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Hurst: Very Pleased Overall
Saturday, 28th Jul 2018 19:01

Manager Paul Hurst was “very pleased” with the way his team performed in their friendly against West Ham, despite falling to a 2-1 defeat.

“A tough test, one that going into the game I said I thought we needed,” he said. “A different kind of test.

“I wouldn’t say we were dominated, we certainly saw enough of the ball I felt for large parts of the game.

“Towards the end of the game they probably saw it out a little bit easier, I think partly because of the changes we made and a little tweak to the shape which didn’t allow us to get as much pressure on the ball.

“But overall, I’m very pleased. It was nice to walk out and see what a game is like with a crowd in here, and a good crowd at that, especially for a pre-season game. It just whets the appetite for that opener against Blackburn.”

He was happy with the way his players carried out his tactics: “[They did that] very well. At the MK Dons I said we saw real signs, we’d seen glimpses, but there were more today, especially against better quality players, a better team.

“Were they absolutely flat out? I’m not going to say that that was the case. They showed moments where their quality shone through and we had to be organised and on our mettle to read situations.

“Most of the time I felt we did, there were certainly some we’ve highlighted to the players where they’ve got to understand and sense danger a little bit quicker, but overall I thought we tried to press. It’s difficult when you’re playing against good players who are comfortable on the ball.

“But we actually carried a threat today, I thought that was the most threatening we’ve looked strangely in pre-season, which is pleasing when you’re going up against a team.”

Goalscorer Ellis Harrison took his chance with great confidence and his manager felt he impressed on his first Portman Road appearance.

“He did,” Hurst said. “We still want him to improve, we don’t want that to be his best performance in an Ipswich Town shirt, but it’s great for any striker to get off the mark and he did that.

“You’d have to ask him, I’m not sure whether or not he might be disappointed he didn’t score the header or feel he was a little unlucky hitting the post.

“He’s got a little bit of everything to his game that you’d want from a centre forward. He’s not electric, but he’s quick enough, he’s strong, he can win his headers and he’s quite clever on the ball at times.

“That’s a big part of the reason we brought him to the football club. He can be pleased with the start he’s made but we won’t be letting him rest on that goal.

“But he was a focal point for the team and that’s what we need with that sole striker. It’s a tough role but he certainly played it well.”

Andre Dozzell created that goal and caught the eye in the first half but Hurst says there’s plenty more to come from the 19-year-old.

“We probably have a slightly different view and that’s not being too hard on Andre,” he said. “I’m not really judging him at the minute because he’s not fit.

“That might sound strange to you guys when he’s played a lot of minutes there, he played more than I was probably expecting him to.

“But one thing, I don’t want this to be misunderstood or anything, I think Andre Dozzell’s a real talent, I think everyone’s pleased that he’s an Ipswich Town player and on our books, but at this moment in time he’s nowhere near the fitness levels that he would want and we want. That’s not a criticism, that’s just the fact of where he’s at.

“And we need to do all we can to get him up there because there’s bits where he’s shown his quality, the pass for the goal was probably the stand-out moment, and when we get him right we’re going to have a very good player on our hands.”

How close was today’s team to next week’s line-up against Blackburn? “Good question, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to give you a totally honest answer on that because we’re clearly going to look to do some business in the coming week which may influence that starting line-up.

“A couple of lads on the bench would certainly come into consideration, but in all truth, we haven’t probably got too many to select from.

“You look at our midfield today and I thought they all did alright at times, and perhaps well. But that’s a massive ask for the three lads that started in there in a Championship game, or certainly to play consecutively.

“They conducted themselves very well. It was pleasing to get Trevoh out there. I thought in the short space of time he was on he showed some real quality and it was nice. It felt like a new signing going on the pitch even though we’d had a short spell with him.

“We’ll see, I think. As I said, that very much includes myself. I’m not trying to keep you guessing but genuinely, let’s see what this next week brings.”

Photo: TWTD

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jocasaja added 19:10 - Jul 28
Intelligent comments...I think this week could be very interesting. I reckon at least 2 players will be in before next Saturday.

whosroundisitanyway added 19:15 - Jul 28
Love Paul Hurst.
No perfect performances, the next one's got to be better.
If that's not the way forward what is????

parkinshair added 19:36 - Jul 28
For those of you who didn't go today it was a joy to watch. We held our own against a very strong West Ham side. So many times under McCarthy you watched our midfield stand with the ball like a dildo with a flat battery, not sure where to go next. Today was completely different, we passed, moved, ran, and created chances at every opportunity. Hurst is getting our Ipswich back.

Moisha added 19:51 - Jul 28
Didn't go today but a season ticket holder who's pleased to read the change in how we play, and still with a young team on the whole.

Must admit when I saw the West Ham team I was expecting a 3 or 4 goal beating, I know it's only a friendly but the early signs do appear really positive.

Dissboyitfc added 19:58 - Jul 28
So was i very pleased.

inghamspur added 20:06 - Jul 28
All the new signings looked really good. Harrison is a real find.

muhrensleftfoot added 20:30 - Jul 28
Excellent performance. I struggle to think of even 1 hoof ball today. Indeed Woolfenden hit a superb 40 yard crossfield pass to the left wing. He looked mature composed and classy. Who needs Webster. Overall we looked a good match for a multi million pound Premier side. Unusually optimistic for the new season.

Palestine added 20:55 - Jul 28
Lovely to see 4 youngsters in there. Now let's get a few signings in next week and all will be completely salivating for the season ahead!

cat added 21:00 - Jul 28
We are not going to win every game this season, could even lose more than we win, but if Hurst plays in the manner of today's game with a performance, entertainment, proper football and a desire to go at the opposition with intent, then he'll be all good in my book.

pegasus added 22:45 - Jul 28
Correct spelling of 'whet'. Well done, Phil. Not many editors would know that, these days.

Sixto6 added 22:55 - Jul 28
I really enjoyed today, which is not something I've been able to say for a couple of years !
Andre Dozzell is going to be one hell of a player, and Tristan Nydam isn't far behind him.
Pretty much saw more football played this afternoon than in the whole of last season ! The midfield 3 did well against a premier league side. COYB

matt1502 added 22:57 - Jul 28
I really like Hurst. The youngsters did really well. In fact the most "nervous" to play the ball forward were the "established" players. I like Harrison but worried about Edwards as he looks a bit frail for the championship.

northblue added 23:02 - Jul 28
Looking forward to next saturday. Enjoyed watching passing football. Defence playing higher up pitch. West ham looked rattled at times. Also the fans giving their approval by singing PH barmy army. Well done lads

madmouse1959 added 01:06 - Jul 29
OMG how this football club needed someone like Paul Hurst !!! A breathe of fresh air and fresh ideas. Not only has he made the players step it up a notch and believe , he has united the fans with the club .Yes, it is early days but the supporters are far more hopeful. A stark contrast in much of what McCarthy and Conner sadly could not do. With our young players doing well it means all the players now know they have to earn their team place .I hope Paul Hurst tries something different and plays his best team !!!

Swn98 added 07:40 - Jul 29
Worried about some of his comments about Dozzel fear he could be gone in January window.
Looking forward to next saturday will be a good test of where we are at.

runaround added 08:35 - Jul 29
He is certainly saying all the right things & is exactly what this club needs. An ambitious man with fresh ideas who puts his teams out to entertain the fans and to try to win the match rather than trying to not lose it. Time will tell how successful or not Hurst is here but I am looking forward to watching ITFC play again which is something I had stopped doing under the previous regime. Well done to Evans for appointing him now please back him

norfolkbluey added 14:53 - Jul 29
From what my close friend has said ITFC has turned a corner under Paul Hurst. It makes me want to come back and sit on the terraces again. I vowed I would not return until MM left some four years ago. I've no excuses now so it looks like my annual mileage is going to double. Well done Paul for invigorating the fans.

paris_mitchell_in_oz added 16:36 - Jul 29
So impressed with our manager. Good days coming for sure.

Talbs77 added 20:25 - Jul 29
I didn't go yesterday but renewed my season ticket. How brilliant to hear so many positive comments from yesterday's game.

Still think this week is absolutely massive bringing players in. We must look to bring at least 3 in especially if we lose Waghorn.

Love everything Hurst has said been so refreshing but he will know as well as anyone this is football and it's a results business. Let's hope we get off to a flyer.

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