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Post Wigan | Paul Hurst

17 February 2024


Post Wigan | Paul Hurst

17 February 2024

Boss Paul Hurst met with the press following our 1-0 defeat to Wigan.

On a day when Town should have earned a point, a goal from Matt Smith ultimately won it for the visitors.

Salop, though, had some big moments in front of goal with Sam Tickle making an outstanding save to keep out an Aaron Pierre header.

The goalkeeper then somehow kept out another effort from Chey Dunkley - in what was one of 13 corners Town won on the day.

Speaking to the assembled media, Paul discussed the game and the chances created.

And the boss also discussed an incident that saw Scott Smith pull Dunkley's shirt off his back in what looked to have been a clear penalty for Town.

On the game: 

“It’s frustrating. I don’t think, overall, the players deserved to lose the game but ultimately we have. 

“We have got to try to change that. I think the general consensus – and from what I’ve been told – is that performances have been better. 

“There’s a little bit of me that wonders do you give up that to get the results. 

“But I do believe you have got to put in decent performances, more often than not, in general, to give yourselves a better chance of winning the game. 

“We will obviously want to stick with that and hope that something can drop. 

“There is a little bit on us in terms of I think (we could have shown) a bit of composure at times. We were kind of slashing at things.  

“And I think on a day like today, we gave them a lift in terms of their goal. 

“We win the first contact which is good – but the second, I need to look back at it. But my impression is we didn’t get it right in terms of giving ourselves the best chance to get to that second ball. 

“We then found ourselves behind. 

“I can’t really knock the players in terms of an effort point of view. But I was disappointed with the start we made. 

“I think we took 20 minutes to get started. Whether that is a knock-on from the previous two games, that is how it looked. 

“But then we had a spell. You don’t suddenly find your energy – only in terms of the mental aspect with good touches you have or situations in the game.

On their goal: 

“I think for the majority of the game we were the team pushing to be on top. 

“I think once they get in front, they were probably happy defending deep and not committing men forward. 

“But I do think we pushed them back.

"I can’t imagine – although they ended up keeping a clean sheet – that their bench would have been too happy with the amount of crosses and set-plays they had to defend. 

“Their keeper has made an excellent save from Aaron Pierre. He has made in my view what looks to be a lucky save from Chey Dunkley. 

“He was in no-mans-land and sort of half-turns his back on it and it somehow hits him. 

“Then something we have just seen that I didn’t notice during the game, Chey Dunkley has his shirt ripped over his head. 

“He then has a sort of punch thrown at him. All in a line where the referee should be seeing. 

“I didn’t see it at the time. But I’ve seen it back, it is almost comical it’s that’s bad what is going on in there. 

“We all know there is physical contact and tussling. But that was way too far. It has to be a penalty. It would have been nice to get that. That adds to the frustration.” 

On the impact of his subs:

“I think some of them did (add something) like I said with the games (recent matches against Derby and Barnsley) I felt it was a concern going into it.

"But I needed to experience it in terms of me with this group for the first time.

“We've had two games against really tough opposition which has probably taken a lot out of the players.

"But like I said we looked after them in terms of preparation going into the game.

“Again, maybe that’s why they took them time to get going.

"But it’ll certainly be on my mind and whether I get it right after Reading next week, then Lincoln and Blackpool so that’ll be coming into consideration."

On the table as it stands:

“It’s very tight, I think results-wise some went for us, some didn’t.

"A couple of teams were playing against each other so you’re not going to get anything unless there’s a draw and perhaps men sent off – that’s what’s ideal for us.

“I do look I’m not going to deny that, I haven’t studied it I’ve had a quick glance.

“But ultimately, we have got to look at ourselves first and foremost.

“As it stands, we’ve got enough games and points to play for where it’s in our hands still.

"And that sort of performance overall, I’m not saying it was brilliant, but they kept going and got on top of the game.

“It wasn’t a free-flowing game, but I think Wigan in the first 20 minutes had a few moves that were excellent and you’re thinking this could be a long afternoon.

“So, there’s some credit in terms of persisting with the game and then getting on top of it – but we’ve got to find a way of not having that feeling of ‘how did we lose that game’.”


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