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Hurst: A Special Moment to Lead Town Out at Hillsborough
Friday, 24th Aug 2018 12:21

Boss Paul Hurst says it will be a special moment when he leads his Town side out at Hillsborough on Saturday to face Sheffield Wednesday, the club he supported as a boy. The Blues go into the match still looking for a win under Hurst’s management but unbeaten in nine at Hillsborough and having won their last two.

Sheffield-born Hurst says the Owls remain close to his heart: “From going to watch games that was my team growing up and then playing for Sheffield Boys I got to play out on the pitch quite a few times.

“I’ve seen the stadium change, I’ve seen some very good players there and good teams at various points.

“I went to the game the other night [the 2-1 victory over Millwall], which brought back some memories and when they come out and the songs get going it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up a little.

“But very much come Saturday there’s only one team I want to win, that’s for sure and it isn’t Sheffield Wednesday.”

He says that although he spent a brief spell training at Wednesday he was never close to joining them as a youngster.

“I went there as a schoolboy in one of the holidays but I was already at Rotherham,” he recalled.

“I went across and I didn’t really enjoy it at the time so I chose to stay where I was and I guess the rest is history.

“I don’t know how it might have panned out differently, I might never have made it as a pro and been doing some other career now.”

Hurst says he will have family and friends at the game and loyalties will be split: “My brother and my dad are Sheffield Wednesday fans and want to see them do well.

“I’ve got friends at the game and will be seeing some of them afterwards that want Sheffield Wednesday to win but not by too many, they’ve told me.

“My family want me to win on this occasion, I think anyway! Some of them will be there. It’s a nice occasion at the same time it's something I’m not getting too wrapped up in but it will be a special moment in one way to lead a team out at Hillsborough.

“But when that whistle goes and it’s game on and we’ll be looking to try and get that first victory.”

Remembering the Owls teams he watched growing up, Hurst added: “In the first one Gary Bannister was the big hero and Gary Shelton, the team that reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup [in 1983]. I wasn’t allowed to go, I had to go swimming while my dad went down to Highbury, and they lost.

“Then there was the team with Brian Marwood in it, again a very good team. I watched them lose a semi-final at Villa Park against Everton [in 1986]. I’ve seen a few and obviously when they won the League Cup with John Sheridan’s goal.

“They have had some very, very good times, the last few years have been a little frustrating for them, when they lost in the play-off final and then obviously they’ve a few issues currently.

“But it’s still a very big football club and certainly one that’s well supported and something I’m looking forward to experiencing, along with hopefully a good Ipswich following at the game. There should be a good atmosphere in the ground.”

Looking at Wednesday so far this season, Hurst said: “They’ve changed their system already at times, their personnel’s changed so it’s not the easiest of games where I can tell you exactly what they’re going to do.

“I know what they’ve done at times and we certainly know the real quality players that they possess.

“They’ve given quite a lot of young players opportunities, certainly [on Wednesday] night when I watched them there were quite a few in the team then with what many fans and other people would say were stronger players on the bench.

“Whether or not that was because they’re playing Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday and just mixing it up or whether they stick with what was a winning team if people are fit I don’t know.

“So it’s not the easiest one to inform the players, ‘This is who you’ll be facing’. I think in the Blackburn game, for instance, I got the team spot on and probably at times we’ve been maybe one or two wrong if wrong at all.

“I’m really uncertain of what that team will be but again I think we know the threats that they carry depending on which personnel are in there.”

Hurst has said he won’t be making too many changes to his team despite the 2-0 defeat at Derby in midweek following the impressive 10-man 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last Saturday.

Bartosz Bialkowski will be in goal with the back four set to stay the same with Janoi Donacien at right-back, Jonas Knudsen on the left and skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala at the heart of the defence.

Trevoh Chalobah will continue in the deeper midfield role with doubts about the fitness of both Cole Skuse (quad) and Jon Nolan (ankle).

Hurst was less confident that Skuse would be fit than Nolan with Flynn Downes and Tayo Edun, who is back after his one-match ban, in line to come in if they don’t make it.

If he isn’t required in the centre, on-loan Fulham man Edun may return on the left for Grant Ward with Gwion Edwards on the right.

Hurst again has a decision to make whether to continue to start Ellis Harrison in the lone striker’s role or give Kayden Jackson his full Championship debut. Jackson may well be the man to get the nod against the Owls.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay was pleased his side’s performance as they beat Millwall to pick up their first win of the campaign. The Owls are currently 17th on four points in the early season table.

“We were very happy with the team on Wednesday and now we have new focus for tomorrow. We want that second win of the season at our home,” he said.

“I saw passion, ambition and intensity from every player on Wednesday. The fans could see that and they played a big part in helping us win that game. Their energy transferred onto the pitch and we have great respect for that.

“There will be high motivation in both sides but we want that good feeling after the 90 minutes tomorrow.”

Luhukay gave full debuts to 20-year-old left-back Matt Penney and midfielder Fraser Preston, 19, on Wednesday and he was pleased with their contributions.

“We trusted the young players before, when we see them in training but you never know how they might cope with pressure. It was a big game for them and the team and they were fantastic.

“The team gave a fantastic reaction from after [the 2-0 defeat at] Brentford. We must have the same performance tomorrow and be strong as a team.”

Luhukay says striker Lucas Joao and full-back Daniel Pudil could both make their returns after groin injuries, but centre-half Joost van Aken is still out with an ankle problem.

Historically, Town have the edge having won 20 games (19 in the league), Wednesday 18 (17) and with 13 (12) matches having ended in draws.

Town are unbeaten in nine at Hillsborough having last been defeated there 2-0 in April 2007 under Jim Magilton's management. That loss is their only reverse in 12 on Wednesday turf stretching back to a 4-1 Premiership defeat in the early days of George Burley's time in charge back in May 1995, the Blues' last game of that relegation season.

The teams most recently met at Hillsborough in March as Town beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at Hillsborough - as they had the previous season - to extend former boss Mick McCarthy’s remarkable record of never losing at Hillsborough in his 26 years as a manager.

Martyn Waghorn, who had gone 15 games without a goal prior to the match, turned home Callum Connolly’s header in the 51st minute then, after Wednesday sub Lucas Joao had equalised on 69, netted a superb freekick seven minutes from time to seal back-to-back away wins for the Blues.

At Portman Road in November last year, Wednesday sub Atdhe Nuhiu headed an equaliser four minutes into injury time to grab a 2-2 draw.

Joe Garner put Town ahead on 48, Hooper levelled via a 64th minute penalty after Jordan Spence had handballed, then Waghorn’s header on 70 looked to have won it for the Blues until Nuhiu’s late goal stole an undeserved point for the visitors.

Blues striker David McGoldrick was forced off at half-time after suffering a bad gash to his groin after a high Glenn Loovens challenge in the opening minutes which went unpunished.

Ex-Blues striker Jordan Rhodes is still an Owls player but is on loan at Norwich, while defender Morgan Fox was a schoolboy at Town's Playford Road academy before being released at 11. Former Blues left-back Neil Thompson coaches their U23s.

Saturday’s referee is Jeremy Simpson from Lancashire, who has shown 11 yellow cards and no red so far this season.

Simpson’s last Town game was the 3-0 home defeat by Hull City in April in which he booked only Bersant Celina.

Prior to that he had refereed only two Town matches in which he awarded a total of four penalties.

The 1-0 defeat at Rotherham in April 2017 which he awarded a seventh-minute spot-kick when Josh Emmanuel bundled over Jon Taylor. Dean Gerken saved Danny Ward’s kick.

Loanee Toumani Diagouraga was the only Blues player booked in that fixture, along with two Rotherham players.

Prior to that he was the man in the middle for the 2-1 defeat at Reading in September 2016 in which he notoriously awarded three penalties which led to the game’s three goals.

Danny Williams won the match with the third and spot-kick deep in second-half injury time, Knudsen having been adjudged to have hauled down Joey van den Berg at a corner.

In first-half injury time Ward had been harshly penalised for handball for the game’s first penalty and Garath McCleary put the Royals in front.

Brett Pitman fired home Town’s - also contentious - spot-kick five minutes after the break for a foul by Tyler Blackett.

Simpson also booked nine players in that game, five Royals and Knudsen, Chambers, Skuse and Christophe Berra.

Squad from: Bialkowski, Gerken, Donacien, Spence, Knudsen, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Nydam, Edun, Edwards, Sears, Ward, Roberts, Nolan, Harrison, Jackson.

Photo: TWTD

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dugoutdave added 12:26 - Aug 24
Let's hope it's a proud moment leading them off at the end

bobble added 12:27 - Aug 24
he is getting a teeny bit boring now.....

Townly added 12:44 - Aug 24
He talks a good game.

hopefulblue added 12:49 - Aug 24
well if were waiting for clubs to get players in that means were not looking at any prem players as there clubs have already done there business and made there youngsters available, every day I see teams around us signing prem quality players on loan whilst our club does nothing, ive backed what hurst has done with everything, but without a few players of quality coming in I think were going to be in big trouble this year.teams are playing poorly and still beating us and we can buy a goal atm, the owner is sitting on 5 mill profit from this window and the tight c*nt needs to spend it quick or we will be playing league 1 next year! this rant come from the clear lack of ambition the club has

geminimustang added 12:54 - Aug 24
PH and rabbit in the headlights come to mind.He's so enjoying the experiences,he's forgetting the task in hand,i.e.to win games.Who he supported as a boy should be at the back of his mind and of little importance.Less impressive by the game.ITFC have to win this game and beat Hull too just to keep the Club in the mix.

Esseeja added 13:01 - Aug 24
April 2007 phil? I'm Sure it was April 2017?

Esseeja added 13:01 - Aug 24

skusesrightpeg added 13:05 - Aug 24
People still moaning, jesus, how about getting behind the boy and the gaffer ? makes all the difference. we are only 5 games in.

Along added 13:09 - Aug 24
This guy talks more than Mick, said it before and will say it again, I think he's out of his depth. Blown profits Mick made from astute signings, now got significantly worse team

BoroBlue added 13:37 - Aug 24
Is there anywhere which ISN'T special for this guy apart from his own club? Concentrate on winning games, not your own agenda ~ticktockonhurst

brendenward35 added 13:48 - Aug 24
Fans called last season for some entertaining football and that wasn't going to happen whilst MM was in charge. So from what I've seen certainly better entertainment apart from lack of goals but been better to watch. So lets give this guy and his new team a bit more time as it's too earlier to right the team off. He took Shrewsbury from the bottom to the playoffs so must have something in his work rate. Cetainly passionate about his job and that accounts for a lot these days. Could have ended up with Steve McClaren so count ourselves lucky.

44_not_out added 13:59 - Aug 24
Style of play and transfer dealings aside, PH must be the dullest manager in ITFC history. He doesn’t inspire me, so how on earth does he motivate the dressing room?

NoCanariesAllowed added 14:22 - Aug 24
Even if Hurst does get us our first win at Hillsborough, in the end we're all going to grow old and die anyway, so what's the point.

Cripes. Some of you lot on here. It's Friday, for goodness' sake.

PhilTWTD added 15:29 - Aug 24

Last defeat at Hillsborough was April 2007 rather than last defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, which was April 2017.

dukey44 added 15:34 - Aug 24
No it's just that they have a plan B during games and change their formation where as you don't and stay with same formation but change players around?

Fatboy added 16:04 - Aug 24

Yes, Josh Emmanuel would only have been 9 years old in April 2007!

bugledog123 added 16:24 - Aug 24

midastouch added 16:42 - Aug 24
I wanted Mick out but I have to say while Paul wasn't my first choice (I was a lot more keen on George Burley or even taking a punt on Gary White who certainly talked a good game in his piece in the EADT, or even Graham Potter or Jack Ross) I certainly wouldn't want to swap Mick back for Paul. I'm looking firmly forwards instead of backwards!

If Mick was as great as some of you think he is why is he still out of work? That said, Mick certainly had his moments and I respect and appreciate him for those but in the end he proved too stubborn and fixed in his ways and we seemed to be going nowhere. He gave us our worst finish in nearly 60 years (worst since 1959 I believe), just how bad did it have to get? We also got done by a non-league team in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, it was truly shameful at times!

I always knew the next man might get it horribly wrong and it could end in tears but Mick was driving me to despair so if this calculated gamble doesn't pay off so be it! Personally I'd of looked elsewhere than Paul but he's the man we've got so let's just get behind him, we should at least give him till Xmas or whatever to show us what he's got. I've got a few concerns but to sack him already wouldn't be a good look at all given our history of trying to give managers a fair crack of the whip at least.

Hopefully Mick will get a job at some point (although doesn't exactly look like clubs are beating down his door to offer him much, certainly not so far!) and then all his adoring fans on here can jump ship to the Kaizer Chiefs or wherever else he might end up!

I support Ipswich Town not McCarthy FC!

Don't forget Mick has got one of the worst ever managerial records in the history of the Premier League so he's not the messiah some of you think he is. Out of all the managers in the Premier League to have been in charge of at least 100 games, who has the lowest win percentage from this select group? You guessed it, Mick McCarthy, see here:
Mick had several years to get us up and failed, Paul has barely had 5 minutes, at least give him a chance!

If not there is always Plan B = Plan Burley!!!

Why are any of us yearning for a man who gave us our worst finish in nearly 60 years and made us a laughing stock getting us knocked out of the FA Cup on national tv to a non-league team? He had a good run for a while but in the end the wheels came off and we had to look elsewhere.

PhilTWTD added 16:53 - Aug 24

Ah, wrong bit. Yes, typo on the refereeing bit I'd not spotted. 2017, not 2007. Amended.

supasmiler71 added 17:15 - Aug 24
Blimey, we are 2 minutes into this guy’s tenure. I for one want this to be a long term appointment with continuous improvement. We are not one of those clubs who ditch a manager after a few iffy results. It may take a year or two or three to get promoted but we have to believe in PH’s ability, vision and judgement and not panic before we are even into September!

geminimustang added 17:16 - Aug 24
Mick had several years to get us up and failed, Paul has barely had 5 minutes, at least give him a chance! "

Never seen such drivel.Does anybody really believe ITFC have any chance of making the premiership.We're staring at League 1.Please God,give me strength.Short memories too,MM saved this Club from certain relegation.A manager that was never given the financial backing he deserved and chased out of the club by vocal people with unrealistic expectations.Enjoy PH,you deserve him!Down arrow to the right,again.

peteswindon added 17:27 - Aug 24
Sod of and join them then

cat added 17:41 - Aug 24
Geminimustang - “never seen such drivel” (lol). Best read your tiresome repeated posts back then.

blue75 added 17:42 - Aug 24
People bitching about no plan b then they want McCarthy back what was his plan b? He never had on proved by the fact we kept limping it to Murphy long after he’d left Newcastle let alone us. Hurst will be given time it’s the clubs way McCarthy had 2 1/2 years of boring us too death. So Hurst hasn’t won yet he will! His team had more entertainment against Villa than the whole of last season. He’s undoing 5 1/2 years of our club having the attitude of play for a draw nick a win Hurst wants to play for a win something McCarthy never did. So those that worship McCarthy & want him back tune into talksport & message him your love like all the clubs who changed mangers in the summer we don’t want him here!!

floridaboy added 17:43 - Aug 24
I bet the moaners don't even go. 4 games in and it hasn't taken long for the armchair moaners to surface.

I for one like what I hear from Hurst. Maybe a few of MMs boys are just a tad complacent and in need of a good kick up the backside. Chambers, Knudsen and Skuse were nailed on last season even though their performances in many games were rubbish. Hope Skuse is not fit for tomorrow and young Edun plays. Breath of fresh air unlike backwards/sideways Skuse!

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