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Match Previews

Paul Hurst Pre Millwall

8 December 2016

Gaffer speaks ahead of trip to London

Shrewsbury Town Boss Paul Hurst is looking forward to a trip to the Lion’s Den on Saturday when Town face Millwall in League One.

Town were unlucky not to get the victory last time out, having hit the post three times against Fleetwood in the FA Cup, but Paul is hopeful that their luck will turn soon.

“Everyone’s desperate for a goal,” admitted Paul.

“We had chances in the game against Fleetwood to get through to the next round, but found the woodwork in our way on three occasions.

“Louis’ was a strange one in particular. I thought he’d missed the chance all together, but having hit the post and seen it go back across the goal I was just waiting for it to go back into the net, but it wasn’t to be.

“If we’d have been a team at the top end of the league rather than the bottom I am sure we’d have won that game last Saturday and would be looking forward to a trip to Bristol City.

“Ultimately we’ve got the replay and I think when you’re at the other end things either don’t quite drop for you or confidence isn’t quite as high so you maybe snatch at one or two chances.

“We are the only ones that can put things right and that’s through hard work, but also between the ears, staying strong and trying to be as confident as you can be when you’re fighting at the other end of the table.”

Millwall currently sit 9th in the table after a mixed season so far, but Paul expects them to be in the promotion mix come the end of the season and believes it will be a difficult game.

“I went there once as a player and we managed to score six, but I’ve also been on the end of a few results that weren’t as good,” Hurst smiled. 

“It’s often a hostile environment. They will be a bit aggrieved that they’ve been knocked out of the cup, but we’re not going to read too much into that result because it was a very different team than I’m sure we will be facing.

“I think they should be in the promotion mix. I think Neil (Harris) might be slightly disappointed that they’re not higher, but it’s a team that made the play-offs last season and couldn’t have quite easily been in the Championship.

“A lot of the players are still similar, so we know that they are capable and know that they’ve certainly got threats going forward and players that can score a lot of goals, so we’re going to have to defend well.”

Town are now favourites with most bookmakers to go down this season, but he wants his players to have a siege mentality and ultimately prove people wrong come May.

“For me, on a personal level, it’s important to prove people wrong,” said Paul.

“I don’t know whether that was because I never grew or something, but I’ve always felt there’s an element of obstacles to overcome.

“Some people have said it’s a surprise for me to come here and have questioned if it’s a good move. Time will tell ultimately, but I came here with an idea of keeping us in the league and I know that won’t be easy and it will take a lot of fight and spirit, but I was up for that and still am.

“If we end up not being good enough across a season then we will have to hold our hands up, but let’s go about it at least with the right mentality at the beginning of each game and on the training ground.

“I think there is a better feel to it all, but we will see if we can turn that into results.”

Meanwhile, Paul confirmed that Abu Ogogo was available after his three game suspension, but the game comes too soon for Joe Riley, AJ Leitch-Smith and Shaun Whalley.

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