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Interviews

Pre Derby | Paul Hurst

8 February 2024

Interviews

Pre Derby | Paul Hurst

8 February 2024

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

Town travel to Pride Park on Saturday for what will be our third game since Hurst and assistant boss Chris Doig returned to the club.

The duo's first match back in charge saw us secure a convincing and deserved win at Northampton, while last weekend we fell to a narrow defeat against Cambridge.

Speaking to the assembled media, Paul discussed the past week and 

And the boss was also asked to respond to comments made by Hull head coach Liam Rosenior who recently expressed his disappointment with the communication around the termination of Brandon Fleming's loan.

On the past week:

"It's been good up until today and then the weather created a bit of havoc for us.

"We had set a session up and then we couldn't really do it because the rain just kept coming and coming.

"The pitch was a bit waterlogged and we didn't really want to go on the 4G because we have got quite a few lads who can't go on there with past injuries - and with it being so close to Saturday we didn't want to do that.

"But there are no excuses. It's fine. We have done our video analysis a little bit sooner and in a bit more depth to make sure the players understand what they are going to come up against - both good and bad.

"Obviously a lot of it is good when you look at the quality of the opposition.

"But other than the weather everything has been all good.

"I said after last Saturday, we were disappointed with the result but that I wanted everyone back in with a smile on their face because we can't change what happened and there were still positives to take.

"Ultimately, we didn't get the result we wanted. But what a great game we've now got to look forward to.

"It will be a very difficult one. We know that. But I would imagine when the fixture list came out at the start of the season this is one everyone would have been looking for."

On the reaction to the defeat:

"They (the players) have taken on board what we have asked.

"I don't want anyone watching this thinking we are happy with a defeat - far from it.

"But we can't change what happened in terms of the scoreline. We can show some of the positives. We can look at some of the negatives. You do that always, whether you win, lose or draw.

"Ultimately, we are still very new in terms of getting our messages across and getting to know the players.

"The last thing I want is people walking about with their heads down, bottom lips on the floor, sulking.

"I know one thing for certain - that won't get us anything on Saturday. You have to be upbeat.

"But you have to be real as well in terms of showing some things that weren't great but also showing the positives and trying to take that and move forward.

"We are trying to get players to understand what we are asking from them more and more.

"The more time we get to spend with them, of course, that should get better.

"It doesn't always mean it's going to look right on a Saturday.

"There is nothing worse as a head coach or manager when you get to a Saturday and - after the game - people question what you have been doing.

"They think 'have they actually done anything in the week?' when you know that you have. But hopefully, that won't be the case too many times."

On whether there are any new injury concerns:

"No, it's all good. Again it's only a small indicator, but I've certainly been in this enough times when after a defeat suddenly people do pick up niggles and maybe miss training for a couple of days.

"We haven't had any of that. I'm pleased to report that.

"Realistically we have only got the two lads (George Nurse and Tom Flanagan).

"Flanno is continuing his work and is progressing. George has been for some testing. He is on the right road to get back to full fitness. But we know we're not going to have him anytime soon."

On how players can force their way into the squad for Derby:

"A big thing straight away is show the right attitude.

"It's back to that word sulking. I've not seen that and what I made clear on Monday was that I'm not impressed by sulking or showing your frustration in a negative way.

"You can have that as a parent enough times. I don't need to see it when I come to work.

"The way to try and get in the team or in the squad is by working hard and showing the right attitude.

"We are really big on character and attitude. Of course, there has to be an ability attached to that as well.

"But first and foremost that is what I look for and I've seen that.

"I've got no criticism to date in terms of their application which has been excellent.

"We are still really early days but it has been good and I hope that continues with every player - whether they have played every minute or no minutes."

On Tom Bloxham being suspended giving someone else an opportunity:

"I think Tom did well in the two games.

"He nearly got himself a goal at Northampton. He did well.

"And on Saturday he was arguably our biggest threat in terms of an individual. He got some good crosses.

"There is lots of information we are trying to get into Tom in terms of how we want him to play that role, positions he can take up that will be better for him and better for his team mates.

"He is an unusual profile for a wide player. We will lose a bit of physicality with him coming out of the team.

"But at the same time, it's an opportunity for someone else. And who I decide to go with, hopefully, they can take that and give me a decision to make moving forward."

On Liam Liam Rosenior's comments:

"It is difficult. For one, it is in print, what I have seen. I think sometimes that can come across a little different. 

"From my point of view, any negativity for our football club, I do not like to read, hear, see. I don't like it.

"I can only comment since I have been at the football club and I know full well that I have had two conversations with people at Hull, well three actually, with two different people around that situation. 

"They understood my thoughts and my understanding of the situation. 

"Now, whether that has been translated correctly at their end, I'm not sure. 

"I did not speak to Liam, that was never a conversation that we had.

"But one thing that I know has always happened anytime I have been in position, and 100 per cent happened here the first time, is people are treated properly, correctly and looked after - so I am not entirely sure what the angst is. 

"From my point of view, I can only say, certainly moving forward, that if there is any doubt around communication then I certainly hope that we can improve that. 

"From my point of view, I had three conversations around Brandon so Hull knew my thoughts on that. I think it was pretty clear from my point of view." 

On going up against Derby and his friend Paul Warne:

"The staff there, Paul, Richie Barker, Matt Hamshaw and Andy Warrington - Andy was a goalie coach and team mate (of mine).

"Matt I have played against a lot and been on courses with. And Richie and Paul were team mates.

"In my previous job, we used to sometimes see them in a layby as they were travelling to Derby and I was travelling to Grimsby.

"Some days I think we felt like stepping into the traffic following the weekend's performance.

"But I get on with them fantastically well. I genuinely wish them well - obviously not on Saturday.

"They are really good characters and they are doing a  good job. They are on a good run which doesn't make our job any easier.

"But that friendship does go out the window when kick-off time comes.

"We haven't exchanged any messages or calls this week but I am looking forward to seeing them at the weekend."

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