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Paul Hurst Pre Oldham Athletic

22 January 2018

Gaffer looks ahead to Checkatrade Trophy Quarter Final

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst hopes that the thought of getting to Wembley drives his players on when they face Oldham Athletic tomorrow night.

Town are just 180 minutes away from the Checkatrade Trophy final and a potential trip to the national stadium.

Throughout the competition Paul has been reiterating its importance and with the final now on the horizon he is hoping to continue their progress.

“We said all along that you get to this point and interest will pick up”, Hurst said.

“I’m still not sure what sort of crowd we will get tomorrow evening, but I think from a player’s point of view they should certainly start to think they’ve got a chance of playing in a final at Wembley, which is great for anyone’s career.

“I think one or two have been lucky enough to do it already but I’m sure they would like to do it again, so we are hopeful of that but first and foremost we’ve got to win this game against Oldham”

However, progression won’t be easy as Town take on an Oldham team that pushed them hard on New Year’s Day and Hurst is well aware of what they bring to the table.

“From speaking to Richie (Wellens) before they put a value on this competition, so I think they will go as strong as they can and we know that will be a difficult game because it was in the league”, said Paul.

“I thought we had the better of the first-half and then second-half they were the team looking for that equaliser. Although they lost 3-0 at the weekend I thought they played well and they had chances in the game there.

“They’ve got some very good players added to the squad since we played them. I look at it and I find it hard to think that they will stay in the relegation zone, but I’m probably struggling to say who I think will be in those places because I don’t think there’s much between a lot of teams.”

Town’s progression in three competitions until recently has meant that they have had a jam-packed fixture schedule, but Hurst isn’t planning too many changes tomorrow night.

“There’s no doubt it’s a gruelling schedule”, admitted Paul.

“I think tomorrow will be the eighth game in the last 25 days, which is some run for any team, but I still feel we’ve got some energy in us.

“If we have to change one or two around again we will, but we haven’t got the luxury of putting out a different eleven, so some of the lads will have to grit their teeth and go again.”

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