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Paul Hurst Post Walsall

7 November 2017

Gaffer reacts to the Checkatrade Trophy defeat

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst was very disappointed to see Town knocked off top spot in their Checkatrade Trophy group with a 1-0 defeat to Walsall.

Town looked set for a home tie in the last 32 until Amadou Bakayoko headed a winner in the 89th minute.

But, Town never really got going on the night and Hurst questioned his players’ application at times.

“I’m very disappointed, it was rubbish”, said Paul.

“You try to find things to motivate players, but a high number of them looked like they didn’t want to be out there, which I find ridiculous.

“For some it was an opportunity to impress and I don’t think anyone’s took the opportunity to impress.

“At least when Shaun Whalley goes on he looks like he wants to bet out there and he injects a little bit of enthusiasm into proceedings.”

Town went with a 3-5-2 formation from the start and whilst Paul accepts that it didn’t work, he believes that it was the players attitude, rather than the formation what made things difficult.

“We tried a different system and that clearly wasn’t working”, admitted Hurst.

“In fairness to the players we hadn’t worked on it, but that doesn’t stop you putting in a header, winning a tackle running hard, pressing the opposition, that’s nothing to do with a system.

“I think only Ben Godfrey competed physically well in the first-half and then second period it was pretty much the same.

“I’ve just said to the players that when it comes to the Rotherham game there will be some moaning that they’re not in the team and I will just get the DVD out and show them.”

There was a controversial decision 15 minutes before the end when Ben Godfrey saw red for a challenge on Luke Leahy and Hurst questioned referee Trevor Kettle’s decision.

“I’ve just seen it back in slow motion and the lad commits to a slide well before he should and therefore gets himself hurt”, Paul said.

“Ben clearly wins the ball, the lead foot that gets the ball doesn’t make contact with him and it’s just another case of not being able to make a strong tackle in football, which annoys the hell out of me.

“I am asking my players to compete and Ben was one of the few that at least did that side of the game. It’s not a red card for me, but I’m sure even if I show it to Trevor Kettle he will tell me that it is.”

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