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Hurst Not Afraid to Return to 3-5-2 Despite Brentford First Half
Thursday, 20th Sep 2018 20:06

Town manager Paul Hurst says he’ll not be afraid to use a 3-5-2 system in the future if circumstances suit, despite the formation not having worked during the first half of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Brentford. The Blues manager has watched that 45 minutes again and says it wasn’t quite as bad as he first thought.

“I think we’ve got the players that can do that,” he said when asked if he might return to 3-5-2 at some point later on down the line, the Blues having reverted to their more regular 4-2-3-1 system during their vastly improved second period against the Bees.

“I’ve heard a few comments, not directly, from within the squad they felt comfortable with that and think that that’s something that could work.

“It didn’t work [on Tuesday] but not because of Jordan Spence and Janoi [as wing-backs], it didn’t work because we didn’t keep the ball well enough and watching it back that was the biggest thing more than anything else.

“Brentford will cause any team problems in possession but what we didn’t do well enough was execute the game plan with the ball and gave over possession too easily, something that a fan that’s been to training today, and is sat at the back of the room, saw with his own eyes very clearly. It’s nice when someone else sees what I did as well, and that was the reason.

“That’s not particularly to do with the system. I just felt we needed to get a couple more players on the pitch who are a little bit more attack-minded and that lent itself to a change of system.”

Hurst says players’ views don’t come into it when he’s looking at making a tactical change at half-time as he did on Tuesday.

“No, that’s what I’m paid for,” he said. “When you’re walking off the pitch sometimes you hear comments like, ‘We’re getting overrun in here’ or ‘That’s not happening’ but that’s very much my call and I know why I did what I did and whether that was starting or changing.

“That’s what I’m paid for, a lot of thought goes into it, despite what some people might think. You live and die by decisions but ultimately you’ve got to do what you think is right.”

He added: “I think if I’m ever deemed to be someone who is scared to make a big decision I’ll start to question myself.

“As a manager, you’re the one with your head on the block. Irrespective of what anyone else thinks, I’m always going to make decisions which I think are right.

“That’s what always confuses me when people question, whether it’s myself or other managers, unless they’ve got a massive pay-off and are hoping someone wants to let them go an lie on a beach, you’re trying to do what’s right to keep you in a job and get you results.

“Whether people think that it’s a bit of a different idea, I’d say we’re in the job as managers because we’ve in the main had either a decent track record or you know the game, have been in the game a long time and are probably in a place to at least attempt to make those decisions.”

Hurst felt confidence was an issue in that first half: “Yes, and I think that’s where any frustration from a small section of the crowd comes in at times. You almost [feel like that] yourself, so I understand that.

“But in the situation we're in it becomes more difficult. In the second half it still wasn’t anywhere near perfect, but at the same time we did it better. We found more forward passes and we did have some better spells of possession.

“While they had some very good moves in the game, we did make them turn over possession probably more than I’ve seen in their games that I’ve watched, even in the first half.

“So to a degree some of what we were trying to do was working but we weren’t good enough with the football.”

He also has no doubt that Ellis Harrison and Kayden Jackson can become a potent strike partnership at Championship level if he uses a two-man attack in the future.

“Definitely,” he insisted. “That’s irrespective of 45 minutes [against Brentford], I know they could be a partnership if that’s what I decide to go with.

“I also think they can both play with Jon Walters with his experience, he’ll help them and talk them through the game.

“I think that’s an option to us when they’re all available and if I want to go with a partnership again.”

While he made an adjustment to his system as a reaction to Brentford on Tuesday, he says he is aware that there was a belief that there was too much concentration on opponents by the previous management team.

“There’s nothing wrong with changing formation, players or whatever it is for the opposition,” he said.

“But I’ve been told that last season there was a feeling within the group [that there seemed to be more focus on the opposition], whether that’s a feeling that they’re looking for an excuse, I wouldn’t know.

“I know what players are like, I’ve been one myself, I’ve been involved in dressing rooms when things aren't going right you cling on to the tiniest crumb of comfort to say, ‘It’s not our fault, the wind were blowing a bit, my passes were overhit’, whatever it is.

“There seemed to be a feeling that there seemed to be more focus on the opposition on a regular basis, apart from the obvious where you do your homework and your research and pay respect to what you’re going to come up against and at the same time a lot of that is in terms of how we can hurt the opposition.

“The other night was a change because I didn’t feel we would have done as well sticking to what we had been doing in that game, and I stand [by that].

“To clarify what I’m saying, the other night we may well have started with the system that started the second half, but it might have been the same sort of game because if you keep giving the ball away it doesn’t matter what system you play.

“And then we might have changed at half-time and done a little better. We can get carried away with it but we did have a clear plan of what we were trying to do.

“I’ve got a clear view and if we’re on a journey, and hopefully a long journey, the path isn’t going to be all smooth.

“There are going to be times we might have to go away from what I ideally want to do. But for the long term I’m very clear in what I want to achieve and whenever we can look to do that along the way then that’s what we’ll do.”

After the defeat at Hull, Hurst described the Town support as “the best set of fans that I’ve managed in front of in terms of how they’ve backed the players and how I haven’t heard that negativity that can quite quickly come”.

Explaining that further, he added: “I think when I make a comment saying what I did it can be deemed as trying to get them on side, keep them on side or whatever. But it was genuine.

“The reason is because there’s such a number of fans at this football club, to feel like you’ve got all of that backing is very good and pleasing.

“I think I get the impression that when there’s a call for a change, it’s very easy to change your mind when things don’t quite start the way that you want.

“And I think overall if that was the case they’d have been a lot louder and not as supportive.

“But I think there is genuine [support], with a lot of people’s feelings and thoughts towards what they would like to see happen at their football club, and ultimately it is their football club.

“I’ve been really impressed, I’ve mentioned that there were one or two groans and again that’s understandable because with some of the passes I’m sure they were sitting in the stand thinking, ‘Maybe I could have made that pass’, but at the same time there was some decent football played still.

“I went to a game last night, there were more fans at the game I went to last night. But there wasn’t a better atmosphere there.

“That’s not me being biased or anything. We were talking about it earlier today, we thought the atmosphere was very good again. That’s a credit to the supporters.”

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RobITFC added 20:20 - Sep 20
Sounds like he is looking for a way to acommodate Chambers, Pennington and Nsiala ? If playing wing backs needs to play Kenlock

NoCanariesAllowed added 20:37 - Sep 20
Saw a few comments after Tuesday's lineup was announced along the lines of 'right setup, wrong personnel'. The 3-5-2 isn't necessarily a problem but that particular combination of players and formation was a disaster, especially against that opponent.

If, as Hurst says, he's "got the players that can do that", they really weren't the ones he picked on Tuesday - or if they were, it seems they'd take a damn long time to get it right against an opponent of any quality.

RSblue added 21:24 - Sep 20
3-5-2 can be a very positive formation. But using 2 immobile wing backs (Spence and Knudsen) will not make it work.

Emanuel and Kenlock with pace and offense surely would have been worth a shout ?

christiand added 21:54 - Sep 20
I’m certainly not adverse to returning to that formation, even after that dreadful first half on Tuesday night, but PH needs to get the personnel right in key positions. Spence showed last season on numerous occasions he struggles as a wing back, just hasn’t got the pace or stamina to do the job. Donacien, from what I’ve seen so far, is a defender first not a maurading full back. Both players appear better suited in a flat back four and are conventional full backs, you need athletes in those two positions for the wing back roles to work effectively. For me, it’s either Knudsen or Kenlock on the left and Ward on the right in those wing back roles. I think even Emmanuel would be a better option to Spence if playing 3-5-2.

Warkys_Tash added 22:13 - Sep 20
Fine with that but dont play Spence at Right Wing Back and certainly not Donacien who is right footed at left wing back.

Both line is we dont have any, so if I was PH I would bother to entertain it again this season.

Scuzzer added 22:16 - Sep 20
From what I saw on Tuesday it was not 3-5-2. Definitely 5-3-2. Donacien spent the whole of the first half with nobody to mark. Totally wasted. If we want to play 3-5-2 then we need to play the correctly skilled and tooled players for the wing back roles. Do we have those players?

alfromcol added 22:21 - Sep 20
Mick Mills saw the errors of this even before the game started!! Bit worried about Hurst - hope I am wrong. We were absolute crap in the first half. As I have said before, Spence should be no where near the starting line up. I have seen Douglas trot back after losing the ball, faster than Spence.

carsey added 22:39 - Sep 20
Problem is Spence is not good enough and one of the best full backs we have is languishing on loan at Shrewsbury. I was really hoping Hurst would come in and get those players we had playing football. Instead he's decided to stamp his mark on the team, sell our best players and basically ignore the youth.
I was never expecting perfect or promotion just improvement.
I just hope we've not got another arrogant Yorkshireman.

aas1010 added 23:04 - Sep 20
Evans out

KiwiBlue2 added 01:15 - Sep 21
A key aspect of a 3-5-2 is having pace on the wings. I liked the idea of playing it against Brentford but was disappointed that the team selection of the middle 5 did not have pace on the outsides. I would like to see a 5 of Edwards Huws Nolan Dozzel Rowe given a few games when they are all fit.

shakytown added 01:44 - Sep 21
He sounds more like Keane every day.

Henrietta_R_Hippo added 05:57 - Sep 21
Interesting views ('from the Bridge' :-D) from Mr. Hurst indeed.

All fine with me, although I for one don't buy into ALL 100% of his on-the-defense "logic" & and even to some degree neither specifically the everlastingness of his apparent ultra high concern for what us supporters ultimately want & think as he, among a plethora of various refreshingly respectful things about us the fans besides tactics, is quoted saying in this article here. But hey! most certainly are politely delivered (as opposed to Muck's often obnoxious 'Way of the Dino' aka 'I don't give a flying f@ck' style) personal elaborations like these not only always more than welcome from a football club's manager, but it has also been crystal clear for quite a while that Hurst, not all that unlike his ousted Yorkshire predecessor, is a very firm believer in himself, his own managerial decisions, his style & quote "stamping" on this club... and fundamentally & this despite being unproven at his level: Why on Earth shouldn't he be, right???

Ehhh imho 'It's just peachy Paul!' Really it is! Just as long as that doesn't let you stray into NAIVETY limbo-territory or direct aspects of Albert E's -- often mentioned here on TWTD's news comments in the same breath as Muck --'Definition of Insanity'! :-D

Well apart from said points above, I additionally just happen to think, for long actually, that there simply put is too darn little TAOISM on this fan site!... As well as among fractions of Ipswich fans in general, and evidently even among some inside £ 700+ mill net worth Scrooge Evans's not so *magical* as the name of its current shirt sponsor club itself too... So in that light allow me to recite some little but deeply fitting for ITFC so called 'Food For Thought' from this eons old philosophy' divine founder himself:

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings"

WadeyBlue added 06:59 - Sep 21
Needed Taricco or Ullenbeek at right back and Kenlock at left back for it to work!

OwainG1992 added 07:23 - Sep 21
3-5-2/5-3-2 can work with the right personnel. If let's say he was set on it against Bolton and had Bart or Dean in goal.
Then Donacien Chambers Pennington Nsiala and Kenlock.
Skuse Downes and Nolan.
Then say Jackson and Edwards for example could work well.

muccletonjoe added 08:11 - Sep 21
A lot BS in that interview.

ArnieM added 09:04 - Sep 21


positivity added 09:18 - Sep 21
if we go for the formation, i think we have to consider cotter as back-up to donacien on the right. seems to be out in the cold at the moment, but showed promise last year, and wing-back would better suit him than full-back. kenlock for the left, with knudsen backing up as lcb appears a no-brainer.
however, our stand-out perfomer at the moment is edwards and the 3-5-2 leaves him without a spot, so i'd stick with wingers for the moment...

Edmundo added 10:58 - Sep 21
Our form players need to be starting, so that means 4-2-3-1 to allow for Edwards, then we can argue about the other 10!

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