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Paul Hurst pre-Charlton

18 April 2024


Paul Hurst pre-Charlton

18 April 2024

Boss Paul Hurst chatted to the media ahead of our League One clash at Charlton.

Salop travel to The Valley on the back of putting in an excellent display to secure a point at Bolton on Tuesday.

That point took us a step closer to safety - with Town now heading to London knowing a win will secure our place in League One next year.

We will also be safe if we match Burton's result - with the Brewers facing Reading.

Speaking to the assembled media, Paul discussed a host of topics including the Charlton game and the League One table.

On the past few days following Bolton: 

“It’s been quiet, in truth. 

“It’s been relaxed for the lads that played the majority of the game. 

“The rest of the squad have done a training session.  

“The time of season we are at, we are not going to overwork the players. That word ‘recovery’ again has been the main focus. 

“For myself and the staff we have been looking at Charlton and getting our ideas in place for that game in terms of threats and areas you think you can exploit. 

“All-in-all, it’s preparing for that game. 

“We all know the end of the season is in sight, but we’ve still got some work to do. 

“We keep saying it, that has been a constant message from when we first came in. 

“Today, I’ve not seen too many of the starters. We don’t need to start talking about Charlton just yet – that will be more tomorrow in terms of the video analysis. 

“Then hopefully we will wake up Saturday in good spirits, well rested and ready for another big effort on the back of what was a big effort to get the point at Bolton.” 

On our League One status being secure if we match Burton’s result at the weekend: 

“We want to take care of our own business. 

“I think I got it wrong the other night, I’d looked at the table after Bolton – I'd sent myself silly looking at – but I was more focused on Cheltenham. 

“Then now looking at Burton’s situation, we have all got our heads around what we do need. 

“But if we go and get a win – 100% we know that’s our job done. 

“But that will be difficult against a Charlton side who are on a long, unbeaten, run.” 

On why we have performed well against high-flying Derby, Portsmouth and Bolton but struggled against teams lower down: 

“Sometimes you can have a run of results like that, or performances. 

“Then sometimes you get involved with a group that is the opposite – they do freeze and take some heavy beatings against those teams. 

“It’s partly getting to know the group we have been working with. 

“It’s nice that they can respond.  

“But there probably has been three performances that have not hit any kind of level that we’ve been happy with. 

“It’s hard to say 100%. Games are different. We were forced to play well at Bolton in one sense because if we hadn’t then we would have been on the end of a bad scoreline. 

“Whereas just prior to that, the Wycombe game - you are at home and we have to take the initiative. 

“Certainly, on that day we didn’t do that, and it was a nothing game. 

“Sometimes circumstance dictates, maybe surroundings. Maybe some of them thought ‘I really want to impress today’ because of who we were up against. 

“But I haven’t got the answer to that in all honesty, in terms of this group and certainly it doesn’t sit comfortably with me to be so inconsistent. 

“If you are, you leave yourself open to that type of question as a player, as a squad and as a group. 

“I think back to my playing days, I wouldn’t want that question asked of me.” 

On if there are any fresh injury concerns:

"No, all good on that front which again is nice after you get a good result.

"We've had very little reported in terms of any knocks or niggles.

On Charlton:

"It will be a tough game.

"Nathan's (Nathan Jones) has gone in there and perhaps established a different style of play to get his message across.

"While there have been a lot of draws in their unbeaten run, they've certainly become very hard to beat and have had some good wins along the way as well.

"He'll still be pushing them and perhaps without knowing the overall situation, we're getting to the end of the season, some contracts will be up.

"There will be other players under contract who might become available so I'm sure they will still be trying to impress.

"I'm not in their camp but I'm pretty certain that with a couple of games to go, the message will be about finishing the season 15 games unbeaten because that's a hell of a run to try and take into next season."

On if he's noticed players acting differently because of their contract situations:

"I think sometimes you can (see it) at certain clubs and that can show its face in different ways.

"I think sometimes you can get a group at clubs where they might down tools and there's not much going on. You can tell that in performances.

"Sometimes it can be pressure that then influences that. People are different.

"Just talking contracts you can offer someone a contract and they'll either sign or say no straight away and then you'll get others who will sit on it, wait four, five or six weeks and they'll be genuinely chilled.

"Other people panic - that's just the nature of it.

"Football's a job and players are people. Everyone's got different outlooks and circumstances are different so you do see different things.

"A club like Charlton, it looks like they've got a big squad and I'm sure Nathan will be wanting to make some changes."

On the conversations he's had with players about contracts:

"I think you do that very quickly but at the same time, you try to give the squad every opportunity on the training pitch or in games to see what plans you want to make.

"Certainly the ones who are out of contract, they've got their say so if we were to offer someone a contract they're within their right to turn that down so it's not all one-sided.

"We've had some discussions internally about conversations we might have with individuals.

"I said a few weeks back that we're trying to make sure we're safe and that we know where we are. Then those conversations will happen."

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