Hurst Wants More Players to Stake a Claim
Saturday, 21st Jul 2018 18:49 by Robert Dunford
Manager Paul Hurst wants more Ipswich players to force their way into his plans, after his side beat National League Barnet 1-0.
Victory at the Hive through a second half Myles Kenlock strike was the second win with a clean sheet in four days.
A trip to Milton Keynes on Tuesday is next, but Hurst wants a selection headache by the time his side faces Blackburn in a fortnight.
“Overall, I’d like to see one or two more lads stake a claim. They’ve done OK but I’m looking for a little bit more than that, to really give me the nudge,” he said.
“If I did pick a team and they’re not in it I don’t think they can feel justified in coming to see me and say that they should be playing. There’s certainly more to come.
“The players know what is expected of them, they’ve obviously got little bits of information but not too much. We can’t walk them through every bit of the game.
“Whether it’s Portman Road or New York Stadium, there will be 20,000 at some of those games and we can’t get our message across to the far side, they’re not going to hear that.
“So they’ve got to take certain things on board, but some bits will get nailed down more and more as we get closer.
“And others things you do have to work out. We’re not in a game like American Football where we can stop the game and go through everything.
“I’m still learning about them, and looking at the shape – are we quite getting the messages across? Sometimes yes, sometimes perhaps no. Certain individuals seem to get it more than others, and that’s what pre-season is about.”
The game at the Hive was warm, and was at times quite laboured in front of 922 spectators, but Hurst believed the fixture missed the intensity of a Championship clash.
“It was on a much better surface and it felt more like a proper game,” he added. “I’ll be glad when the season is upon us because three points aren’t at stake, and there are spells in friendlies where it can be a little bit pedestrian – it’s not as high tempo as you are going to see in a competitive league game.
“But it was 90 minutes for some of the lads – not all – and we made quite a few changes there.”
Although Tristan Nydam spent time down on the ground following a clash in the middle, Ipswich left north London without too many scrapes, although Flynn Downes was withdrawn with a bang on the shin.
“It has made his foot go numb. But it’s not on the bone and so we’re not too concerned with that, it’s maybe caught a nerve or something,” said Hurst.
“Tristan took a bit of a heavy one so he’s packed up with ice but we know there’s another quick turnaround for Tuesday against MK.
“Again, it’s another really good stadium, a nice pitch and we’re looking forward to going there.”
Full-back Jonas Knudsen will be back with the squad on Monday having been given time away after the World Cup, while Joe Garner is expected back in training the same day after picking up a knee problem.
“Jonas gives us another defender. He’s a left-back and can play centre-back, in a three or dare I say as a two at the minute. That’s something we can look at,” he added.
“That’s another body, and maybe Garns is back training with us, a couple of other lads who are joining in but won’t be ready for Tuesday certainly.”
Hurst also gave updates on other injuries to the squad, that have so far played no part in the pre-season fixtures.
“Tom Adeyemi’s not training yet [having been sidelined with sore achilles tendons], Emyr Huws is working hard but isn’t ready to go back in yet. He’s joined in some of the very light stuff early in the session,” Hurst revealed.
“Teddy Bishop and Danny Rowe are due back in training tomorrow [Sunday] but not fully, but can take some part in the session. Garns is due to train on Monday, so that’s a positive. “
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