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Paul Hurst Post AFC Wimbledon

20 February 2017

Gaffer reflects on last gasp Wimbledon win

Paul Hurst was full of praise for defender Aristote Nsiala following the dramatic win over Wimbledon on Saturday.

Toto rose highest at a corner to seal all three points late on at Greenhous Meadow, and the manager was pleased to see the practise on set pieces pay off.

“It’s a great header,” he said after the game. “It’s funny because we know the size of him, we tried different set plays yesterday and went through them.

“We were trying different things, but from a different set up Toto’s got in and powered a great header in.

“Probably one of the things you’re not expecting to do much of against that Wimbledon side with the size of them.

“But overall a fantastic three points for us.”

The Town boss added that he had been impressed with the performances of the player he previously worked with at Grimbsy, even if he wasn’t brought to the club for his goalscoring exploits.

“I think he scored a tackle from a second ball once, he tried making out that he guided it into the goal!” He said.

“But he’s got the ability, that was one of the first things that attracted us to him.

“He’s had another good game for us today. He made some important tackles, competed, you’re not going to win everything against someone like Elliot but he stood strong.

“For what we had to defend, I thought him and the group did very well, because they’ve got some real threats up there.”

The most pleasing aspect of the performance for Hurst was the resilience shown by the Town players, something that wasn’t the case when first arriving at Greenhous Meadow.

“First and foremost, let’s not kid ourselves, it was a poor spectacle!” He said of the game.

“One, I think because of how Wimbledon played to a degree, they were quite direct.

“They’ve had a lot of success doing that so I’m not criticising, everyone’s different.

“We couldn’t impose what we wanted to try and do in terms of getting the ball down and playing.

“The few times we did, we looked a much better side.

“What I am really pleased with and what I’d sum it up as is if that was before I came in or it was my first game, we would have lost that game.

“That’s the biggest thing, for me.

“We’ve now got fight and heart, spirit and commitment in the group.

“I don’t want to stand and watch that every week, I don’t think we will. But if that’s what’s served up, you have to stay in the game, you have to be committed and the players did that.

“Thankfully at the end, the fans have gone home and thought ‘that wasn’t a great game’, but there’s still an element of pleasure that we’ve won a game of football.

“It’s a great three points on the back of losing that unbeaten run in midweek.”

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