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Paul Hurst Pre Burton Albion

Gaffer looks ahead to the final pre-season friendly

27 July 2017

Town boss Paul Hurst believes he is close to finding his best starting eleven as Town prepare for their final pre-season friendly against Burton Albion on Saturday.

The Burton came brings to an end a run of four home games against Championship opposition, with Town winning the last three against Aston Villa, Wolves and Cardiff.

With just over a week to go before the season starts Hurst believes his squad is in a good place.

“There is one more game and a few training sessions, so anything can happen in terms of injury and illness, but realistically we are getting closer to knowing the side”, admitted Paul.

“I think it’s too easy to say that the team that start on Saturday will be the one that starts next week. I’m not saying that it couldn’t be, but realistically a lot of teams don’t play the eleven that will start the week after.

“We will have to do a bit of research on Northampton and I think Northampton will have a good idea how we will line-up, but whether they get it spot on might not be the case.”

Town have played well in their home pre-season games so far this summer and Paul is now looking to put all the positive aspects together for the final game.

“I think we want more of the same”, said Hurst.

“The second half against Cardiff and the two previous games were positive in a lot of aspects and here’s been a gradual improvement.

“When we’ve gone forward we’ve looked a threat and we’ve created some chances. You are never going to create loads against Championship teams, but we have created enough in each game realistically.

“First-half against Cardiff I didn’t think we looked solid defensively, so we will be looking to improve on that, but again it will be a tough game against a team that might not be a household name, but they are where they are for a reason.”

Burton had a fantastic season last season as they managed to stay in the Championship against the odds and Paul is hopeful they will be a tough test for Town.

“It depends on how they view the game”, Paul admitted.

“Do they see this as their last game and a time to get things right, or is it just about getting through the game? I can’t really imagine them coming and not treating it properly.

“When I’ve watched them they’ve had a really good work ethic to them and that has to be in their make-up for them to be successful, in the same way that it needs to be for us to be successful.

“I watched them a few times last season on TV and I was very impressed with them. They had some lads that absolutely worked their socks off and they can play as well, but that energy and that willingness to work are traits that I really regard highly.”

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