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Post-Charlton | Paul Hurst

20 April 2024


Post-Charlton | Paul Hurst

20 April 2024

Boss Paul Hurst chatted to the press following our draw at Charlton - a result that ensured we have retained our League One status.

A brilliant first-half performance at The Valley saw us head into the break 1-0 up thanks to Dan Udoh's 11th goal of the season.

Charlton levelled through George Dobson just seconds after the re-start.

But a draw was the least Town deserved - with Cheltenham's defeat to Lincoln ensuring we have retained our League One status.

Speaking to the assembled media, Paul discussed our survival, the game in general and touched on the challenges he has faced since returning to the club in January.

On our League One status being secure: 

“Relief is the first emotion. As soon as that final whistle went, I was asking what the scores were. I didn’t want to know any during the game. 

“And then you're thinking ‘Are they definitely done?’ It took a little bit of time for it to sink in properly.

"Then we got the enjoyment, the togetherness going in front of the fans. 

“They were great all afternoon and have been since I’ve returned. 

“More than anything it is a big relief. 

“But I have to say, I’m really pleased for the chairman because it has not been easy. 

"I think he has gone on record saying how difficult the last couple of seasons have been but this one in particular. 

"He will be a very happy man tonight. But, in some ways now, I feel like the job starts again. 

"I think there was no hiding away from the fact I was joining a team in a relegation battle - irrespective of how the table looked or anything like that. 

"I looked at the results and the teams that we had to play, the fixtures ahead of us, we were definitely in a relegation battle. 

"So credit to the players and the staff and everyone involved that we have managed to get over the line."   

On the challenge of the last few months: 

“I have enjoyed it. I've enjoyed being back in work. 

“It wasn’t the longest break but you have to respect and cherish the time when you are working. 

“But there is no doubt there have been some challenges in front of us. 

“From coming in and hoping that we could change a few more players and bring more in than we did. 

“We’ve had injuries. Every team has them but we’ve had some big injuries. 

“It felt we went through a small spell of decisions going against us. 

“It’s not been easy. But I am delighted to be back at the football club, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to retain our League One status.” 

On today’s performance: 

“I thought we were excellent first half. Charlton changed formation. They tried something a bit different. 

“But because of how we started the game, because we got ahead they decided to go back to something more familiar. 

“I’m disappointed with the goal second half. We spend so much time, whether it’s myself, Doigy (assistant head coach Chris Doig), the players themselves, talking about starting the second half well and properly. 

“It can happen. It was a small mistake that was punished. But that then gave them a lift and they were better second half as I knew they would be. 

“But we still had some moments. And I don’t think Marko, again, has had too many shots to save. 

“I think we definitely deserved that point today.” 

On the important goals Dan Udoh has scored in the past few weeks: 

“It’s not just Dan, everyone put in a real shift. 

“I can imagine some people were thinking make some changes (after playing Bolton on Tuesday). 

“Part of me did want to. Sometimes it’s difficult to get into the flow of the game. 

“And looking at the options available to us, I wanted to keep with the same players. 

“Elliott Bennett and Carl Winchester I think you could tell they were out on their feet. But their experience is crucial. They kept digging in, they kept finding that little bit extra. 

“I could see them speaking to their team mates, trying to keep people right and ready. And we managed to get that point.” 

On the scenes at the end: 

“I was trying to get the players to do the fist pumps but they were more keen on me doing it and making me look an idiot. 

“There were some interesting outfits from some of the Shrewsbury fans. 

“I’m delighted because ultimately, whatever we think, it’s about the supporters. 

“They have travelled up and down the country, they feel the pain and the heartache. 

“But they have had a decent day today an enjoyable day, I’m sure.” 

On Paul’s impressive record at The Valley: 

“I do enjoy it. But it’s totally different circumstances today to back then (when Paul’s Shrewsbury beat Charlton in the play-offs). 

“There are a few people the same people involved but in the main, it’s a new group of players, a lot of new staff. 

“We want to create our own memories. 

“And I’ve just said (in the dressing room), I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about us over-celebrating staying up. 

“But that is the position we find ourselves in. And I think where we rank in terms of finances, we are towards the bottom end – let's be honest about that. 

“It is an achievement. It’s a bit strange because it feels like you should celebrate but not too much. 

“It is still very good for a club like ours to maintain their League One status for another season. 

“The issue now I have got is that I’m already starting to think of next season and the challenge that will be because of the teams coming up and the teams coming down. 

“I’m not sure there will be the same problems for those that do drop down and the ones coming up – we know the financial backing one of those (Wrexham) get. 

“It’s going to be even more difficult.”

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