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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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LimitlessBlue added 14:39 - Oct 4
I hope he goes, out of his depth with League One signings and getting shot of every goal threat we had. As if Sears is now seen as our striker! its awful.

legal_blue added 14:48 - Oct 4
There is no alternative to PH and another, long-term strategy. This may include relegation, but so be it. We would emerge from that reborn and renewed, instead of on the endless life-support hoof-ball of the MM era.

Keep the faith and support our team!

not_a_witty_name added 14:52 - Oct 4
I'm torn between giving him the sack and giving him a ten year contract. The fans wanted Sir Bobby out in the early days, I just hope that Paul learns how to win in the Championship.

Carl2588 added 14:57 - Oct 4
I like PH but I think he should go and take it as a learning curve. I'm sure Nigel Pearson is out of work if we could afford him.

bluemike1969 added 14:57 - Oct 4
No one person is bigger than the football club. I have said before, I like Paul Hurst but liking someone doesn't win you matches or win over fans, results on the other hand do and this is what Mr Hurst does not have.
I agree with not a witty name but I think the leagues have changed so much in the past 40 years that in my view, this is not going to happen. I think we need experience to steady the ship for the remainder of the season. Would Paul Hurst consider a job share with someone like George Burley? I doubt it, so there's only one option in my view.

kozmik added 14:58 - Oct 4
Yes, he may indeed be the best man to get us back out of League One

BlueySwede added 14:59 - Oct 4
If we drift 8-10 points from security I think Hursts time is up. But I genuinely hope things will change. From what I have seen, I do like him and believe that he could turn it around if given time (the question is what that timeline is for fans, management, etc)

alanbrazil added 15:03 - Oct 4
It's a tough time no one quite thought it would be this bad i don't think, judge him after 20 games not 11, it's quite clear Evans has not invested enough in the hope he would strike it lucky one year which we nearly did maybe relegation would really test Evans resolve as he would have to dig deep to 1.) keep hold of the dozzells and 2.) assemble a squad to get us back up, testing times as a town fan

Sir_Bob added 15:07 - Oct 4
Was it right to get rid of MM, certainly .
Was PH the right man for the job at the time, most probably.
Was it right to get rid of our best seasoned Championship players, that’s a big NO.
He’s made a massive mistake in doing that & now he looks lost. In hindsight he wouldn’t have done it, now that he has he’ll fall on his sword

muhrensleftfoot added 15:18 - Oct 4
Crazy to even think about sacking the manager after just 11 league games. That is clearly NOT the Ipswich way. He needs more time. A few things have gone against him/us such as unfair red cards and injuries to the likes of Jon Walters who would have made a big difference. Maybe I look through rose coloured specs but to me, it seems like we are not far away and a couple of victories in the coming month will make everything seem a lot better. A big difference to the shambles of Jewell when we were getting slapped almost every week.

Pabloisgod84 added 15:20 - Oct 4
Limitless blue -
im not sure he would of wanted to get rid of Waghorn. think you will find he wanted the move.
mcgoldrick i loved if he was fit but he will be injured for the season in a couple of weeks times always happens.
dont know about the garner situation - hardly prolific.

OwainG1992 added 15:25 - Oct 4
I dont think he rambled as much this time.
I wouldn't sack him because if Mick got the time he did surely we wouldn't them completely change tact.
I think it could come good and I sure do hope so.
Just wish he'd put more faith in our youth players.

Toronto_Tractor added 15:28 - Oct 4
Sir bob, he didnt 'get rid of our best seasoned Championship players' Mcgoldrick has wanted out for years to go back home and was always injured. Waghorn wanted out and who'd blame him, Garner also wanted to leave and shouldnt be seen as a major loss. Webster was a loss... but again, he wanted to leave. PH is not doing well but the squad changes didnt look as bad back in august as the table looks now.

itfc58 added 15:29 - Oct 4
those of you who believe that if we go down we'll bounce straight back up are deluded, there's certainly no grantee, plenty of clubs have slipped into oblivion. When we lose to Swansea on Saturday there will be just 34 games remaining, 102 points of which we need at least 44 more to be safe, that's 12 wins & 8 draws. Hows that ever going to happen when we cant even score? Be realistic PH certainly appears to be a nice guy, but he has dismantled our team and filled it with players that like him are out of their depth. He needs to go and the sooner the better.

TimmyH added 15:30 - Oct 4
As he knows Marcus is not a sacking owner and gives every manager under him a fair crack of the whip (which has largely been to our detriment).

clint_eastwood added 15:32 - Oct 4
D * E * A * D M * A * N W * A * L * K * I * N * G

TimmyH added 15:35 - Oct 4
“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.”

In layman's terms: 1. No money available 2. No ambition and yes another plan put in place which will take a few years to yield any large improvements (a plan which will then change with a new manager) and so and so on.

DurhamTownFan added 15:38 - Oct 4
1: if we go down we may very well never come back! Lots of people honking that it could do us good but Sunderland said that when they were in the PL and look at them now...

2: if we were to sack Hurst, who do we get in? Ditch the plan and get another old fashioned stabiliser and then have the MM problem again in two years? Or appointanother young manager who might not be able to keep us up?

barrystedmunds added 15:49 - Oct 4
with you on that one, Legal-Blue

bluephil021 added 16:02 - Oct 4
I agree the manager needs to go , he is at best a league 2 manager, but face facts who would take up this role. We have a squad which would struggle in the national league and no money to sort it out.

Philpomr added 16:04 - Oct 4
I think a swap with Bruce any day would have to be better. I wanted Paul to do well but when you get rid of your good players and buy in unknowns there not all going to be a find like Vardy!
But what really pees me off is the youth not being used. They are quality and better than some of players we got in. And don’t get me stated about one up front!!!

naa added 16:13 - Oct 4
He keeps going on about the goals on Tuesday as if that was the problem. By his own admission, there ins't much he can do about individual errors (though we defended awfully as a team as well), but he's not mentioned that we don't look lie scoring against anyone - even Bolton with 10 men. That is 100% on him.

You have Jackson up front (on his own) a player with pace but no ball control. So play to his strengths, play it through the middle. But when he finally brought on Dozzell (the only player we have capable of those balls) he'd taken Jackson off.

It's not rocket science.

And when will he admit one up front isn't working? It may have worked before but maybe he had the personnel for it then.

We're also playing two defensive midfielders (something McCarthy was rightly crucified for) yet the defence never seems to have any cover. How can that happen?

A few fundamental tactical issues he needs to solve for sure.

I'm also not seeing the fast passing football we were promised, just more ponderous build up play ending up in it going back to the defence for a hoof. Just like the football we hated lat season...

dubblue added 16:15 - Oct 4
I think a new manager will look for a transfer budget - will Mr Evans cough up, probably but only after selling Bart! What did PH get when he became manager? - yes he brought in a few new signings and loanees but this was all paid for with the money we got for Webster/Waghorn/Garner and I suspect that not all of this money was spent. Can somebody do the sums?? (Accept we also need to factor is changes in salaries but I suspect those who went out Mick and Didz in particular were on higher salaries than any of those who came in).
Given the fact that we can't buy any new players until January - prices tend to be higher as clubs seeking to buy are desperate! - I cannot see PH going unless our position remains the same come December.

Nobbysnuts added 16:32 - Oct 4
He should be!!!

marco007 added 16:44 - Oct 4
The reality is that we cannot do anything until January as this is the team that Hurst built!
I have to say that I am completely unimpressed with the quality of our squad as our best players have been sold, our promising youth ignored and replacements have been lower league and loanees that have only added to the confusion!
I have no issue with a manager having confidence and belief but his attitude has bordered on being reckless and arrogant. I was all for evolution, not revolution!

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