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Paul Hurst Pre Walsall

13 April 2017

Gaffer looks ahead to home game with Walsall

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst stressed the importance of Town playing their own game when they take on Walsall on Saturday.

Town moved out of the relegation zone with a one-nil win over Rochdale last time out and they take on a Saddlers side which currently sit 14th in League One.

Paul was pleased with his side’s performance against Rochdale and believes it was an important confidence booster.

“I think we needed that win”, admitted Paul.

“I think the players needed it in truth to perhaps restore a little bit of belief and confidence, but overall I didn’t think the performance levels previously had been as bad as the results suggested.

“However, the longer a run goes on where you are not getting a victory you start to question when that’s going to change.

“I thought the lads were excellent in their approach and their attitude to it - helped by not the biggest crowd, but a vocal crowd - and it made it a nice weekend for everybody.

“It’s set us up nicely for these remaining four games. Everything is still extremely tight, nothing’s decided because of one victory, but we are still very much in the mix and have given ourselves a chance.”

Town have just four games remaining in order to secure their League One status and Paul has called on all the players to stick together for the run in.

“There’s always been a focus of keeping the group together as much as possible”, Hurst said.

“I didn’t feel that that was in evidence when I walked through the door and the message yesterday was that we have 10 training sessions left and four games, so if they can’t keep focussed for that period then we are in trouble.

“For some it is easier than others because they’ve been almost ever present and for others they might be finding it difficult to get in, but you never know when that might change.

“For example, Jack’s (Grimmer) been on the sidelines for a while and then he comes in on Saturday and we get a win and in fairness to Jack he’s always maintained a positive work ethic and a good attitude to it.

“In terms of our approach I think we’ve got to try and not complicate it, try and keep things as simple as possible and just go out there and be positive. If we do that and play anywhere near the levels we can then we certainly have a good chance.”

Walsall are sitting comfortably in mid-table with four games to go, but Hurst doesn’t expect them to take their foot off the pedal.

“Knowing Jon Whitney, Ian Sharps and Neil Cutler they won’t want the season just to go out with a whimper”, continued Paul.

“They’ve had another good season and were on the verge of the play-offs up until recently and they are that position where they are comfortable.

“Jon’s got the luxury of perhaps looking at one or two little things, but that won’t be ‘Oh, let’s have a look and it doesn’t matter if we’re not very good and we just lose’, he will still be demanding and expecting performances from players, and with it being a local derby they won’t need any motivation either.”

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