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Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Norwich City
SkyBet League One
Sunday, 2nd September 2018 Kick-off 12:00
Hurst: I Really Enjoyed it Apart From Their Goal
Sunday, 2nd Sep 2018 16:24

Blues boss Paul Hurst said he enjoyed his first experience of the East Anglian derby and felt Town might have deserved to take all three points from the 1-1 draw with Norwich City.

“I really enjoyed it apart from their goal,” he said. “We all know what derby day is and the atmosphere lived up to that.

“I know we’re the home side, but particularly our fans, certainly before the game and in the second half, the atmosphere was really through the roof.

“I just feel for them that we didn’t quite get the result that we probably deserved without absolutely dominating the game or anything.

“But I felt our better spells were better than Norwich’s were. Both teams scored when they were having spells on top.

“That second half, we really came out strong, got in front and stayed on the front foot. But then Norwich just came back into it and got their goal which means we’re sat here talking about a draw rather than the victory we all wanted.”

Asked whether his selection, featuring six changes with Dean Gerken replacing Bartosz Bialkowski was brave, Hurst added: “That’s the one everyone keeps asking me about. Without being rude to Bart, he’s no different to any other player here and he’s got to perform to be in the team and at this moment in time he hasn’t lived up to that.

“So I can’t just keep picking someone when I’ve got someone like Dean Gerken as the other goalkeeper.

“That’s why I went for it. I’m sure Bart will come back and have good games for Ipswich Town in he future, but at the minute I don’t feel that’s quite been happening, so that was that choice.

“The rest, it was a bit strange someone just asked downstairs as though last week was a really bad performance or something, that wasn’t the case but I’ve got to go with what’s right for the team and I felt that that was the right line-up to go with and I don’t think it was too far wrong, we certainly almost got the result that we wanted.”

Regarding his system, he said: “Really simply it was a 4-2-3-1. Jon Walters, what he does do by being that so-called 10 that people are on about, just naturally he’ll play a little bit higher at times, so sometimes accepted it’s [4-4-2].

“And this what I’d say about system, it’s great that that’s the initial thing but then the game moves and players move. It’s very rare you’re ever just a back four, for instance.

“I know where you’re coming from [by saying it was 4-4-2] but the idea was still for Jon to drop into those little areas, certainly defensively. But out of possession we wanted to be more just one holding and trying to put the pressure on, which in the second half I think we did better.”

The Blues were best in a 20-minute spell after the break but Hurst played down his team-talk having had a massive impact.

“I think sometimes there’s an element that games are like that,” he reflected. “I’d like to take lots of credit and we changed things tactically and perhaps got on top of that but it was more just saying that the game will settle down a little bit, which it did to a degree.

“I just thought we passed it a little bit more and we wanted to try and get on the second ball a little bit more as well, at times. And certainly we pushed them back.

“We lost Skusey, then they’ve lost the centre-half [Timm Klose], we’ve both lost quite a big player for us to some degree, but we did start well and that’s a credit to the players.”

He added: “I think we had quite a few efforts from the edge of the box from which we didn’t test the keeper or just put it back into the area where it might take a deflection, things like that.

“If we could have got that second then clearly you’ve got that advantage and we could well have broken Norwich’s will at that point, but they did come into it and had that little spell as I say.

“I’m disappointed because we had an opportunity to clear the ball [before the Norwich goal] that we didn’t take. While it was a few seconds after that before the ball found its way into our goal, we’ve got to know when to try and play and when to clear it.

“And I’ll never shout at anyone for hoofing it in the stand or up the pitch if they’re in that scenario, that was the disappointment there.”

Hurst said Skuse was fine after the match despite having been stretchered off: “He’s OK thankfully. He’s walking around speaking to people and know what they’re names are. He knows where he is, so that’s pleasing.

“We can get him home to his family and start to recover, although I’m aware he’s got kids so he might be better trying to get round one of his single team-mate’s houses, I’m not sure.”

He added: “It was a bang on the head, I’m not exactly sure but I certainly saw blood down one side of his head, so I’m presuming there’s some kids of cut there.

“I’m not sure whether there have been any stitches at this stage but it was obviously quite a heavy knock that he took because it was signalled from the pitch quite early that we would probably have to make that change and that was how it resulted.”

Hurst says the neck brace which Skuse was wearing as he was taken off the field was precautionary.

“It looks that way, I didn’t go on the pitch so I’m not entirely 100 per cent sure, but he’s certainly in there walking around,” he continued.

“I asked him whether he felt sick, but he said he was fine and that’s the main thing, that he’s good and healthy.”

Hurst was impressed with centre-half Matthew Pennington’s debut: “I thought he did very well, I have to say. He’s a defender first and foremost, he has played at the level before, but still to come into this type of game [isn’t easy], and I know he’s played in the Merseyside derby.

“But still, having only trained with us once and arrived here very late on Friday evening after a long journey over, I thought acquitted himself extremely well and he’ll be pleased with his debut.”

Hurst felt Walters showed no sign of a lack of recent games prior to his loan move from Burnley this week.

“I think that’s a credit to Jon,” he said. “When you speak to people, realistically they’re not going to tell you they’re not match fit and they can’t do this or can’t do that, they’re always going to give you the good side of it but Jon was keen to stress he’s a fit lad, he brought his stats over from what he’s been doing training-wise and the game that he had played and said, ‘I’ll look after myself’.

“At half-time I asked him if he was going to be OK for 90 minutes in terms of looking towards the substitutions at the end of the game and he said, ‘Yes, fine, definitely.’

“I’m sure he was tired because he ran around and you should be tired when you come off the pitch but I didn’t see him tire more than anyone else.

“I thought he had a very good game, will get better as well, but at the same time his enthusiasm and importantly his know-how to the younger players will be crucial to us, whether that’s on the pitch, in the dressing room, on the training pitch or just around the place. He can be a big player for us.”

Hurst says Janoi Donacien was left out of the 18 as only five loanees are allowed in a matchday squad but says he had planned to start Jordan Spence.

“I’d spoken JD and I was going to play Jordan Spence," he said. "The fact he wasn’t involved in the 18 was down to the loan difficulties that we’re having.

“I’m hoping that that will be sorted out for our next game in a couple of weeks because everything is supposedly in place but he’s just waiting for some kind of documentation then that can then be made into a permanent transfer.”

Going into the two-week international break Hurst says there’s work to do but insists everything is far from wrong despite the Blues not having won a game in their opening six league matches and their Carabao Cup tie at Exeter.

“I’ll be surprised if we’re not better off than some teams despite points totals etc,” he said. “All I would say is that today it did feel again like we were putting a new team out there.

“What are we? Six league games in? So it can only help in terms of bedding those new players in, just silly things in terms of them knowing their surroundings, getting to know their team-mates better.

“I think we need to do a bit of fitness work with one or two players as well and we’ll take the opportunity to do that. We’ll get three really good days in this week.

“But overall, I’m genuinely not sat here, and I’m not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, thinking that so much is wrong because we haven’t won a game of football.

“I desperately want to get that win so we can stop talking about it and we were close again today, but I don’t think we’re a bad side.

“And while it sounds a bit silly and we haven’t won here, we also haven’t lost and no team has had it easy in different games that we’ve seen.

“The lads have just got to stick with it, I’ve got to stick with it, the fans have, who have been great since I arrived at the club and hopefully they can see what we are trying to do, and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke felt his team was on top in the first half but the Blues began the second strongly with a draw ultimately the right result.

“To sum it up I got the feeling in the first half we were the better side,” he said.

“Alex Tettey and Teemu Pukki had chances. They had one from Walters but we felt if we played in this manner in the second half we would win the game. It was then a bit tricky.

“We had to substitute a key player in Timm Klose. He went to stand up and said he felt weird, an unbelievable headache. We had to get him off with concussion.

"Ipswich were the better side for 15 or 20 minutes, they sensed we had lost our focus and put us under a lot of pressure and deserved to be in the lead. They were better in this spell, although the goal was deflected after touching Ben Godfrey’s chest.

“I was so pleased with the reaction of my lads, with so many inexperienced lads in the last row. We should have equalised earlier when Alex [Tettey] had two great chances, Grant Hanley a big chance from five metres.

“The equaliser was deserved and we could have won the game but then Louis Thompson got injured and we had made our subs.

“It showed a lot about our togetherness that Louis told me he wanted to stay on the pitch and help with a set piece or whatever. If we draw a line, a fair result but I am totally pleased with my lads.”

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Blue_Again added 16:32 - Sep 2
Driving a hurst towards relegation. Just a joke

renoble added 16:35 - Sep 2
Two years ago a 'friend' (secret santa) bought me a Norwich gnome. It was a criminal present and one that is difficult to forgive. However it has now find its place in the compost heap, upside down, and gets a regular shower from me and the boys. So things that don't begin the way that we wish can actually end up inspiring us and bringing us much joy.

Swn98 added 16:40 - Sep 2
Farke you really are deluded.

Reuserscurtains added 16:41 - Sep 2
That’s alright then paul. For god sake we just through away a win at home to Norwich and you seem pretty ok about it.
3 points in 6 games and signed two strikers that can’t hit a barn door.

muccletonjoe added 16:43 - Sep 2
Still a lot of work to do. I can't see us charging up the league table just yet. Walters is a massive plus in our favour , as would Collins if we get him next week. Midfield is an area we need to sort out. No cohesion or command of the game. Huws for Nolan may improve it as would Dozzell of course.

marco007 added 17:05 - Sep 2
Think as a manager you get so wrapped up in the atmosphere that you lose sight of what's happening on the pitch.
For me it was an incredibly poor quality game played out by two poor quality teams.
Its hardly surprising with all the constant changes of players and formations. We have to settle down soon and develop a playing philosophy and hopefully things will improve. I'm still very concerned about our lack of passing, creativity and limp looking forward line.

bluelady added 17:29 - Sep 2
Pleases to hear is up and about that looked nasty, shame as he was controlling the midfield pretty well. I have seen us play worse and win games but I do think we lack quality, we haven’t got that gem of a loan signing from previous years - quantity over quality this year. Huws cannot come back quick enough.

bluelady added 17:30 - Sep 2
That was meant to say Skuse!

Sm00411 added 17:31 - Sep 2
I thought Pennington was outstanding. Nothing got past him on the ground or in the air.

I felt so many times we struggled to keep the ball under control. A lot of the time it went up towards Jackson and it just ricocheted off him.

I'm not sure why Graham stayed on the pitch so long because by the end of the first half it was clear he didn't fancy it as much as some of the others.

I think we had three free-kicks on the edge of the area and none of them we managed to test the goalie. Oh well... we're getting closer.

BotesdaleBlue added 17:40 - Sep 2
One thing I was pleased to hear from Hurst's interview was that Skuse seems ok, as we don't want to lose his experience and calm head at this early stage. It certainly looked potentially serious when he came off.

I think the above comments are a sensible, measured response from Hurst. It's right that he and we are disappointed but there were positive performances from the team on which to bulid, and I'm still managing to remain optomistic (just).

One major positive is that Norwich look nothing special, now that their best players have left the club and they are certainly not head and shoulders above us like they were only two or three seasons ago.


BcarefulwhatUWish4 added 17:47 - Sep 2
Happy that Skuse is ok.

Norwich look a very weak side, but then so do we.

BluedanW added 17:56 - Sep 2
Sorry but we were poor today, lucky for us Norwich are just as bad. Sit back and defend like that every week and we will find it hard to ever win a game. The deflection was the only way we were going to score today. I honestly can't see where we will get our first win as there are no positives.

StowTractorBoy added 18:07 - Sep 2
I fear a long hard season ahead of us and believe too much change has taken place too quickly. Norwich were nothing special but its us I am worried about. Walters hopefully will come good and today was a decent start for him but we have two other strikers in Harrison and Jackson who at this time never look like scoring. Jordan Graham looks unfit and was as dreadful as he was the last time he came here although heavier. The back line did ok and considering he was put under the spotlight unexpectedly Gerken did ok. I do agree with the decision to drop Bart as he has not been himself of late. At the moment cannot see where the goals are coming from. Could not fault the effort of all the players today but that alone does not win games and Mr Hurst has much to do otherwise it could be a real struggle during the coming months.

marcusevans added 19:15 - Sep 2
We definitely were looking at better quality Ipswich Town players on the pitch today. Without Pennington and Walters I think we would have lost the game. With Huws (everyone keeps mentioning him) back and perhaps with the addition of Collins too we will be even stronger.

Things are looking better and I think Hurst has quickly learnt what he needs at this level and evolved accordingly. Probably a lower mid table team now but I’m not worried about getting relegated as perhaps I was a few games ago.

grinch added 19:32 - Sep 2
All those who give Scuse a hard time we were light in midfield after he departed Charbola does not tackle well and his passing is awful well done ealters and the difference it makes when you actually have 2 up front Gerks did not come for 1 ball all game but was ok edwards just needs to release that ball earlier although ge hasnt had anyone to release to so maybe thats why Nolan thought was good but Graham way off pace chambo and knudsen had good games and the new lad although narwich attack was poor Rhodes is as bad as harrison and jackson poor at best

TraktorBoyz added 19:53 - Sep 2
What he says about Bart being no different does that not apply to Skuse then because he has been our worst player by far and it showed how much better we was when he came off.

OurBlueheaven1 added 20:02 - Sep 2
Personally I didn’t think we played to bad today we were better in the second half, Walters and Jackson were good up top , Pennington looked very solid , we still look weak at the back from set pieces hopefully work on it . Good Skues is okay we need him as experience in midfield , the crowed today was amazing

afcfee added 20:16 - Sep 2
We can't keep playing Skuse just for the experience, he's been really bad with the ball, caught out position, not fast enough and pace is a dominant aspect of the game at the moment. Obviously PH is only playing him for lack of options or trust in the younger players but for me it looks more of gamble to play him than anything. They had a few clear cut chances in first half and we created little today, second half different story we controlled the ball a lot better and Knudsen was willing to get forward knowing he had pacey Chalobah to cover.

leahcar88 added 21:42 - Sep 2
Skuse played well then got injured. Pennington looks like a good loan. Not sure the criticism of Graham is fairly warranted, he’s clearly not match fit yet competed pretty well and I differ on his deliveries I thought they looked quite dangerous tbh. Thought Chambers played well. Spence also had a good game from what I witnessed yet criticised for some reason or another. Walters experience is vital, telling the new recruits where to go what to do etc.
Have to agree with hurst when he said the ball should of been cleared think by Nolan but he fluffed it out. He does look tidy but still finding his feet at this level

ArnieM added 22:45 - Sep 2
I’m amazed at the criticism of Skuse. Frankly some of you don’t have a clue as to his influence
(doing the dirty work in the side - every team needs a player like this , and Skuse does it very well).

phantom added 22:58 - Sep 2
Im sorry hurst i think your victim of your own success from last season.
If you think this was a good performance you are deluded.
where was the passing? all i see today was 2 very poor teams playing long ball.
These player you have need a lesson in passing the ball talk about shoddy.
You do know the training sessions are for coaching players in the ability of football??
We are going down this season all the hype and deluded fans that seem to think we will be alright will realise our fate come christmas.
Hurst is punching well above his weight its showing with his amature management so far this seasonn.

Bert added 23:28 - Sep 2
TWTD is not Hansard ! Is it really necessary to include every word, pause, repetition in interviews with our Manager ? Keep it brief and simple please. As to the game itself, it was entertaining, full of commitment and desire but yes, not bucket loads of quality; it was a derby and I enjoyed it.

afcfee added 23:39 - Sep 2
No he doesn't Arnie

RoyalAscotBlue added 23:54 - Sep 2
Good atmosphere today. Particularly enjoyed watching what was going on in section 6. So pleased to see people enjoying themselves at Portman Road again.

Pennington looked very assured and Walters has that touch of class we need up front, he will help to improve those around him.

Frustrating that we didn’t get the second goal, which would have settled it, when we were on top but we are still heading in the right direction and I’m absolutely certain that it will come good.

Two weeks more training together will help and there’s every chance that Huws will be involved next time out.

KernewekBlue added 00:18 - Sep 3
Watched the game on TV via the red button, as I live more than 350 miles away. Witnessed two poor Championship sides battle out a scruffy, tight fought game with little to show in terms of quality from either side. Norwich were certainly no better than us in real terms but shaded the passing and positional awareness... won't save them from flirting with relegation come the end of the season if they don't improve. We looked more aggressive, had the much better chances and more of them... same scenario for us though, unfortunately, if we don't become more clinical in front of goal and convert those chances.

I understand that all the new acquisitions coming in to the team might need more time to gel and find their feet at this level but, I sincerely hope that happens quickly. I could see no real difference in the way we played today (agricultural hoofball) than when MM was in charge. I had reason to hope that when the previous manager departed, we would at last try to play football when we took to the pitch rather than employ that aimless, long ball drudgery yet again. This could turn out to be a long, looooong season of anxiety for us if these players don't click into place sometime soon.

Realistically, having watched this display today, I would be happy come the end of the season if we just avoid relegation with a couple of games to go and then push on again in the 2019/20 season.

Jon Walters and the lad Pennington were at least a couple of plus points today. Chambo and Edwards had half decent games too. Spence looked a little too light-weight today at right back and is a worry.

However, Farke is fooling himself if he thinks they should have won today... I didn't think they deserved anything more from the game than we did.

Onwards and hopefully upwards... COYB!!!

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