Hurst Not Worried About Situation as Campaign Enters Sacking Season
Thursday, 4th Oct 2018 14:30
Blues boss Paul Hurst insists he’s not worried about his immediate Town future despite club owners elsewhere already starting to get itchy trigger fingers, Aston Villa having sacked Steve Bruce yesterday.
The October international break, traditionally a time for early-season managerial changes, follows Saturday’s game at Swansea with the Blues still to record a win under Hurst, who took charge late in May, after 11 league matches and the Carabao Cup tie at Exeter.
Asked whether he is worried about his situation here, Hurst said: “No, I think when I spoke to the owner [a fortnight ago] he made it clear what his thoughts were and if that changes, it changes.
“But that’s not in my control. I’m not saying it was the right decision for Steve Bruce to go, he’s got promotion out of the league and it’s strange because not so many weeks ago he was the right man for the job and there wasn’t a better one out there, but that's changed.
“Would that have been different if Glenn Whelan had put the penalty away [in Tuesday's 3-3 draw with Preston]? That’s not just on that one player, a lot more goes on before that, the referee’s decision as well [for James Chester’s red card].
“As far as I’m concerned, the way I understood the rules, the double jeopardy rule, he shouldn’t have been sent off.
“Steve Bruce has nothing to prove to anyone in terms of his record and knows what he can do.”
Does he believe Saturday’s result at Swansea will have a bearing on his future? “I haven’t been told that if that’s the case. I just want to try and get the result that we want and that’s where the focus is.”
Has he found the Championship tougher than he expected? “Some things are clearly difficult and other things I would suggest aren’t, but ultimately while ever we are in the position that we find ourselves in and people can and will make assumptions that they will say are right, but I’m confident in my abilities and [assistant] Chris [Doig]’s and we know how we prepare, the job and what it takes.
“You’re obviously with a group of players and other circumstances can also influence that. You can only control what you do and the biggest thing for me is be professional and do things the right way.
“There’ll be lots of people who have done that and it doesn’t work out for whatever reason. There are others that don’t take it quite like that and get away with it. But they’ll only get away with it for so long.
“You’ve just got to stay focused, keep professional and hope that things change the way that you want them to.”
Has there been anything which has surprised him or been unexpected about the Championship? “There’s more quality but often it’s not the quality that’s blatantly obvious to everyone.
“It’s just certain things, a ball might be fizzed in at someone and it’s brought under control and laid off, or the ball’s up in the air, and we’ve all seen it in games, sometimes it is turned into a game of head tennis for a little while, but I think more often in this league suddenly someone might cushion a soft little header to get the ball back down under control and play.
“I think there’s certainly more passes generally and more football played. That’s not every team but across the board more teams look to play.
“I don’t think anything’s particularly surprised me and what I would say is over the course of the season I think it’ll make a big difference having a squad like Middlesbrough, for instance, and the money they’ve spent to assemble it.
“But at the same time, unless you get them all on very good days, you’ve just got to really understand that you’re playing against 11 players and not against this name that carries weight.
“And that might be the players’ names as well. Roll your sleeves up, give them a bit of respect but approach it with that confidence. We’re back to that and at this moment in time we haven’t got that much to draw on in that department.”
After a summer of such change at Portman Road, when does Hurst feel it will be the right time to judge him? “I’ve got an idea in my mind as in a couple of periods where [it might be realistic to assess], whether you can make an absolute judgement [I’m not sure] but in terms of what I feel is required.
“They’ll remain in my mind and private between myself and Chris but we all know what football is and what it’s like and one thing I hate is trying to offer up any excuses.
“Let people make their own minds up on that, I try to just get on with the job in hand and hopefully get the results that show the work that we’re doing is the correct way to do things.”
Asked whether 11 or 12 games is too soon for a manager to be jettisoned, he responded: “I wouldn’t particularly say that. I think it depends on what the job is. I only mention it because I was asked about it, but the Aston Villa job compared to the Ipswich job, we’re in the same league but I think everyone in football knows it’s a different job.
“Some people get away with being average because of what’s maybe available and different circumstances at the club. But overall, lots of chairmen will be less patient than Marcus, as was mentioned to me the other week, and I think that’s a credit to him. It depends on what you see as the vision and what’s the idea moving forward.”
He says the pair will talk following the Swans match: “I’m sure I’ll speak to him after the game on Saturday.”
Quizzed on whether his confidence as a manager has been hit by the current run, he says such spells do have an impact.
“I think it makes you question things more in defeat,” he reflected. “When things are going well you can get, not complacent in terms of just leaning back, thinking ‘I’m alright’, but whether you question things as much.
“The same thing when things aren’t going well, you can probably overanalyse things, you’re always looking for a reason because as human beings we’re built that way most of us, you want to know why it’s not working - why did that not go in? Why are we on the run that we are?
“So you’ve got to be careful not to do that. We’re not very good sometimes accepting things for what they actually are and the other night was probably one of those in terms of watching it back and listening to people who are neutral.
“It was pretty obvious what it was. I can’t do too much about that, I can keep looking at the goals, I can wrack my brains, I can think about picking a team, all of that, but a large part of it was down to a couple of poor mistakes.”
He admits nothing would restore confidence as much as an end to the long wait for a win: “That’s what we’ve been saying for some time. I was asked a question the other night about the longer it goes. I think we’re passed that now in terms of knowing where we’re at and it’s not where we want to be.
“As much as I’d love to win on Saturday, or whether that’s Saturday or had come before, that’s not suddenly the magic formula and everything is just going to run smoothly then, that’s not often how life is.
“But it would at least stop that question being asked all the time. It would change the table when you look at it and the column and you would hope it gives the players a bit of a lift. But there’s no guarantees going into that next game.”
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