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Paul Hurst Pre Northampton Town

The Gaffer looks ahead to the start of the season

3 August 2017

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst admits that he’s looking forward to the season getting underway on Saturday.

Hurst will lead Town on an opening day for the first time when they take on Northampton Town in the first Sky Bet League One game of the 2017/18 season.

Town have enjoyed a good pre-season campaign, winning four times against Championship opposition, but the Town Manager can’t wait for the competitive games to start.

“I'm glad it's come around”, Paul told the Press.

“There’s a bit of apprehension as well. Pre-season results have gone well against higher opposition and some fans will think we’ve beaten them so Northampton will be easy, but that is not the case. They beat Derby themselves and you are never quite sure what is going to happen on the opening day.

“Ultimately, whatever happens in the first five or six games doesn’t mean you are going to be successful or terrible, but everyone is desperate to get off to a good start and get those first points on the board.”  

It’s been a busy summer for both sides with Northampton adding the likes of Matt Crooks, Dean Bowditch and Aaron Pierre to their squad. Paul believes they have done some good business and expects they to be right up for it comes Saturday.

“Irrespective of how pre-season’s gone everyone is optimistic going into a new season”, said Hurst.

“I’ve been involved in pre-season’s where we’ve been poor and then you get too the first game and you win comfortably, so you can’t take too much from pre-season.

“They’ve certainly added some quality and know-how to their group. I think it’s too early to say how they will want to play in terms of style.

“In pre-season so much passing goes on and then it gets to the first game of the season and suddenly the ball spends more time in the air than on the grass.

“So, I can’t really say how they will line-up, but what I can say is that they have added some quality that’s for certain.”

The season kicks off at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, where Town lost just three times under Paul Hurst last season and the former Grimsby boss is hoping to continue that good home form this this time around.

“I think we had a good feeling around the club last year”, said Paul.

“The more victories we got at home, the more we looked forward to games at home and it would be great if we could have a season of that.

“The fans seem to be on-board at the minute and we need them. They are a big part of the football club.

“We’ve got to try and give them something to shout about on the pitch because they certainly responded to that last season and I felt like the atmosphere got much better.”

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