is willing to go and press them. They’ve got so much time on it – it’s like watching a game of chess. If I wanted to play chess that’s what I’d do.
“I want to play football, I want it to be high energy and I want it to be exciting wherever possible. What I would say is that there are some very good teams in this league and I’m sure we will have days where they will have good spells of possession and we can’t get close to them.
‘It might need a slightly different approach but we’ll be positive and win, lose or draw I want to come off knowing that the players have given me and the fans everything. If we do that I think we can all live with a little bit of disappointment a little bit easier. But hopefully we’ll have a lot of good days.”
Hurst also addressed the issue of the club’s academy and efforts to maximise its potential by increasing the number of graduates who make it through to the senior squad. He said: “In terms of blooding youngsters and the production line I think that’s still happening to a degree.
‘Whether or not they have quite established themselves, or made the club lots of money, might be slightly different.
“There are still a lot of young players who have come through here. In terms of the link between first team and academy we’re all on the same side. I don’t understand why there wouldn’t be a close link.
‘I like to wander around the training ground and have a look at all the teams and everyone who is working there. I want everyone to feel part of this football club and, if they want to refer to it that way, be part of my team.
“I’m told there are a lot of players who have come through and others who were given debuts towards the end of the season.
‘What I would say is this – they’ve got to be good enough. I haven’t made any promises that we’re going to play X amount of players just so it looks good because I’ll be gone before anyone else. They’ve got to prove they are good enough and at the same time, if I believe they are good enough, age won’t be an issue.
“It’s the same at the other end if some of the older lads are worried. The way players look after themselves has changed and if they are performing their careers can be prolonged. There is a lot of talk about younger players but you have to have a balance in my opinion and that’s what I will be looking for.”
Hurst confirmed everyone would start afresh when the players return for pre-season training later this month and added: “People respond to different managers, different voices, a different formation. While I have done my research and I’ve watched quite a lot of games there’s still part of me not drawing a line or saying ‘I’m not working with him’ or ‘he’s not good enough’.
“Let’s give them a little bit of an opportunity. If [assistant manager] Chris [Doig] and I very quickly see a similar trend happening that we don’t like, that player will either move on or have to attempt to change very quickly to improve and show he can be part of our plans moving forward.”
Photo: Action Images
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