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Hurst reflects on Ebbsfleet

Gaffer looks back on first pre-season friendly

10 July 2017

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst was pleased with his sides first run out of pre-season against Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.

Town won the game 2-0 thanks to goals in either half from John McAtee and Louis Dodds.

The game was a culmination of a hard week of training in Portugal and Paul felt it was a fitting end to the camp

“The players worked extremely hard last week and in terms of preparation for a game they certainly worked a lot harder than they would for a league game, Paul admitted.

“A big part of pre-season is the physical side, but the game got them back into the swing of things. The result was irrelevant realistically, but what I would say is that we do like to try and win games and we managed to do that.

“It was good for the lads that got the goals and also for Craig (MacGillivray) who managed to keep a  clean-sheet with a couple of saves, so that will be good for his confidence, but the most important thing was to get them back out there.”

With three yellow cards shown, the game was a competitive affair, but Paul was pleased to see his squad come out of it relatively unscathed, other than a tight calf for Mat Sadler.

“There were certainly tackles flying in from both sides and I’m sure that’s what we all wanted”, Hurst said.

“No injuries occurred from the physical tackling side, Mat (Sadler) just felt his calf tighten up, and you want those games because ultimately when it kicks off there will be tackles flying in from both sides.

“It’s part and parcel from the game and we want the players to have the attitude that they want to do things right and tackling is certainly part of the game.”

Paul was particularly pleased for youngster John McAtee who scored the first goal of the game and he hopes that will help the younger players settle in.

“Both lads took their goals well”, said Paul.

“John’s was a nice finish with his left foot and Doddsy had a couple of chances, but certainly took that one very well.

“It’s nice for those two to score. Doddsy’s scored plenty of goals for us and throughout his career and John is a young player, so hopefully it will help him to feel like he can contribute and settle in.

“It’s been very challenging for those young lads, but they’ve all seen first-hand what is expected of them and I think they realise that it is a little bit quicker and their touch has to be a little bit sharper, but they’ve settled into the group well.”

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