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Post-Oxford | Paul Hurst

29 March 2024


Post-Oxford | Paul Hurst

29 March 2024

Boss Paul Hurst covered a wide range of topics during his post-Oxford press conference.

In what was a thoroughly entertaining game at the Croud Meadow, a brilliant goal from substitute Jack Price saw Town secure a deserved draw against the promotion-chasing Us.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring when Billy Bodin fired in shortly past the hour mark.

But over the course of the 90 minutes, both teams created numerous chances with Aiden O'Brien and Chey Dunkley twice going close for Town while Carl Winchester saw a fizzing strike from 20 yards well saved by Jamie Cumming.

At the other end, Marko Marosi also impressed making excellent saves to deny Mark Harris and Josh Murphy.

Speaking to the media post-match, Paul discussed the game, Jack's goal and the quick turnaround - with Town back in action against Bristol Rovers on Monday.

On the result: 

“I think it’s a good point. We were playing a team in the playoffs. I know they have slipped out now. 

“You could see their quality towards the end of the game.

“But for large parts, I thought we were more than in the game and we competed well. 

“First half, I thought we shaded it and had the best chance with Aiden (O’Brien). 

“I think Marko (Marosi) made one good save earlier in the half. 

“But second half we started on the front foot. We forced quite a few corners. 

“We then gave away a disappointing goal on our part. 

“It was movement we had highlighted. They got in behind us. 

“And although we delayed the goal, they got themselves in front. 

“I think then you could see their confidence grow a little. 

“But credit to the players, they hung on in there and eventually they got the rewards that, I think, their efforts deserved.” 

On Jack Price’s goal: 

“We know he has got that quality. 

“It was a nice moment for him. He has obviously played higher and in a different country – different levels. 

“You can see what it means to him.  

“I’ve said before, he is the right type of character.  

“I think in the dressing room the lads are pleased for themselves and for the club. But they are also pleased for Jack that he’s managed to get that goal and earn us a point.” 

On the triple sub introducing Jack Price, Roland Idowu and Tunmise Sobwale: 

“I think they all had their moments. 

“As always, there are always things you want them to do that they don’t. 

“Our back two were needing my remote control today.  

“It’s so hard when you work on things, you walk through things and then players aren’t quite taking it on board. 

“They are not doing it on purpose. And it’s a lot easier stood at the side, but you are just waiting for them to really grasp it which will save some of the running they have to do. 

“Because, in the end, it was a big effort, and you could tell there were some tired legs out there.” 

On defending well late on: 

“I think they started to show, all of a sudden, the quality they have got in those attacking positions. 

“There were a couple of really big blocks. Marko made a really big save for us just after we equalised. 

“I thought, overall, he made some good saves but there were two real quality saves. 

“And there was some good defending and bodies on the line which we needed. 

“I think the crowd got involved. They played their part. 

“And at the end, it is a draw but it almost felt like a win in terms of the atmosphere around the stadium. 

“It could prove a really vital point, especially when you look at the other results. A lot of them haven’t gone our way. 

“But at the same time, I’m sure they have looked at ours and probably hoped that Oxford would have taken all three points today.” 

On the gap to the bottom four being six points: 

“It’s twitchy bum time. But that’s for everyone, it’s not just us. 

“The best thing for me is if we take care of our business then we will be okay. 

“We know there are some tough games coming up.  

“But I think we’re at the stage of the season, and today is a prime example, there will be a lot of coupon busters in terms of results. 

“Things don’t always go the way you expect them to and we will be looking to try and get a few of those results go in our favour.” 

On the next 48 hours ahead of Bristol Rovers: 

“The players will train over the weekend. 

“We won’t be running them into the ground, it will be more coming in so we prepare properly. 

“It’ll be massages and ice baths and whatever else it is that gets them right. 

“We have got to go again on Monday. 

“We can make some changes, but we can’t make wholesale changes. 

“But I have spoken to them about the importance of the substitutes making an impact. 

“I think they did that today.  

“I think we all saw the stat in midweek – that was the first time we have had a goal from a substitute. 

“But the general energy they brought helped and we’ll need that again on Monday. 

“Whatever team starts, I’m pretty certain it won’t be the one that finishes so those lads that don’t get the nod to start the game have to be ready.” 

On whether Tom Bayliss will be available having missed today through illness: 

“I’m really not sure. I think Tom has had a slightly different illness to Tom Flanagan and Taylor Perry who had been ill. 

“I thought Taylor put in a real shift. 

“He hadn’t trained all week until yesterday. He actually was out there longer than I thought. 

“Just at the end you could see him wilting but I think you can do that even when you’re fully fit. 

“We will see is the honest answer, I’m not sure.” 

On the challenge of Bristol Rovers: 

“I think they got beat today so they will be disappointed with that result, and they will be looking to put it right – especially with such a quick turnaround. 

“They will be in front of their own crowd.  

“Perhaps they are not as high up the table as they would like and expect to be. 

“But, I keep saying it, there are some really quality players in the line-ups. Players that have played higher up the leagues. 

“We will be wary of a backlash. But at the same time, we have got to go there and make it uncomfortable for them.” 

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