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Hurst: More Youngsters Could Go Out on Loan
Thursday, 2nd Aug 2018 17:55

Manager Paul Hurst says he’ll look at sending one or two more of the development squad out on loan, defender Pat Webber having rejoined Braintree, where he spent time last season, today after Aaron Drinan (pictured) moved to Sutton United and Chris Smith Aldershot.

“The only decision we’ve got to make as a football club whether they’re better served playing for the U23s or are they better going out on loan,” Hurst said.

“Speaking to the coaches here and from what I witnessed in the past going to games, I think a lot of those lads will benefit from going out in men’s football when it matters at 3pm about getting points and not coming off being told, ‘Well done, you took on board what we worked on in training but we’ve lost 5-0’.

“I think that environment’s better for them. Not all of them because we obviously need [an U23s] team and some are at different stages, but there are a few more lads in that group where if loan opportunities come along we’ll seriously look at that.”

Among those to have impressed Hurst since he joined the Blues striker Jack Lankester, 18, and left-back Bailey Clements, the academy duo having been involved with the first team during pre-season friendlies.

“They’ve both done well,” Hurst said. “A couple of other lads as well. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be involved in the first team, they were last weekend, but we’re now getting to the bit that really matters and injuries have cleared up etc.

“But they’re certainly lads that have made the right impression on myself and [assistant manager] Chris [Doig] and the other coaches.

“So they need to keep that going, but their next step realistically is to go and do well in the U23s because they’re a little bit younger than some of the other lads we’ve been speaking about.”

Hurst confirmed that Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg will remain in charge of the U23s, while Adem Atay and Kieron Dyer are taking control of the U18s this season.

Hurst is instilling greater cohesion between those sides and the senior team: “They all know what we’re trying to do, so they’re trying to take on board the messages that go into the first team.

“When possible they’ll be asked to play the same system, the same way. There’ll be little tweaks within that.

“And again, if one week they’ve got no wingers available to them I’m not going to say to them, ‘Well, play that way’, that’s silly.

“It’s the same with the first team. If we get a rash of injuries in one area, I’m not just going to say, ‘That’s the system we’re playing in, we’re never changing from it’.

“They’ve got the licence to what’s right for them at the time but in terms of the principles to our play, we want that to go right through so if anyone does make that step up, whether it’s U18s to U23s, U23s to the first team or even a straight jump from the U18s to the first team, they know what we’re after, they understand the way that we play.

“And I think underneath that, moving forward with recruitment, we know what type of players we’re looking for.

“Hopefully that gets the club all in line and I think that’s something that [owner] Marcus [Evans] was looking for.

“I’m not doing it because he wanted to do that, I’m doing it because I think it’s the right thing to do. That was, I guess, a bit of fortune that we’d both got the same thought process on that.”

Photo: Action Images

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BlueBlood90 added 18:03 - Aug 2
I have a feeling Josh Emmanuel might re-join Rotherham on loan. Wasn’t their manager pictured watching us at MK Dons the other week? With Donacien signing as a right back and Spence a back up option it could be a win win situation all round and a good opportunity for Josh to play every week in the Championship and develop further.

Westover added 18:32 - Aug 2
Agree I was thinking the same myself.

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