Gaffer's thoughts after vital 3 points at home to SouthendPaul Hurst revealed that Shrewsbury Town had worked on the routine that saw them secure a 1-0 win over Southend, which all but confirms the club’s League One status next season.
Junior Brown’s header just after the hour mark sparked wild celebrations at the Greenhous Meadow, with Town now six points clear of Port Vale 21st place.
Town’s superior goal difference means that they are now on the brink of safety, and Hurst explained the thinking behind the corner kick that led to three hugely valuable points.
“We said at half time to get the ball to the back post for Junior. We had a set up that we felt would cause them a bit of a problem.
“He might be small but we know he can leap, and towards the end he won some great headers.
“It was great to see him get on the scoresheet to get us that win we all thoroughly wanted.”
Both sides enjoyed spells of dominance on the day, and Town’s winner came in the midst of a sustained spell of pressure from Phil Brown’s side.
Hurst stated his pleasure at the performance as well as the ability of the players to handle the pressure.
“They put in a fantastic effort.”
He continued: “We talked about pressure going into the game and handling it and I thought the players did that fantastically well.
“In the first half we were by far the better team, they had a little spell just before half time.
“In the second half, they started better but I don’t think Jayson [Leutwiler] was forced into many saves.
“It was well deserved and I’m just delighted for everybody connected with the football club.”
With safety all but secure, Hurst was thrilled to see the scenes of joy at the final whistle as the Greenhous Meadow erupted.
“For people like stewards and announcers it’s just a waste of time!
“They’re almost the type of scenes you see when you get promoted, fans want to get on the pitch and I understand that.”
Hurst was still keen to point out that there is a job to be done next weekend to ensure that safety is mathematically secure.
“We still need to do a job next week, at the same time things would have to go dramatically wrong for us not to be kept in the league.
“We’re almost there, the facts are that we’re not yet, albeit would take a big swing in results.
“It’s been a tough challenge, I wanted to be a League One manager and – fingers crossed – after next Sunday, that’s what I’ll be.”
The manager revealed that there has been a change in approach from the coaching staff in recent weeks, in a bid to take some of the pressure off the players.
“We stopped doing the video analysis, we stopped work on set plays, in training we keep it as enjoyable as possible.
“We’ve tried to keep it quite relaxed, and the players have responded to that well.”
Hurst went on: “I hope that I’ve made it easy for them to come in and do their jobs, we’ve maintained a good spirit, which has helped us to try and get the best out of the players.
“It’s a fantastic job, but it is still a job, and when things are going against you, it can be a very lonely place.
“You can be isolated, but we’ve managed to cope with all those things, particularly the players and we’re almost there.”