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Paul Hurst Pre Ebbsfleet

Gaffer looks ahead to first pre-season game against Ebbsfleet United

8 July 2017

Shrewsbury Town’s new-look squad are gearing up for their first pre-season game of the summer.

Town take on Ebbsfleet United 11:30 this morning as part of their warm weather training camp in Portugal.

The squad have been working hard all week and the game will provide the players with their first chance to impress manager Paul Hurst, but the Gaffer isn’t too worried about the result.

“I think with what we’ve got numbers-wise some players might have to play more than 45 minutes”, said Paul.

“It’s due to be warmer today, so I think we might have water breaks and roll on, roll off subs. It has to be right for your preparation and I’m sure Ebbsfleet will be thinking exactly the same.

“Maybe it’s easy for me to say now and you always want to win every game if you can, but I wouldn’t be losing sleep if the scoreline wasn’t in our favour.

“It is more about what I see on the day, getting the lads back into that 11 v 11 situation and maybe seeing how some of the new lads integrate into that.”

Ebbsfleet were promoted to the National League last season and Paul is expecting a tough test.

“For the last couple of seasons they’ve been a team on the up and wanting to progress”, Hurst said.

“They managed to get promotion last season, which I think everyone expected them to and I don’t think they are just going to be content with being in the Conference, I think they will want to be very competitive and at the top end of that.

“Someone at the hotel has mentioned that they’d been over to see them and they were really up for the game, so there will be some enthusiasm flying about and probably a bit of rustiness as well.

“The biggest thing for me is that you get through it, you see some positives and you don’t pick up injuries, which is always a danger.”

Hurst will certainly be hopeful that the squad don’t pick up anymore injuries, with a couple of players already picking up knocks on the trip.

“Joe (Riley) is one that is obviously not fit enough for the game, but he has started running so that is good for him”, said Paul.

“A couple of others have had knocks. Ebou (Adams) slipped when we were still back in Shrewsbury and after training for a day here he still wasn’t quite right and Jon Nolan slipped yesterday in training and felt his hip, so we will see how he settles down.

“The only other one that is definitely out is Shaun Rowley. He made a save the other day and landed awkwardly, so he’s got an issue with his knee that we are quite concerned about and he’s booked in for a scan on Monday to assess what has gone on there.”

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