Gaffer reflects on 39 day stay at the top
Shrewsbury Town Boss Paul Hurst was in a reflective mood as he looked back on Town’s stay at the top of Sky Bet League One.
On Saturday, Wigan Athletic leapfrogged them into first place and it brought to an end a run of 39 consecutive days at the top.
That run broke Town’s EFL record for the second time this season, having previously spent 35 days at the top earlier in the campaign.
Prior to this season, the club hadn’t managed more than 25 days at the top of the league since they entered the EFL back in 1950.
Paul admitted that records count for very little at this stage of the season, but believes it shows how far his side have come.
“I’m surprised to hear that because I presumed that we would have had a period where we had been top for longer”, Hurst told Town Talk.
“I think at the start of the season if we had been talking about being top for even one day then we would have been looking at each other wondering if I was slightly mad, rather than any genuine optimism.
“If we’d have said that we’d be mid-table and in for a much better season then we’d have all been happy with that but when you’ve had such a good start and the team has performed so well it does make you want more than just a satisfactory season and an improvement.
“We’ve still got a hell of a chance of doing that, but you have to keep putting things into context and perspective for what will ultimately be judged over the course of the season.”
Town’s defeat against Bradford was only their third in the opening four months of the season and Hurst is hopeful that the high performance levels can be maintained over the course of the campaign.
“Let’s go back to performance against Bradford and I think most weeks that performance would get you a victory”, said Paul.
“You certainly wouldn’t normally get beat and that’s against one of the better teams in the league, so that should give people optimism.
“Over the course of the season to date I think we’ve had one performance that I was genuinely unhappy with, which was the Bury game. Other than that there’s been times where I haven’t been as happy but we have played well in shorter spells to win games.
“If the Bury game is the worst that it’s going to get then I think any manager would take that because you know full well that that won’t always happen.
“I think a famous manager once said that you play well five or six times a season and after that there’s some poor performances and some very average ones.
“I think we have almost exceeded that already but as staff, and what we demand from the players, we want more of that and the performance levels we have shown so far.”