Hurst: Jackson Adds a Different Dynamic
Thursday, 9th Aug 2018 19:31
Town manager Paul Hurst says new striker Kayden Jackson adds a “different dynamic” to his options up front. The 24-year-old joined the Blues earlier today from Accrington for an initial fee of £1.6 million.
Asked what he likes about Jackson, Hurst responded: “Pace, and I think an enthusiasm to his play.
“It’s a challenge of stepping up. I’ve said it before, I don’t want him to come in and think, ‘That’s it now’, I need him to push on to see if he can score a lot of goals in the Championship.
“He brings a different dynamic up there. Again, he’s someone I’ve worked with before so I know his character.
“I have to say from when I worked with him as his manager [during a loan spell at Grimsby], there’s been quite a bit of improvement in Kayden, hence the reason we’ve gone in for him and I’m glad to get that one over the line.
“These deals, you don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘Let’s sign them’ and then they turn up the next day, they’ve been bubbling away for some time.
“At times it’s looked like they weren’t going to happen, but importantly now we’ve got to a stage and they are Ipswich Town players.”
He says Jackson could be a player who gets the Portman Road crowd off their seats: “I hope so, when he takes off running.
“But what Kayden will encounter is one, players that read the game better, in general probably better athletes across the board in this league, so he won’t be able to run away from them quite as well and also teams aren’t going to be silly, they’ll know about Kayden, despite the fact that he’s come from a team which got promoted from League Two.
“So he’s going to have to be a little bit clever in his play and that’s something we’ll try and help him with.
“No one likes playing against pace and if a team decides to sit off, then naturally that should create more space for some of our ball-playing midfielders and wide players to get into little positions.
“You want a mix so a team can’t just set up one way and nullify you and I think he does bring a real asset to us that will suit certain games and other games it might be others that benefit if he’s in the team.”
Hurst is in no doubt of Jackson’s best position: “Centre-forward. He’s played in wide roles before but ultimately, if we play with a front three, which we’ve done more often than not, you can play the wide lads slightly differently.
“They don’t have to be out-and-out wingers and I’ve said many times that I like that type of player.
“What I would say is that I can have all these thoughts in my mind and ideas but sometimes you stumble across something and I wouldn’t be the first manager to do that.
“Some people say it’s lucky and sometimes it is. But I’ve brought him in as a centre-forward. That’s not to say he won’t ever play in a different position, if we need a goal you want people who are goalscorers and Kayden’s hopefully going to be that.”
Town are the Bradford-born frontman’s second Championship club following a year at Barnsley prior to his switch to Accrington last summer.
Asked why he felt Jackson wasn’t given a single senior game for the Tykes, Hurst said: “We had him on loan at Grimsby from Barnsley and I watched quite a bit of them.
“They played him often on the wide right. They had another player that I had [at Shrewsbury], Stefan Payne, playing down the middle and he was probably further on [in his development].
“And I think for one reason or another he just didn’t quite get that opportunity. So we kept monitoring him and we took him on loan.
“We didn’t get to work with him too much because of the timing of me moving on [to Shrewsbury] and him picking up a little injury at one point, although he had scored on his debut. Sort of two debuts, the last pre-season friendly and then into the first game of the season.
“So we know his character, we know what strengths he has and what weaknesses, which hopefully we’ll get to work on in time.
“But I think he’s still a young player. I think the biggest example of that at this moment in time is probably Harry Kane, more so going out on loan.
“He had quite a few loan moves which didn’t work out and people I’m sure at the time were saying he was rubbish and a waste of time and he seems to have done alright for himself. If he can be half that player, we’ll take that.”
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