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Hurst Fumes After Cup Defeat
Tuesday, 14th Aug 2018 23:25

Manager Paul Hurst was scathing about his side’s performance after they exited the Carabao Cup to Exeter 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Asked whether he was particularly disappointed with the second half display, Hurst responded: “I was disappointed with the performance in the first half. We can pretend we passed it at times. I think we had a couple more efforts in the second half which tested the keeper more.

“It was too slow, too pedestrian, people were not really playing where they were supposed to. Therefore, didn’t make it anywhere near as fluid as it needed to be.

“I didn’t think we worked hard enough in possession, I didn’t think we worked hard enough out of possession.

“A couple of times, and the players will be shown, Exeter players were running past ours far to easily.

“I’m not having it that they’ve got players who were a lot faster or a lot fitter, stronger or whatever it is.

“So the players will be made aware of that, we’ll go through it. So, not just second half for me.”

He says home truths were told at half-time and at the end: “They needed to be. I’ve said what I am, I’m honest, I say what I think, say what I see. That’s what I saw.

“If we honestly feel that we were anywhere close to what we should be and lost the game, like I said, with all due respect to the players Exeter have got and they put out, it wasn’t their strongest team.

“We should have controlled that game, we didn’t. Another pathetic goal to concede and at the end one or two attacks but too little too late.”

Hurst says he hadn’t seen that display coming following the first two matches: “No, not at all. I made a couple of changes but again I don’t think that’s the contributing factor to that performance.

“I’m massive on the facts of what goes on between your ears and how you approach things and clearly our attitude wasn’t right for tonight.”

Following the game he says the players need to stand up and be counted and show a reaction.

“There are some massive games in front of us that in some ways people will, I dare say, say they’re good games for us, but if we play like that they won’t be good games for us, that’s for sure.

“And it’ll start at training, we’ll see now who wants to step up, who’s going to shy away and not be the type of character that we need moving forward. So yes, a lot of questions to be answered from tonight.”

He dismissed the suggestion that there might be an excuse given it’s a young squad which is in the process of gelling: “No, not at all.”

Are there enough characters in the squad? “That’s what we’ve got to clearly have. As I was just saying, if one or two are trying to ease their way in they’ve got to step up quicker, find their feet, find their voice, find the performances to make a difference and do what they want to do.

“I spoke before about people being at the football club not to be the limit of their ambitions. But performances like that and there’s only one way everyone will go and that won’t be moving on to better things.

“So we’ve got to dig deep, do some soul searching. Again I really like the phrase about looking in the mirror and being honest. Have they given everything? Have they prepared correctly? All of those things.

“Because somewhere along the line clearly something wasn’t right in terms of that performance.”

While most fans will understand it’s going to take time for the team to come together after the summer changes, some will be starting to get concerned after three games without a win at the start of the season.

“Yes, of course, and that’s natural. That performance worries me,” Hurst admitted. “But I don’t think it’s a true reflection of what we’ve got, in all honesty.

“I think we’ve seen that in the other two performances. Take the result aside from Rotherham, the performance for large parts was good and encouraging.

“But that, like I say, was night and day in comparison. I understand people having concerns.”

Will he be getting the players in for extra training in the next few days having flown back this evening?

“The issue is as much as we’re trying to do things right and get back as soon as possible, I’m not sure getting them in tomorrow is particularly the right way forward, so I think we’ll wait until Thursday,” he said.

“But we won’t be not working hard, that’s for sure. Like I said, some of the players will be shown some things as well that are unacceptable and I don’t want to see them again.

“As hard as it was to take losing the game on Saturday, you can get over it slightly because I felt like players gave their all, there were just some moments where we didn’t take advantage. Tonight I didn’t think I saw that.”

Does he believe complacency was a factor, some players perhaps believing they just needed to turn up to win away at a League Two club?

“It looked like that and I’ve got to concentrate on my team so I’ll not take anything away from Exeter, who have had a great pre-season, haven’t been beat, won their first two league games and are a team clearly in confident mood,” he added.

“But I thought we had some bits of play early on that we showed that we should have control of it, we got ourselves in front and then really you’re looking to kick on from that. But I didn’t see any evidence of that.

“We had one or two bits of pressure but at the same time they also looked like they could add to the scoreline.

“So it has to come into it, it’s got to because if we were our best then I think we win the game.”

Does the display change his thoughts regarding further recruitment? “I think every time you set foot on the pitch and you witness things unfolding in front of you, naturally you’re always assessing.

“I’ve got to do that and got some time before Saturday to think about that and what’s the best way forward for us.

“But, yes, it certainly throws up some questions I’ve got to try and answer. Obviously we’re in a position where there’s only so much business we can do and we’ve got to try and get that right.”

Hurst says there’s nothing new on any ins or outs on loan: “Not as we speak now. Like I said, things can happen very quickly but on tonight’s evidence we need more in than we will do, I’m sure.

“But I’m sure I’m expecting some of those players to step up and show they’re much better players than they did tonight.

One positive on the night was the return of Teddy Bishop and Danny Rowe as subs after long spells out.

“Good to get them back out there, they’ve both been missing for some time and in some ways I felt for Teddy in terms of missing the penalty but apart from a natural disappointment he doesn’t need to be too down about that,” he said.

“Yes, if it gets to that stage you want to come out on the right side of it, but it should have been over before that. So I’m pleased for them and a step forward in the right direction for them.”

Are the duo in consideration for the 18 in the Championship? “Again that’s something I’ve got to really give some thought to. Can they give us enough off the bench?

“You don’t have to put them on straight away but if they are on there and something happens, then have we got the options; if it was an early substitution it wouldn’t be one of them.

“That’s part of what I have to consider. I’ll guess I’ll mull that over the next day or two.”

Exeter manager Matt Taylor was delighted that his side claimed the win, believing they got stronger as the game went on.

“Obviously pleased," he said. "First-half I felt we showed them a little too much respect, stood off them a little bit, but still created some good chances.

“The substitutions freshened us up, gave us real fresh legs and we looked like a running team for the last half hour and we probably looked like the stronger team going towards the end.

“We created some good chances. When it goes to pens it's pot luck to be honest with you, but we held our nerve, delighted for the three young boys getting game time.”

Photo: TWTD

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KiwiTractor added 23:33 - Aug 14
Drop the culprits

aas1010 added 23:36 - Aug 14
Won't last !

Pencilpete added 23:37 - Aug 14
It's better than Big Mick telling us what a good side Exeter are with good players and how we tried to match them up and stop them playing .....

JCBLUE added 23:40 - Aug 14
I like your honesty Paul and wish you well. It's very early days and some very encouraging signs in both league games .... we are trying to play football again. Interesting that both Rotherham and Blackburn had comfortable results tonight .....

Fans need to excercise a little patience, I'm sure we will kick on after our first win.


Blue_Dwarf added 23:44 - Aug 14
I know it was only a friendly but Nydam, Downes & Dozzell were class in midfield that day. None are anywhere near the team now. That is a real shame.

Gforce added 23:45 - Aug 14
We need a massive improvement and fast,otherwise I can see us going into the Norwich game with 1 point from 15,and bottom of the league,how the buddies would love that.

Reuserscurtains added 23:46 - Aug 14
There's only one thing worse than Mick losing cup games on purpose to save our limited squad for the league... actually trying against a league 2 team and losing.
I'm sorry but our transfer business has been somewhat horrendous, and only covered up with this new era codswallop.
Where are goals in Jackson and Harrison, compared to Waghorn, Garner and McGoldrick? I'll leave it there because I'm about to cry.

Gforce added 23:48 - Aug 14
Budgies !

WaffleMan added 23:53 - Aug 14
If it ain't broke don't fix it. Hmmm

aas1010 added 23:57 - Aug 14
Waste off time turning up ( squad that is ) can't see us improving for saturdays match either , ok others say give them time they had 3 matches to improve a training session in Spain and what's happened we got more like a conference side , now that's gotta be down to everybody from the boss right through to the players . He's not managing a 1st div team it's the championship it's a different world !

floridaboy added 00:03 - Aug 15
Waffleman. It was broke and very badly. Like most things that are badly broken It will take time to fix!

BcarefulwhatUWish4 added 00:06 - Aug 15
Hmmm. Enough said.

jjhbruno added 00:23 - Aug 15
I like what he's said, in truth that's what we're all thinking. We are better than this and should've shown it against this form of opposition. Keep the faith, his mentality will hopefully rub off on the players and winning will be a necessity rather than a surprise as it has been for too long

bleedblueandwhite added 01:27 - Aug 15
It wasn't a good performance, but at least we're trying to pass the ball. Slicker transition through midfield needed, too many "safe" balls. Not quite clicking, but it's still way too early to judge this team or the manager.

shakytown added 02:24 - Aug 15
I have been saying it for three years we desperately need a senior ball playing midfielder who can control a game and the players around him. If anyone thinks that Bishop or Huws are good enough then they are dreaming. We need to splash the cash on a couple of seriously good midfielders or it's going to be a very long season. We need to get some good loans in even if their wages are high or we are in trouble.

44_not_out added 04:43 - Aug 15
We had a squad that needed a few tweaks and the introduction of some of the very promising youngsters from the academy. However, PH has given the squad an unnecessary overhaul and has spent a considerable amount of money on lower league players with ‘potential'. We already have lots of ‘potential' at the club. Dozzell, Downes and Nydam were excellent against West Ham but I believe PH doesn't think Dozzell ‘is ready' at this point. Just play them!! PH also claims that he can't believe no one came in for Nolan..... maybe your love child isn't that good!! As I said, last years squad wasn't far off challenging for the play offs and would've been closer had the crowd got behind them.... but no, they wanted a ‘young and hungry' manager. Well you've got what you wanted but I fear he is out of his depth and has chosen to surround himself with players he is comfortable with and not prepared to challenge himself. The football will be no different to MM and will be based on high intensity and pressure with one up front. It wasn't really broken PH!

WaltonBlueNaze added 06:21 - Aug 15
Oh dear, what a state we are in. Still very early days but my confidence in PH, his staff and the numerous players he has brought in is decreasing very quickly. Perhaps, we need to go back to our own home grown players to give the fans a lift - Downes, Nydam, Dozzell and Morris !

WaltonBlueNaze added 06:21 - Aug 15
Oh dear, what a state we are in. Still very early days but my confidence in PH, his staff and the numerous players he has brought in is decreasing very quickly. Perhaps, we need to go back to our own home grown players to give the fans a lift - Downes, Nydam, Dozzell and Morris !

bluearmy84 added 06:35 - Aug 15
maybe some of the fans will appreciate what MM did for the club now ie in terms or results and recruitment! very challenging season and if im honest ill take stayin up atm

tractorboybig added 06:36 - Aug 15
Dear mr Hurst you are the manager, surely the buck stops with you. Hope we have not got another gift of the gab jewell. the youngsters should be used, 9 div 1 players = div 1 team

MattinLondon added 06:52 - Aug 15
There seems to be a massive overreaction to the result. Ok we lost but a lot the team has only been together for a few weeks so season was always going to be transition.

Anyone who thought that this season was going to be plain sailing obviously doesn't know a lot about football. It's better to get tonight's performance out of the way in a cup game.

DurhamTownFan added 07:07 - Aug 15
I agree that we need patience.

But I just can't stop thinking that we tried to change too many players too quickly. I like bringing in new players from lower levels, but surely if you bring in too many, then you get too many lads who aren't quite sure if they belong in the team

naa added 07:16 - Aug 15
Mattinlondon: yes the squad has seen a lot of change and needs to gel, but surely that's because the manager decided to throw away all of the existing team. It's not an excuse he can use as it was his choice.

Personally, I feel MM had pulled together a half decent team on a shoestring. PH needed a few changes, especially in midfield. The sale of Webster was sensible and helped fund the required changes but why so many? Selling our entire strike force was not sensible, but I suspect ME couldn't turn down such a good profit for Waghorn. Though why Garner went I don't know (unless he wanted away).

The squad has almost no experience at this level (especially after he dropped Skuse last night). How can anyone call us a championship team when hardly any of the players have played there?

I sincerely hope PH gets the performances he wants (that we all want) soon but personally I think he's just made the job harder for himself than he needed to.

blootheref added 07:16 - Aug 15
Of course a disappointing result but nice to see a manager who is actually angry about it. Give PH time as it's clear standards are good and comfort zones won't exist

lightingblue added 07:19 - Aug 15
If all fit this should've been an ideal game to play Dozzell, Downes, Nydam, folami, Cotter etc. I'm convinced that these players are a lesser than what has been brought in. I quite enjoy signing players, but doing it steadily is obviously the better option. Surely the mass lower league overhaul is a risky game to play.

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