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Paul Hurst on squad depth

6 February 2017

Gaffer pleased with competition for places after transfer window

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst admits that competition is now fierce at the Greenhous Meadow after the Town boss brought in eight new faces during the January transfer window.

Town signed three players on permanent deals and five loanees and Hurst looked to add options to what had previously been a depleted looking squad.

Hurst was pleased with how Town went about their business in the transfer window and believes that the squad now has what it takes to stay in League One.

“I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed the start of last week, but we knew that it had to be done and we managed to get another couple of players in, so overall I’m really pleased with the business that we’ve done”, said Paul.

“If you’d have said a couple of weeks into the job that we would have got eight players out and eight players in I’d have been delighted with that. We were still trying to do a couple more deals in all honesty, but if I roll it right back to when I first came in I would certainly settle for what we’ve done.

“It’s only my opinion, but for me now we have got a better squad that the one I inherited and I truly believe that if the players apply themselves as I want them to then we’ve got a group good enough to stay in this league.”

Competition in the squad is high with 25 senior outfield players available and whilst Paul admits that it will be difficult to keep them all happy, he is pleased with the number of options he has.

“The luxury I’ve got now is that if anyone drops below their personal standards and perhaps either react badly from not being in the team or have a day off from training we can quickly move them aside and quickly move someone from the bench and say ‘it’s your chance now’”, said Hurst.

“Moving forward I’m going to have to upset people in terms of team selection because I’ve got some real headaches in a lot of positions and I can’t keep them all happy, I know that. But, I ask that they do stay together and whenever there is an opportunity to step out there and represent the club that they give everything and support their teammates.

“I’ll fully accept that they won’t have the best feeling in the world if they’re not playing games of football, but it takes more than 11 players and we are now in a position where we can cope with some injuries, cope with suspensions and illness.

“So, picking the team is going to be my hardest task now, but every manager would tell you that they would rather they had those decisions to make, rather than being forced into picking a certain line-up because they’ve got a lack of options.”

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