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Paul Hurst Pre Portsmouth

21 December 2017

Gaffer looks ahead to the visit of Pompey

Shrewsbury Town Manager Paul Hurst is looking for his side to make it back to back home wins against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Jon Nolan scored the only goal as Town beat Blackpool 1-0 last weekend, their first league win since mid-November.

With Christmas now on the horizon, Hurst is looking for his side to back that up on Saturday and leave his side in the top two come Christmas Day.

“We said that with two home games coming up it would be a great achievement to get all six games and win both games”, Paul said.

“We’ve managed one and the next one will be Portsmouth, which will be a very tough game. They will be bringing a big following, as you would expect from that football club, so we’re looking forward to having a good atmosphere in the ground and fingers crossed we can have our own fans there as well and they can cheer us onto victory.”

However, Paul believes it will be a difficult task against a Portsmouth side that are currently second in the form table from the last six games.

“I think they’ve got some momentum from last season”, Hurst said.

“Although the management’s changed, a lot of the players haven’t. They’ve got pace in the team, they’ve got ball players, and they’ve got a nice blend of young players and then some real experience with the likes of (Gareth) Evans and (Brett) Pitman, so they’ve got a bit of everything.”

“When you are on a good run confidence is high and you can see that. They aren’t conceding many goals, so we know it’s going to be tough, but at the same time I’m sure they look at us and know they will be in for a tough game as well.”

Portsmouth have been particularly dangerous this season when they have gone in front, winning every game that they have led in, and Hurst has warned his players to be right at it from the start.

“That will be the first plan, to try not to concede one”, said Paul.

“We always like to start the game quickly and I think I saw a stat the other day that we have only conceded two in the first 15 minutes, which is pleasing as a manager.

“I’ve seen plenty of teams over the years and you sometimes get into a routine of conceding early goals. We haven’t done that thankfully and hopefully that trend can continue.”

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