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Post Bristol Rovers | Paul Hurst

1 April 2024


Post Bristol Rovers | Paul Hurst

1 April 2024

Paul Hurst met with the press following today's draw at Bristol Rovers.

In what was a performance that left a lot to be desired, Aiden O'Brien came closest to breaking the deadlock for Town when his spectacular looping half-volley cannoned the crossbar.

Rovers went close through Jevani Brown who hit the post, but ultimately couldn't find their way past Marko Marosi who again proved pivotal in helping Town to a result.

Jack Price was absent from the squad due to a sore groin.

The point also helped Salop increase the gap between themselves and those in the relegation zone to seven points with five matches remaining.

Speaking to the assembled media, the boss gave an honest review of today's match.

On the game:

"No (I'm not satisfied), not at all with the performance.

"I thought in the end over the course of the game neither team deserved to win in my view.

"I thought it was two teams who could've done more for their club, supporters, fans, manager, head coach, and I think when I go to speak to Matt (Taylor, the Bristol Rovers manager) now, I think he'll have a similar view that the game was there to be won.

"But we didn't do enough to grab that opportunity. 

"I always felt going into it, in my own thoughts and views, that it was a game that we could've won but we didn't grasp that.

"I don't think we were flat out in terms of our pressing, the quality was off that's for sure.

"A moment of quality nearly got us in front in the second half from Aiden O'Brien, but of course they hit the woodwork as well later on.

"I feel like it's a missed opportunity, to be honest with you."

On Town's chances to score:

"We had a few, didn't we?

"With Dan in particular his shots seemed to keep getting blocked.

"Again whether he could've made a better choice and slipped someone else in or whether it was a good block it's hard to tell from where I was.

"He had a better view on that.

"We did get into certain areas but the lack of quality was quite frightening in all honesty.

"That's a League One fixture, a League One game, and across most of the players - not all, but most of the players - that wasn't League One quality today.

"It was only by title, it certainly wasn't anywhere near in terms of quality."

On the lack of quality:

"I don't know if it's a mindset, a mentality, but it looks like we played yesterday not Friday.

"And I said before the game there is a very quick turnaround but not enough (to justify the performance), and I know it's later on in the season, but we have looked after the players in terms of preparation and things like that.

"It just looks like an effort.

"Now they are either just nowhere near as fit as they should be or we go back to the mental side of the game and digging deep and pushing yourself and getting through.

"I promise you whatever I'm feeling, there is a good chance my opponent is feeling. There is a good chance they are feeling exactly the same if not worse.

"So that is where I just want more from the group, again talking collectively it is a team game. There are some, a couple of individuals that did do well, but I think they will know that themselves.

"It is a point and when you look at other results and bar one, again they have been good for us realistically, but any thoughts of getting anything at Portsmouth - that has got to be a hell of a lot better.

"It still might not be enough, but it has got to be a hell of a lot better otherwise we will get a hiding there."

On widening the gap to the relegation zone:

"It is a positive in one sense, I can't just deny that.

"But at the same time putting another two points on that and you're almost there.

"Still, on the face of it there's some work to do.

"Other teams will have their own problems but we have to drive our own standards and that's what it's about for me.

"I just want the players - we just had quite a big chat - to understand the importance of each and every game, opportunities that present themselves for certain players, and what it takes to have a good career at a level that they can potentially be at.

"Not a career about playing football a bit lower down when they could be doing better and thinking they didn't make it because they didn't commit to it fully.

"It's their career.

"Obviously I've got a job to do here and I want to stay in the division and be the best that we can be, but within a team game, there's an element of being an individual and doing all you can to do the best for yourself and your family if you have one.

"I just sometimes think from having been at different places at different times, some people don't understand that.

"If I can affect one person with that then I'll be pleased because you end up feeling a bit like a father figure.

"I probably am old enough to be most of their fathers!

"But we're not talking about every player, just certain ones that I think need to understand that."

On the clean sheet:

"The clean sheet was welcome, albeit fortuitous in terms of the one that hit the post.

"But I suppose at the other end we did the same.

"It would've been a more spectacular way to get on the scoresheet.

"I thought in the main we defended pretty well, we didn't give too much up and that was my feeling, that we could have some good control in the game at times.

"But we didn't take advantage of that.

"We gave them a leg up at times. This place can be really rocking but I think the crowd were pretty quiet, so I think that's a credit to us in one sense a little bit.

"But also maybe the run of form they're on."

On Jack Price returning on Saturday:

"I'm hopeful but I'd need to get a crystal ball out to know for certain.

"It's understandable that he's going to have some soreness and aches and pains, it's just how bad they actually are.

"I think overall time will tell but we'd all like him to be available."


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