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Paul Hurst post Middlesbrough

8 November 2016

Gaffer's thoughts after the win over Middlesbrough U21s

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst was pleased to keep the winning momentum going with a 3-0 win in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Two goals from AJ Leitch-Smith and another form Ivan Toney were enough to see off Middlesbrough U21s and Hurst was pleased with the performance.
“It’s pleasing to win any game and I’ve just said to the players about trying to get into habits and winning is a great habit to have,” Paul told ShrewsWeb.
“We haven’t done enough of it in general to date, so to win two games on the spin, score six goals and two clean sheets, with some lads getting some minutes, so overall it’s a pretty good night for us.
“Tones hit the bar, could have had another one. AJ perhaps could have had a hat-trick, missed one early on where his touch just took him a little bit wide, but I think he’s looked lively.
“From what people were telling me, he’s had a bit of a stop start time, but he’s looking more the player that was signed originally. He looks like he’s going to score and that’s always a massive plus.”
Town dominated the game and could have scored more, but it was the players attitude which impressed Hurst the most.
“As I said in the dressing room it’s not me, it’s the players,” said Paul.
“The players are the ones that need to be mentally right for games and we spoke about that beforehand.
“They went out and they did a job and we had a moan at half time because we wanted to win the game in more emphatic fashion.
“We got a third perhaps could have had one or two more and we’re just trying to form good habits rather than getting sloppy when things seem to be going your way.”
Mark Halstead replaced Jayson Leutwiler in goal, with the number one away on international duty and Paul was pleased with how he handled himself.
“Jayson’s done well since we’ve come in,” Paul continued.
“Saturday, under a lot of pressure, I thought he dealt well with the balls in the box, was quite brave a couple of times, but him going away has give Mark an opportunity and that’s a good start for him tonight.
“He spilt one slightly second half, but the biggest thing for that is the reaction and he reacted quickly and got on the ball before the striker and we’ve seen tonight that he kicks the ball very well, so he can be pleased with his nights work.”
With a crowd of just above 300 it was difficult at times for the players to feed off the atmosphere, but Paul reiterated the importance of attitude and was delighted to get another win.
“The message was about attitude before the game and when there’s not a crowd you’ve got to try and find something to draw on and for me the message was ‘it is still very early days, don’t live on what we did on Saturday,” said Hurst.
“The lads that have played again followed that up. For the lads that it’s been the first time out on the pitch like Mark, Olly, Shaun and Ethan it was the first chance to impress.
“So, from that point of view I think generally we did impress as a team and it’s good to get another victory,” added Paul.

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