|Ipswich Town 2 v 2 Blackburn Rovers|
Saturday, 4th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Hurst: We Deserved the Point
Saturday, 4th Aug 2018 19:04
Boss Paul Hurst felt Town deserved to get something out of his first Championship game in charge, Tayo Edun’s injury time goal having seen the Blues and Blackburn to a 2-2 draw at Portman Road.
“Lots of emotions,” Hurst said when asked how he found his first match as boss. “In the end, I was pleased to get something out of the game.
“Obviously the later it goes, you’re questioning whether that’s going to be the case. Very proud, as I said I would be, of the team for the first game at this level for myself.
“I was delighted with the start that we made. Then the other side of it. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded, soft ones from our point of view.
“I think that knocked us, it knocked the players, it’s the first real test that we’ve had because in pre-season, as much as we push them and ask for the commitment and all that, it doesn’t give you that situation when it really matters.
“And I thought the response was good. At half-time, we said about being brave, having a go and if it wasn’t good enough then so be it.
“But don’t come in thinking, ‘I wish I had done this a bit better’. Far from a great performance but what I would say there was a lot of character shown by the players and I think they kept going.
“Clearly an exciting end to the game and I think overall, personally, I thought we deserved the point.
“Blackburn had one chance to make it 3-1 where we got ourselves in a little bit of mess but overall, I think a point was probably a fair result.”
Admitted Edun’s goal had an element of good fortune about it but felt the ball was put in the right area and Town had created a couple of opportunities.
“Ben Morris had one in particular, a great bit of skill, he did well when he came on. Gwion Edwards was certainly a threat the longer the game went and one that seems to have caught a lot of people’s attention this afternoon.
“The goal, it is fortunate on one hand, but it’s also exactly the right delivery. If you’re putting in an inswinging ball from that area you’re wanting it to hit the back post and it creates difficulty for the goalkeeper.
“Clearly it’s one of those where he’s wondering if someone will get a touch, it didn’t get one and when it did hit the post, thankfully it went the right side of it for us.”
Regarding his five debutants, he added: “I think overall, we speak about patience and a work in progress, I’ve used that and I feel I’m a little bit silly using it, we’re one game in.
“But it will take time and that’s not excuses. I think anyone with half a brain can see that that’s a fact.
“I think a lot of them did well. Donacien only joined this week. I started him in a position that I don’t believe is his best one.
“It was a tough call to leave Woolfy out, who’d done OK, but although he hadn’t played in the Championship, I felt on the opening day I wanted to go for a little bit more experience in the backline.
“Chalobah has obviously been away and came in and certainly showed moments of the real player that he can be.
“And overall there are some that standout to me that clearly need a lot more work to get to the levels I expect from them, we expect from them as staff.
“But I still think we look pretty strong overall, we were pushing for that equaliser without creating numerous chances, but we were certainly pushing Blackburn back.
“If we were going to get caught it would have been on the break, which sometimes you have to accept but at least we were trying to be positive and trying to something about the scoreline.”
Hurst says Jordan Spence was subbed as he was feeling unwell: “I think he was feeling a little bit sick, probably a little bit groggy, not what you want.
“Woolfenden coming on did well and was unlucky not to start given pre-season and the minutes that he’s had.
“But that’s why I get paid, to be the manager, to make those tough calls, I suppose. You’re never quite sure whether they’re right or not.
“Going on to the pitch I just said to him, ‘Go and prove that I was wrong to leave you out’ and overall I thought he did pretty well apart from his last couple of minutes when he couldn’t move.
“Which again, wasn’t an ideal way to end the game with near enough 10 men. I thought the one he kicked up in the air, I thought the crowd were excellent overall, but that was maybe one time when they could have cut him a bit of slack because he could really move to pass it any better.”
Hurst said Tristan Nydam and Josh Emmanuel were both left out of the squad but aren’t injured.
“No, they were just left out,” he confirmed. “That was the decision I made. Unlucky probably a little, but I went with the players who were in the 18 and those lads were the ones that missed out.”
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