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Paul Hurst Pre Cardiff City

Gaffer looks ahead to Tuesday night's pre-season game

24 July 2017

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst is looking for his players to nail down starting spots as pre-season enters its final stages.

Town will play three games this week, starting with Tuesday night’s game against Cardiff City, as they build-up for the season start on 5th August.

The team go into Tuesday’s game on the back of a 2-0 win over Wolves on Saturday and Paul told ShrewsWeb that he will be looking at his options against Cardiff.

“I think we will remain with a back four”, confirmed Hurst.

“I think that’s served us well, but in front of that, with the players we’ve got, we’ve got some nice options available to us.

“I thought the players did well against Wolves in terms of executing a bit of a game plan, albeit that there’s not much information to gain at the minute on opposition.

“Tomorrow night it will be a case of picking a team to perhaps look at something a little bit different, but a lot of the principles we are starting to nail down.”

Cardiff enjoyed a good second-half to last season after Neil Warnock arrived in October and Paul is expecting tomorrow’s game to be the toughest of pre-season so far.

“I think with Neil Warnock I would imagine you will get a team representing Cardiff that will be closer to the levels you’d expect if it was the first game of the season”, said Paul.

“Although it’s only a couple of days from the weekend we are moving closer to the start of the season. I’d imagine they probably only have our game and one more before their big kick-off, so I think it will be a little bit of a tougher test.

“These games have been a good test so far. It’s been great to have fans in the stadium. At times we’ve had to make sure we are organised because we haven’t had the ball, but on Saturday I thought that was an improvement and I thought we had spells of possession against what was a very good team.”

With just 270 minutes of football to be played before that opening day fixture against Northampton, Paul admitted he is getting closer to knowing his starting eleven for that game, but is keen for a number of players to get 90 minutes under their belts.

“After giving it some thought over the weekend I’m probably a little bit closer now to having the team in my mind, but at the same time people are going to get 90 minutes this week to hopefully stake a claim”, Hurst said.

“As I will continue to say, they are all important players. There will be some disappointment when that first team is named, but it’s a long old season and I expect every single player in my first team squad to contribute.

“Some will naturally contribute more than others, but we are only going to be successful if we are all pulling together and we will hopefully maintain that.”

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