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Paul Hurst post Rochdale

8 April 2017

Gaffer's thoughts after the win over Rochdale

A “proud” Paul Hurst hailed his players after their 1-0 win over Rochdale but warned that there are still four big performances needed to secure safety.

Stefan Payne’s first goal for Town was enough to earn the three points and the result was enough to lift Hurst’s side out of the League One relegation zone.

Results elsewhere ensured that Town are now where they want to be, but Hurst insisted that the table will only be relevant at the end of the season.

“It’s where we are on April 30th that matters, but in the mean time we know that we have to pick up points because we were one of the teams occupying that bottom four.

“There are four major efforts still to come.”

Hurst went on: “It’s been a little while since we’ve had this feeling, it’s great to get back to winning ways and other teams will be disappointed when they see this result.

“It’s nice to see us above that line, but when that game finishes at Oxford we need to be there.”

Hurst was clearly delighted with his players after earning the win from a difficult game, and he was pleased to see a shift in the luck that the team have been receiving in recent weeks.

“The effort is there, I don’t think anybody can question the effort from the players in difficult conditions.

“They put in an incredible shift, I’m proud of the players, I felt that they got what they deserved.

“It was a tough game, Rochdale are a good team, but we were due a bit of luck.”

Payne’s goal after 16 minutes was his first after joining on loan in January, and Hurst was pleased to see his selection pay off.

“He worked tirelessly and I’m really pleased for him because there were one or two little groans towards him.

“His finish was extremely cool, it got us off to a good start and in the end it’s won us the game.

“He could quite easily have been put off but he slotted it home coolly and that can only help his confidence going into the remaining games.”

Hurst accepted that things have not gone the way that his striker would’ve hoped since joining, but believes that he is now ready to make an impact.

“I think he’s been a little bit frustrated with everything.

“I’ve seen him sprinting up and down on the training ground trying to make sure he’s fit and ready to play.

“The 62 minutes he put in today, that was a big effort.”

Another impressive performance came from Bryn Morris, who together with Gary Deegan provided a solid shield in front of the back four.

Hurst was clearly delighted with a man of the match performance from the midfielder, but he gave a cheeky response when questioned if he’d done enough to earn a new deal…

“If he can score and last 90 minutes, he’ll have an even better chance won’t he?

“There is no doubt that he has the technical ability to score goals from outside the box, so fingers crossed, if he can chip in between now and the end of the season, that would be fantastic.”

Hurst continued: “I think his defensive work is improving, he’s not frightened to put a tackle in and compete and he’s got a good range of passing.”

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