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Paul Hurst post Bolton

25 March 2017

Gaffer's thoughts after the home defeat to Bolton

Paul Hurst praised the performance of promotion chasing Bolton but he admitted his disappointment that his side couldn’t build on an impressive first half showing to earn a result.

Second half goals from Mark Beevers and Adam Le Fondre meant an end to Town’s undefeated home run, having previous not lost at the Greenhous Meadow since 2nd January vs. Fleetwood.

Bolton closed the gap of league leaders Sheffield United with the three points, and Hurst accepted that the game was a challenge that his players were always going to struggle to overcome.

“I know Sheffield United are top but with Bolton I just see that they can win in so many different ways and that has helped them out today,” said Hurst.

“They have players that we could only realistically dream of attracting here, because no matter what trouble Bolton have had, their players are on a hell of a lot more money.

“But when you cross that white line you want that to go out of the window and make them dig deep and to a degree I thought we did.”

Town kept the scores level with an impressive first half showing, and they were perhaps unfortunate not to have the lead after couple of good chances.

Bolton took advantage of the set piece prowess early in the second half with a long throw in resulting in Beevers’ opener, and Hurst’s disappointment came from the way that the goal was conceded.

“Bolton are the type of side with the experience and the physicality that made you think that the first goal would be a big goal, and that’s where my frustration lies because it’s a very soft goal.”

Hurst continued: “If he’s [Jayson Leutwiler] going to come he has to make sure he gets it, and that’s the life of a goalkeeper, a mistake can often cost you and that happened today.

“I don’t realistically think that there was any need to come, it would have just gone into his hands if he stayed where he should have, so it’s a disappointment as I thought we looked quite dangerous.”

Hurst made a switch to three at the back for the first time in his Town tenure, and he was happy with how the players adapted, especially in the first half.

“We wanted to play in their half, we wanted to get their three centre backs running towards their own goal.

“[Louis] Dodds has had one good effort, Joe Riley got in after a good bit of play and I think we were the team that were on top.

Hurst went on: “We made the keeper make a couple of saves, and I don’t think Jayson has had much to do all day to be honest.”

Town now have seven games to try and pull themselves clear of relegation danger, and the manager is confident that his side have the quality and mentality to keep their League One place for next season.

“If we can have that commitment that we showed in the first half then we’ll be okay, but it’s going to be a nervy end, we’ve got tough games.

“I’m sure that in these next seven games there will be knocks but we’ve got to respond well and have that mental toughness to keep fighting and keep believing, and not think that it’s over.”