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Paul Hurst Pre Oldham Athletic

31 December 2017

Gaffer looks ahead to New Year's Day game

Shrewsbury Town Boss Paul Hurst is wary of the threats Oldham Athletic can cause as Town prepare to take on the Latics on New Year’s Day.

Town sent Oldham to the bottom of League One when they beat them in September but they have improved dramatically since then.

Part of that improvement has been down to the appointment of former Town midfielder Richie Wellens as Oldham boss and Hurst praised Wellens for his impact.

“He’s done a good job”, Paul said.

“In fairness, I think we all came away from our game against them and said that they didn’t look like a bottom of the table team, but that only emphasis’ the strength of the league.

“I watched their game against Fleetwood and they lost 2-1, but they had lots of the play and they will be disappointed to have lost that game.

“I think Richie’s changed the system around at certain times, but they’ve got players that on their day can certainly hurt you.”

One of their strengths earlier in their season was their powerful frontline of Eoin Doyle and Craig Davies and Paul understands the quality they possess.

“Doyle’s been missing the last couple of games and there’s a lot of speculation around his future, so whether or not he lines up against us we will see, but both of them (Doyle and Davies), whether individually or together, are a handful”, Hurst acknowledged.

“They’ve got the lad (Jack) Byrne in on-loan from Wigan who is a very good footballer, very clever on the ball, so as always it’s very easy to identify players that can cause us problems.”

The game against Oldham will be the first in 2018 and Hurst would love to start the year with a win.

“It would be nice to start 2018 off with a home victory”, said Paul.

“2017 has been very fruitful for us at home and we’d hope that we can carry that on for the New Year.”

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