Hurst: Waghorn Move the Best Decision for Everyone Concerned at the Time
Monday, 20th Aug 2018 17:18
Boss Paul Hurst says Martyn Waghorn’s departure to Tuesday’s opponents Derby County was “the best decision for everyone concerned at the time” with the striker having made it clear he wanted to leave the Blues. Hurst admits he felt for the 28-year-old, last season’s 16-goal Town top scorer, during the period of limbo prior to his switch.
Waghorn eventually joined Derby for an initial £5 million fee which could potentially rise to £7.5 million at the start of the month, the Rams having beaten Middlesbrough to sign the South Shields-born frontman.
“Some people might think it sounds a bit soft but I did feel for Martyn because I think he’d a very genuine person, I really liked him as a person as well as a footballer,” Hurst said.
“But I think he found it difficult. When he spoke to me the very first time, he said, ‘I don’t really know how to handle this, I’ve never had it before’.
“Nothing personal towards myself or [assistant manager] Chris [Doig] coming in or anything like that, he just felt that the opportunities that were being presented to him were too good to miss out on.
“Realistically, I understood that. And after that, we almost had a bit of a laugh and a joke about it at times.
“He never caused an issue and I would love to see him do well but not tomorrow night and I’m sure naturally he’ll be thinking he’d love to get off the mark against his former club.”
From a Town perspective, Waghorn’s sale allowed Hurst to bring in some of his summer signings, although the Blues boss says the key factor in allowing the move to go ahead was the player expressing his desire to move on.
“That was part of it, you’ve got to weigh things up but the other thing I would say is that Martyn made it clear that he wanted to leave,” he said. “And once you get that situation it’s very difficult. I’m not saying it’s impossible.
“We had numerous chats during our short time together and, like I said, it wasn’t a case of falling out or anything like that and I genuinely do like the lad from my experience and what I’d heard coming to the club and from when I was doing my background, my research, no one would speak badly of Martyn.
“A great lad, a great character, I really liked him, but the bottom line is that he’s telling me he doesn’t want to play for Ipswich Town and as much as we can say, ‘Well, if we’d have kept him then eventually he’s got to get his head round’, would we still have got the best Martyn Waghorn possible?
“No one’s got a crystal ball so I’m not saying we might not have but there was certainly a period of limbo and I just felt he was at the point where the squad were there, he was kind of in the squad or he played a couple of games, and then I left him out. He was around but he wasn’t really here as such.
“And I think it was just the best decision for everyone concerned at the time. Now, if Martyn hadn’t come to me said about any thoughts of leaving, he’d have been in the team tomorrow night I’m sure.”
Hurst says the move allowing him the wherewithal to significantly freshen up his squad wasn’t something he had been expecting.
“That was a secondary thing because I didn’t walk in the door, I didn’t speak to Marcus or pull any of the players and say, ‘Do you want to leave because actually if we sell you I can bring some more players in’,” he said.
“I’ve been able to bring in a lot more players in than I thought and been able to change the squad around more than I ever envisaged because I expected to be working with those players.
“And that includes Adam Webster, that was one that happened very quickly but when I was doing my planning and thinking about what I’ll need or what I’d like to do, it never entered my head that those two players wouldn’t be here, two of what most people would say were the better players.
“But again, let’s not look negatively on that, let’s try and take the positive and think that we’ve brought other lads in and hopefully they’ll step up and we’ll in time forget about those lads, in the right way.
“Like I say, I’ve got no issues with either player, that’s for sure, I didn’t know Adam for long enough and Martyn we had some conversations that were always pleasant in some respects, albeit as a manager you don’t want someone telling you that they don’t really want to play for your football club.”
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