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Hurst "Surprised By One or Two Things" That Are "Nowhere Near Good Enough"
Tuesday, 17th Jul 2018 06:00

New Blues boss Paul Hurst admits he’s been “surprised by one or two things” since taking over at Portman Road, which he believes are “nowhere near good enough” for him and his staff. The Town manager says the sale of central defender Adam Webster - who he doesn’t expect to be the last departure during this window - has allowed him to put his mark on a squad which he believes needs freshening up.

Hurst hadn’t anticipated Webster’s departure for Bristol City late last month, in a deal worth an initial £3.5 million, but confirmed that he had the final say in whether the move went ahead.

“Yes I did,” he said speaking after Saturday’s 2-0 friendly defeat at Braintree. “I wouldn’t have taken the job on if I felt that I wasn’t going to be making the decisions.

“I probably did expect to have him here. I wouldn’t have expected the interest coming so early.

“But overall I was more than happy to agree to that sale and to try and use that money to strengthen the squad overall.”

He says the Webster cash allows him the freedom to tweak the Town squad more than might otherwise have been the case.

“Yes, and I think it’s needed,” he added. “And again, I think I’m still very conscious and people might say I don’t need to keep saying it, but this isn’t a criticism of anything before me, this is about me wanting to put my stamp on it.

“And maybe we want to play a little bit of a different way, but I guarantee it wouldn’t matter who is manager, it all comes down to you wanting to win games of football.

“I think that the group needs probably some help, it needs freshening up and I’m sure there’ll be some more casualties as we move forward because, for me, people talk about standards and what they expect.

“We’ve been surprised by one or two things, shall we say, that are nowhere near good enough for us and we want to get people in that we feel are and can do the jobs and the roles that we would expect.”

Explaining what he means further, he added: “I’ve been told that some people are good players, that some people are very promising and I’d have to disagree on some of them.

“I’m not going to name names. Fitness-wise I’ve said from the start, I expected that we wouldn’t be able to perform the pre-season that we would like to have had and certainly if I’d stayed at my previous club that we would have gone through.

“But in fairness, in general, the lads have worked very hard but we’ve had to cut it back slightly because I think we would have broken them and maybe [they would have] suffered injuries more than it would have benefited.

“We’ve had to be a little bit cautious on a couple of occasions but in general, if you asked them, I think they’d be surprised to hear that because they’ll say they’ve worked extremely hard.

“[We’ve taken the edge off it] slightly, not altogether, but slightly. But it’s new and they have shown a good attitude to that, I have to say.

“But ultimately you have to deliver when it’s game day and, like I said, yes, we’ll be fresher [once the season proper gets under way], but they’ve got to do a lot better than they [did at Braintree].”

Regarding new signing Jordan Roberts, who will face his old club Crawley in this evening’s friendly at East Grinstead, Hurst says he primarily views him as a winger rather than a striker, despite starting him up front at Cressing Road.

“No, that’s where we’re at at the minute. He has played there, we just thought we’d have a look at him,” he said.

“He gives us a little bit of pace up there at times. But I would have preferred to have played him wide really.

“We switched it just before the end with Freddie Sears going down the middle. I’ll have to look at that moving forward, whether we give it another look or put him back out wide where he was really brought in to play.

“But at the minute we haven’t got too many options, in all honesty. We’ll have to keep looking at what we have got and try and figure out the best way of people getting the minutes and hopefully playing in positions that we want them to.”

Meanwhile, Town look set to confirm the signing of Peterborough United winger Gwion Edwards at some point today.

The 25-year-old was spotted being photographed in a Blues shirt at Portman Road last night with the image subsequently circulating widely on social media. Club photocalls routinely take place before deals are finalised.

Former Wales U21 international Edwards will join Town for a fee of £700,000 which was agreed at the end of last week.

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bigolconnor added 06:09 - Jul 17
I wouldn’t like to be one of the promising youngsters wondering if it was me that was no way near good enough.

fallyblue added 06:11 - Jul 17
Wow it doesn’t look like he is going to be taking any prisoners. Am a bit concerned when he says more will be leaving especially as he has previously said there has been interest in Waghorn.

Coastalblue added 06:14 - Jul 17
Sounds like some people are getting a rude awakening, comfy positions are disapearing.

trncbluearmy added 06:14 - Jul 17
Good for him,an end to the comfort zones I think,he says what we have all known for a long time,and has the courage to do something about it.


spanishblue added 06:14 - Jul 17
Probably one or two proper blokes have been shot down in flames,still believe he's had the job for a long time now,and was behind not giving new contracts to some people,oh to be a fly on the wall,big stick and carrot,welcome to the new regime boys now then I know a really good Irish keeper with high standards go get Shane back he's a proper bloke what a waste the dark lord has much to answer for.

Suffolk_n_Good added 06:25 - Jul 17
Refreshing to hear our manager expecting certain levels of performance, rather than allowing players to coast through pre season, standards are on the up!!

stormypetrel added 06:26 - Jul 17
They say that you break a person down into the basic constituents and then build that individual (and team) back up in the model that you seek to attain for the job you want them to do.

In some circumstances this has a high failure drop out rate.

One element of what McCarthy undisputedly achieved during his tenure was team spirit and a togetherness within the club. The loyalty from itfc employees all is testament to this fact.

Perhaps Hurst and Doig have come up against this and this is what they are breaking down..”stamping their way”.

Change for any employee is difficult under a new management team. It has to be managed very well with articulacy, tact and to a clear plan. I hope Hurst has that plan and he is effective and efficient in carrying it out.

I accept the media is a tool in that change process and he could be using it for his own ends, comms etc but reading this makes one take a sharp intake of breath and wonder what is next.

Aucto Splendore Resurgo.

bigolconnor added 06:28 - Jul 17
I’m just thinking who is it out of Nydam, Downes, Folami, Kenlock etc?

He has talked about Wolfenden and Dozzell in reasonably good terms, so maybe not them. And who out of the senior squad aren’t pulling their weight? From the training camp photos and vids it looked as though Skuse and Garner were slightly disinterested. But, maybe Ward or Sears. Perhaps our great leader Chambers is fit enough, but is he good enough?

It’s a bit like watching a TV show when you know someone is going to get killed off and you just hope it isn’t going to be one o your favourites. Which for me would be Bart (safe), Dozzell, Downes or Waghorn. Any of the others and I might not be that bothered.

chopra777 added 06:32 - Jul 17
Expect us to be bottom of the league, it is going to take time to sort out MM's old squad and get rid of the old wood. I hope PH will create a Bobby Robson team we can be proud of. Just look at the England side not much hope to begin with; but we now have a future.


CalmoreBlue added 06:37 - Jul 17
I’m enjoying this already from Hurst and he’s certainly not going to be concerned about reaching his target as Town manager, whatever that may. He’s coming across as a very driven focused manager and this I suspect is a complete reversal of the previous Two in charge.
We’re in for an exciting future under Hurst and Doig but there’s undoubtedly going to be some big casualties along the way.
“Be careful what you wish for”?
No chance bring it on.

Len_Brennan added 06:38 - Jul 17
Hurst has spoken positively about Tristan Nydam & Andre Dozzell, so they seem safe. Bart obviously. He has also said that he want to keep Waghorn, not just for his goals & assists, but also he work ethic, so unless an offer he can't refuse comes in he won't be going anywhere. Outside of that, it seems like it's all up for grabs.
Maybe it's a shot across the bows to let the players know what's expected, but clearly he's looking to show a few the door & not just to generate more cash.
Certainly the options up front, Drinan perhaps, don't appear to have impressed him from what he says here.
I'm all for high standards & an end to comfort zone squad players, so happy enough to read this story.

Suffolkboy added 06:46 - Jul 17
Stormy petrel makes points very very well worth supporting ; I wonder if PH has or is finding the job of man management somewhat problematic at this higher level ?
I've not a thing against his stature , and of course he's a Yorkshireman who likes to be pretty uncomplicated in his articulation ,BUT something is quite amiss here !
There's been absolutely no doubting the team spirit and loyalty to date ,and we've mostly felt that some money spent on key additions would have made quite a difference !
PH is somewhat clumsily expressing frustration ,and like Stormypetrel I'm not too certain that either this is the way to do it ,or whether we're starting to see another ' junior ' RK, who'd not a clue about lots of things , including man management etc !
We do not have funds to splash around willy nilly, and I think PH and his cohort need to steady down a bit for a while ,stand back, allow the perspectives to be more calmly assessed AND refrain from over reliance on bleating to the media !
I shall hope for better ; AND to others, please stop looking back ,complaining about last season and continuing the pointless victimisation of MM !
Positivity is what we need along with unqualified support for ITFC !
Up the Blues !

GTRKing added 06:49 - Jul 17
Hurst has assessed the squad...

He has decided who he wants to keep & who is going etc

The few who will go will probably be Garner (To Bolton) Maybe sears & few of the youngsters ...

So hopefully this will be a good season. I feel more players will come in soon

Dog added 07:02 - Jul 17
This bloke is starting to wind me up.

All this should have stayed behind closed doors. It did not need to be said in an interview. The only two people who could have told him they were decent players are klug and nash as they ran the team following MM departure. So is he also having a pop at them - it looks like it.

I suggest to Mr Hurst to just manage his team. If he does not rate a player then replace and ship him out.

Not impressed with this at all. Typical yorkshireman .

lightingblue added 07:07 - Jul 17
Personally I find this a bit of a worry. Hurst has only been in the job for a couple of weeks and it looks as though he possibly upsetting the apple cart. I’ve always been told that when you start a new job, spend a bit of time to get your feet under the table. I don’t have a problem with getting rid of staff who are a free wheeling. To achieve this you have this in a meeting as part of a group exercise and mention about these overall standards. Point is that you can’t come in crash bang whollop. You end up upsetting your good staff as well. At times you need to take a step back and take a bit more of a quieter look at the bigger picture. Coming out spouting this that and the other gets people’s backs up. With that in mind it can lead to a lose lose situation.

StokeHigh97 added 07:08 - Jul 17
Everything about Paul hurst has been impressive, he talks well & knows what he wants & is not afraid to say it: he is never going to mention the players not good enough in the media but privately which is right! It sounds like there will be more changes than I thought in & out before the window shuts: what does amaze me so far Hurst seems to be more in control of what is happening whether it's players in or out, upgrading things at the training ground! It looks like he will push & ask more questions of Evans than McCarthy did: maybe Evans needed it as well as he has been far more vocal this summer than during McCarthy's reign: it's going to be a busy 3 weeks before Blackburn:

Benters2 added 07:10 - Jul 17
Dog,i guess you would rather another season of spin and bolox from Mick Mac? Proper blokes,Skuse is 'Premier League'etc.... be careful what you wish for.

christiand added 07:20 - Jul 17
Perhaps also PH comments are there to motivate the players? After all, he hasn't mentioned names. If it was me, I'd be making sure that those comments weren't aimed at me and giving that bit extra to prove my worth. It could just be a clever motivational approach to give all the players a gentle reminder you're not playing the MM way now, I expect more from you - now show me!

itfc94 added 07:25 - Jul 17
I agree, PH. Things haven’t been good enough for years!

Hopefully, a sign that the MM favourites are under a bit pressure, rather than the younger lads. It’s clear we’ve needed better quality players all round the pitch for some time.


muccletonjoe added 07:27 - Jul 17
We all have our ideas as to who he is referring too. We will await confirmation.

howdonblue added 07:29 - Jul 17
Well this squad needed a kick up the arse and seems like their getting it !
And quite frankly good job as it will help get us going the right way again after the ludicrous state of affairs of the end of the Mcarthy regime .

It amazes me how people stuck up for Mcarthy at the end of his tenure .

PortmanTerrorist added 07:30 - Jul 17
Not fit enough, not good enough, not really a surprise is it. On the quality front this is a manager coming from a lower league being disappointed. As is often said you cannot improve without acknowledging your issues, so good on you PH, and thank you for coming out and being straight with supporters and players. No hiding place any more, no jobs for the boys, no disconnect wit supporters.

Appreciate this might take time, but with interviews like this, in PH i really do trust.

Currie10 added 07:32 - Jul 17
Okay this is either going to be a roaring success, with the players buying into his thought process.

Or if he's going to be so blunt to the media, many are going to switch off and put in minimal effort getting him the sack.

Before I get 200 down arrows because I've balanced my thoughts - we clearly needed change, and Hurst / or Bristol Rovers Clark were the two I wanted.

However that's ultimately how it is. Strong words to the media really can go either way in the camp.

colonel added 07:42 - Jul 17
Well if we want to get out of the Championship then something seriously has to change.

This sounds like a breathe of fresh air after years of frustration, boredom & complacency. A gamble which could go either way, granted, but one we surely have to take unless, of course, you’re happy with the shower we’ve had to endure in ME’s tenure. Even the one so-called ‘good’ year wasn’t much to write home about and let’s face it our more recent derby & cup records are a disgrace.

I welcome the fresh eyes, youthful input & general shake up..... & sometimes you have to be prepared to go back to go forwards. I would rather we try to do this than stagnate to eventually crumble away like a derelict building.

As fans we have a crucial part to play in all this. What’s happened in the past is done, it’s history. Now is the time to bury our differences, pull together & fully get behind the team to do whatever we can to help get this once great club of OURS back on track. This means helping the boys come through when times are tough, picking them up and showing patience when we lose (yes we will lose some games) as well as celebrating together when we do well. In short, a place where our players consistently feel encouraged, confident, courageous and fully supported and the opposition feel like they don’t want to be here.

There were signs of this player/crowd togetherness back end of last season and for most, PR was a much more enjoyable place to be. We all want the same thing don’t we?

Us fans can make a difference.........

guentchev added 07:48 - Jul 17
Certainly not just sitting back and accepting what he sees which has got to be a good thing....

If the players aren't good enough in some areas...they aren't good enough.

Makes me think back to MM and his negative tactics. We tended to try and upset the style of the opposition...rather than imposing a playing style ourselves. We saw plenty of hoofball in those years (not so much the last two)...which is also suggestive that we didn't have players who could pass and break down opposition...

I'm not being negative...just think we all need to be aware that this is some job for Hurst. He probably doesn't want to play that way...and hasn't got the players who can play in the way he wants.

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