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Club News

Post-Port Vale | Paul Hurst

9 March 2024

Club News

Post-Port Vale | Paul Hurst

9 March 2024

Boss Paul Hurst chatted to the media following our 2-1 win at Port Vale.

In front of 1,140 travelling Salopians, goals from Dan Udoh and Tom Bloxham saw us pick up a crucial three points in Staffordshire.

Speaking to the assembled media, Paul discussed the game as well as the performance of goalkeeper Marko Marosi who returned from injury to make some excellent saves.

And the boss also gave his thoughts on the League One table, with Town now seven points above the relegation zone.

On his emotions after the game:

"Honestly, I'm relieved more than anything because we were 2-0 up. It might be my own thing but I never felt comfortable.

"We gave away a poor goal. You can't leave a player unmarked in the area as we did.

"But we knew Port Vale would come at us - even when it was 1-0. We expected it.

"When we got the second goal, you know they aren't just going to give up.

"But certainly, we made the end of the game more nervous than it should have been really.

"I don't think we gave them too many chances.

"But I have to say Marko (Marosi) made, maybe three really big saves from memory that was credit to why we went in at the break 1-0 up."

On Marko's performance:

"He has done very well since I have come to the club.

"He is an experienced keeper and he seems to enjoy the big moments and he delivered some of those for us today."

On scoring early through Dan Udoh:

"It's a nice one because it's something we had worked on and identified.

"It (the set-piece) has still got to be executed correctly. People have to remember, which is annoying because you go through it, you write it up and they sometimes still forget! But they didn't today.

"It was a great ball in from Mal, and from where I was at I wasn't quite sure if it had gone in.

"There seemed to be a bit of a delayed reaction from everyone. But then I saw Dan wheel off.

"Then we have another set play that we looked at. We got Chey free around the back and we looked a threat in those situations.

"We know you are going to have to defend here because of the long throws so we knew there were going to be plenty of times when the ball was going to go in our box.

"But again we got our heads to a lot of things in that situation. But it always makes it nervous on the touchline."

On Tom Bloxham scoring shortly after the interval:

"It was a pretty good finish.

"The ball was dropping to the edge of the box and we had spoken about that maybe being free.

"I don't think Winni (Carl Winchester) got the flight of the ball. But he ended up getting there and he toe-poked it and thankfully it went in a good direction for Tom and he swept it home.

"My first thing was to look at the assistant because he had one chalked off at home from a similar position. Thankfully the flag stayed down."

On Port Vale not creating a lot in the last 20 minutes:

"I thought they did okay. But you can always do things better.

"One thing I would say is it's a big pitch here, a heavy pitch and it took a lot out of some players.

"I'm looking at fitness levels and I don't think I'm being too unkind in saying they're not where I want them to be.

"The biggest thing now is for the lads to recover. They have got to do all they can as individuals. We look after them as we can in terms of Monday and into Tuesday.

"We have said it's a big week for us. We have got off to a fantastic start. Can we try and back that result up with ideally a win but certainly something from the game on Tuesday?"

On Jack Hinchy being subbed off:

"That was tactical. I just felt we needed a little bit more in terms of getting second balls in there.

"We weren't getting loads to play. I think we had some good moments, especially down the left-hand side in the first half. That is probably where a lot of our play comes.

"But then it just got a little bit frantic, it was a big second-ball game, and I just felt TP might give us a little bit more in that area."

On the celebrations at the end:

"Like I say, it was a bit of relief. It's not lost on me how big a win it is because of the league table.

"But also because it's against a local rival. We haven't won here very often in recent years.

"I know what it will mean to those fans to get the bragging rights for a little while.

"It keeps some distance between us and Port Vale. They have still got a couple of games in hand on us.

"And looking at other results they have not gone too bad. There is still a long way to go but it's another three points towards where we want to get to.

"I'm sure a lot of teams today would probably have preferred it if Port Vale had won"

On being seven points clear of the relegation zone:

"There is still a long way to go. We said it at Reading and we didn't manage to back that really good win up with any points in the next couple of games.

"We have got that today. We have got two home games coming up. 

"Strangely - and there is no specific reason - we have been better away from home than at home since I've returned - it would be nice to get that first victory back in front of the home fans.

"We have got two opportunities to do that - starting with Exeter on Tuesday."


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