New gaffer looks ahead to the weekend's gameShrewsbury Town’s new Manager Paul Hurst has spoken to the media ahead of his first game against Southend on Saturday.
Hurst joined the club on Monday and faces a tough opening game against Phil Brown’s Southend side who have improved in recent weeks after a difficult start themselves.
Paul admits that his first few days in the job have been busy, but he’s hoping to see a reaction from the players come Saturday.
“It’s been quite manic, very busy and I’m getting to know the football club a little more,” Paul told the Press.
“It will be a long process realistically, but happy with what I’ve seen and there seems some really nice people here.
“Ultimately we’re not here to make friends, although it would be nice along the way, but the main thing is the football and I’ve had three sessions now with players and they’ve been good.
“They’ve responded to what we’ve looked at and shown a good attitude, but it’s really early days and if they can’t show a good attitude now then we would be struggling.”
Hurst is well known as a hard taskmaster and the former Grimsby boss is hoping that an increase in the tempo of training will yield the goods.
“I think Tuesday was quite hard, but nothing that they are not capable of,” admitted the manager.
“I think you have to be slightly careful of overloading them to what they have been used to and then having nothing left in the tank come Saturday, but I expect us to be a fit side as we move forward.
“Today we just tapered it off slightly because of someone getting a little injury in training and I’m conscious of us losing more players and having less options available to us at the weekend.
“But, in the coming weeks there will definitely be a lot of hard work.”
With Town sitting bottom of League One, Hurst knows he has a tough job on his hands but he is hoping to get his message across quickly and galvanise the players.
“I expect a commitment,” said Paul.
“One of the things I’ve watched and seen, and perhaps picked up on slightly in training, is when things go against you, which they often do when you are down there, it’s had too much of a domino effect
“I haven’t got a magic wand. I can’t go round and suddenly heal them and give them all the confidence in the world and make everything right, but I can try and get the message across about what we are looking for and staying together is a massive one.
“When things are going well, you go out there and you just get on with your job. Probably sometimes as a manager your job comes too easy, you’re just trying to guard on complacency really, but when things are tough it’s about galvanising and that’s what we aim to do.”
After a run of four straight defeats Town are in urgent need of picking up some points and Hurst reiterated the importance of getting points on the board sooner rather than later.
“It’s another game, it’s another three points where if we are not successful then we have missed out on,” said Hurst.
“I can see that it’s a tough job, but we’ve got to start picking up points somewhere and the sooner the better, because if not we will get cut adrift and that’s the last thing anyone wants.
“Because, then it is harder to keep driving the players and saying this can be achieved when everyone looks at it and thinks you are close to needing a miracle. So, we have got to stay in touch,” added Paul.