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Paul Hurst Pre Portsmouth

26 January 2018

Gaffer looks ahead to Pompey trip

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst is expecting a difficult trip when Town travel to Portsmouth this weekend.

Pompey have the fourth best home record in League One this season, losing just three times and pickup up 29 points at Fratton Park.

The South Coast side have been averaging over 17,500 fans at home this season and Paul admits his side will need to quieten them down.

“They’ve got a good home record”, Hurst told ShrewsWeb.

“You’d kind of expect them too because of the travelling involved for away teams and in front of a big and vocal home support, which really get behind the team, so we’ve got to try and quieten that down as much as possible.

“As the home team I’m sure they will be looking for a quick start to either get in front or certainly to get the crowd behind them. From our point of view you don’t want to make the job any harder by starting slowly of being on the back foot.

“You want to try and stamp your authority on the game and give the opposition something to worry about as well. We’ll have to handle the situation that comes in front of us, but certainly we won’t go there and just try and slow things down, we will try and be positive and hopefully put on a similar performance to what we showed against them last time.”

It’s just over a month since Town beat Portsmouth 2-0 at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, but Hurst is expecting a different type of game this time around.

“Portsmouth might do something different”, Paul said.

“They might change a couple of personnel. They’ve brought a couple of lads in from Wolves that we know quite well and I think Gareth Evans looks like he will be back in contention, who did play against us but recently (Kal) Naismith, who didn’t play against us, has been playing.

“So, there’s always some slight changes that we have to be aware of, but at the same time we have to concentrate on what we do and what we do well, and make sure that we bring that to the game.”

This will be Town’s eighth and final game in January and Paul admits that the punishing schedule has led to a change in training routines.

“We had some tired legs, but some players have just had a couple of days rest”, said Hurst.

“I think that’s hopefully beneficial. It doesn’t give me any guarantees of getting a result on Saturday, but I think it gives us the best chance. We will have a bright session today before getting on the road and the pleasing thing is that we’ve got 20 fit and able bodies ready to travel.”

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