Gaffer looks ahead to Checkatrade Trophy tie
Shrewsbury Town boos Paul Hurst is looking for his side to progress in their second cup competition in the space of four days tomorrow night.
Town take on Port Vale in the first knockout round of the Checkatrade Trophy, just four days after reaching the third round of the FA Cup.
And with Wembley the potential prize at the end of it, Paul is taking this competition seriously.
“I said after the game that that’s one down and one more to go”, Hurst told the Press.
“I did say that when we get to January I want to still be in good shape in the league and in two cup competitions and whether that will be the case we will know soon enough, but one of those tasks has been completed.
“I take it as an opportunity to do really well in a cup competition. Some of the other competitions, with the best will in the world, we are probably going to struggle, whereas this is a competition that we could genuinely win.
“I think there’s quite a few clubs that don’t take that thought, so straight away you can lose some of your competition, whereas I want to do well in it. Whether we do we will see, but from my point of view I won’t be going to Port Vale tomorrow night with a weakened team or with any thoughts other than to win the game.”
Last season Town put in a poor performance away at Vale Park and Hurst believes there is a little bit of a score to settle there.
“When we went there in the league when we needed a result it didn’t really have that feel to it”, Paul said of the rivalry.
“That whole experience last year, from the performance, to the result, to a horrendous drive home for myself afterwards and weekend to stew on it is something that will be in my mind and I would like to leave the ground tomorrow with a much better feeling.”
Vale Manager Neil Aspin is someone that Paul knows well from his time in non-league and he expects him to have Port Vale right up for the game.
“I think Neil’s gone in, got them some results and made them harder to beat in general”, said Hurst.
“I know there will be a physical element to their play, which I say as a compliment, and we will have to be able to stand up to that element of it.
“I think he’s changed formation a few times now, so it’s not going to be the easiest one to say ‘this is how they are going to play’.
“I think from certain players in the team you know what you are going to get and in Tom Pope there’s a striker that I think won Player of the Month for October and he is certainly a handful.
“I’m sure that Neil will be similar to myself in that the league will be his priority and taking them away from the bottom end of League Two, but I’m sure he will want to do well as well and see if he can get a good feeling around the club.”