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Paul Hurst post Fleetwood Town

2 January 2017

Gaffer's thoughts after the defeat to Fleetwood

Town boss Paul Hurst was disappointed with his side’s performance following a lacklustre display which led to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town. “The first half in particular wasn’t good enough and I can completely understand the feeling in the ground,” he said. “In the second half we had a bit of a go and on another day something might fall for you, but we didn’t work the keeper enough and things can only get better so I’m not going to read too much into the performance. I spoke the other day to the players about the importance of every single minute of every game due to the position we’re in. That’s another game gone now and we need the points. It’s alright thinking we might get them next time but we looked nervy and edgy and I don’t really know why. We’ve come to this game with a good home record since I came in and only conceded the one goal again today. It seemed like there was a lack of confidence out there, a lack of urgency and perhaps back to some of the negative things we were hearing about when I first came in. We went backwards too many times, we messed about with the ball in areas we didn’t need to so it feels like a step backwards today.”

Devante Cole grabbed the winning goal after just 9 minutes and Hurst felt the defending should have been a lot better: “We let the cross come in too easily because it was pretty obvious what Amari’i Bell was going to do as he’s all left foot. The ball’s landed in the 6 yard box and he (Cole) has made a straight run in there and knocked it in off the crossbar. We looked vulnerable from corners despite being a big side ourselves and I felt we had the personnel out there to do that job but they ended up being a threat. We pumped a lot of balls into the box and I put George (Waring) on as another big lad but we didn’t put enough pressure on their keeper and we certainly haven’t worked him enough. When things are going really well for you sometimes things do drop your way, but you have to show a willingness to attack a keeper that’s not 6 foot 5 and coming to claim everything. The game lasts 90 minutes but for me it was that first half which won it for them.”

The gaffer spoke about the bizarre incident early in the second half when the visitors were awarded a penalty, only for the referee to change his mind after consulting with his assistant. “I honestly thought the lino was flagging to let the ref know that one of our lads had said something about the decision. So I was a little surprised that he reversed the decision even though it might have been offside, but I can’t comment any more on that at this moment in time. In the end it didn’t matter anyway even though I was glad at the time.”

Ollie Lancashire came off through injury but when pressed on the extent of it, the Town boss said he had other things to worry about, and he was equally non-committal on the soon to be departed Ivan Toney. The manager also refused to be drawn into the question of whether or not he’d like to keep the on loan Newcastle man, hinting that the striker would be going somewhere else whilst admitting he felt Toney had decided his own fate some time ago.

The new capture from Hartlepool Aristote Nsiala wasn’t named in the squad and Hurst was somewhat bemused about the rules behind his unavailability: “It’s frustrating because the money’s been put through but it’s not shown up in their bank and it’s like we’re being penalised for buying a player. The rules from various governing bodies continue to baffle me really and although I would have liked him to have been part of it today, we’ll just have to wait a little longer. He’s a big lad but we shouldn’t be talking about individuals because it’s a team game and you have to be a unit. I know the player well and I think he will be an asset to us and that’s underlined by the fact we’ve brought him here on a permanent basis. It’s about more than this season, I just want him to come here and make us better. We’re trying to get other deals done but it will be a long January. We’re at the foot of the table so that makes it more difficult to attract players when you’re competing with teams higher up, so logistics can play a part. If players have options to go to a League 1 club, there are only say five or six clubs in the same position as we’re in, and anywhere else you’d probably say go there. Hopefully the ones that we do get in are joining for the right reasons and want to prove something. There wasn’t enough urgency about us today and whether that’s a combination of not wanting to do it or being scared to do it, I don’t know but they are bad traits to have, certainly. There were one or two players that didn’t step forward today and another couple who were getting moaned at by the crowd, which I can perfectly understand. But we didn’t do enough to make things happen and that’s always a recipe for trouble.”

The gaffer said he wouldn’t rush into making signings for the sake of it: “We need to make sure we have the right person, the right character, player and quality that will bring something to the group. I’ve got to be patient and if I’ve got to be then I’d ask that the fans are to. Hopefully we’ll get the type of player that pulls the shirt on and as an absolute minimum gives their all to help us in our cause.”

Hurst said that it was all still to play for and that the one positive to take from his short spell at the club so far is that the gap at the bottom end of the table has shortened considerably since his arrival.

Town travel to the County Ground on Saturday where they will face Swindon.

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