Paul Hurst Pre Southend United
Gaffer looks ahead to the final home game of the season
Shrewsbury Town Manager Paul Hurst is calling on his team to stay positive when they take on Southend on Saturday.
If Town can win and results go their way then they will secure their League One safety.
However, Paul believes his job this week is about getting the players prepared both mentally and physically for what will be a big occasion.
“My job is relatively easy”, Hurst told the Press.
“It’s just about helping them as best I can in terms of any small details that we need to make them aware of, trying to keep them as relaxed as possible, but as always it’s that fine line between being relaxed and beating your chest and ready to go.
“It’s an emotional game we are involved in and fans can let their emotions out, but the players they have to control that because if you build yourself and the game up too much you can fatigue a lot quicker.
“This is an occasion, with it being the last home game, and we know the importance of the game, but we’ve got two teams that it’s extremely important for and Southend have got to deal with that pressure themselves as well.”
Southend currently sit seventh in League One with win on Saturday potentially seeing them move into the play-offs and Paul is well aware of the threats they pose.
“I just want us to be positive and try and play our game”, said Paul.
“What I would say is that we know Southend are a very good team. They have got numerous players that can hurt you.
“I’m sure that quite a few of their players are being watched by teams higher up and maybe the key for Southend to try and keep some of those lads would be getting promotion themselves.
“They will be disappointed on the back of their result on Monday, which would have seen them get into the play-off spots, so they will feel like they’ve got to win this week.
“My understanding is that they are shipping supporters, so it could be a big crowd in. Hopefully, it will be a good atmosphere like it was against Walsall, that will be good for everyone, and we’ve got to try and respond to that.
A big crowd is expected at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday and Paul Hurst believes the fans can play their part in the fight for survival.
“I’m not a manager that will just say things to get people on side, but the fans have been fantastic since we’ve come in”, Hurst said.
“The Walsall game we drew and I think there were a hell of a lot that stayed around to clap the players and again the other day at Northampton.
“They’ve been so supportive and from a managers point of view I can’t criticise them at all. There was a question mark over them being a bit quiet, but of late they have put that to bed.
“They have been very noisy, there’s been plenty of atmosphere in the ground and added to the fact of the away following that Southend are going to bring, I am sure that will be there on Saturday.”