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Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: Shock therapy was required – let’s go on a journey with Hurst

PUBLISHED: 12:54 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 12 August 2018

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst applauds the travelling fans at Rotherham. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst applauds the travelling fans at Rotherham. Photo: Pagepix

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Ipswich Town lost 1-0 at Rotherham United yesterday. STUART WATSON gives his considered Sunday verdict.

Paul Hurst speaks to the media following Town's last-gasp defeat at the New York Stadium. Photo: PagepixPaul Hurst speaks to the media following Town's last-gasp defeat at the New York Stadium. Photo: Pagepix

Owning the process and trusting in the plan.

Those were the buzz phrases of Gareth Southgate amidst England’s unlikely run to the World Cup semi-finals earlier this summer. And they are phrases that are equally apt for Ipswich Town as Paul Hurst attempts a very similar mission.

The true triumph of the Three Lions was getting the people to fall back in love with their national side following years of growing disconnect, disillusionment and apathy.

That, ultimately, is Hurt’s modus operandi at Portman Road. And we must all keep that in mind following Saturday’s 1-0 last-gap defeat at Rotherham United.

One point from two opening games against newly-promoted sides naturally gets that devil on the shoulder talking louder. Has too much been changed too soon? Has the baby been thrown out with the bathwater? Is this all too big a risk for such an uncompromising league?

MORE: Fuller Flavour: Let’s hope Hurst has found some more lower league gems

Players who have departed accounted for 48 of the 60 goals scored in all competitions last season (80%) and 191 of the 506 league starts (38%). None of the nine that have arrived have any experience of note at Championship level or above.

Shock therapy was required though. It’s boiling frog syndrome. If a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out. But if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought slowly to the boil, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. Not a pleasant analogy, but one which highlights the dangers of comfort zones. That’s what was happening to Ipswich Town.

MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham United

Back to the England comparison. Southgate felt like a new breed of manager: Open, measured, relatable. Hurst exudes the same style of leadership. He’s clear on what he wants to do and, crucially, he wants everyone else to join him on the journey.

Fans invest not just financially, but emotionally, in their team. It’s only right they are told, with a reasonable amount of detail, what the thinking is.

MORE: Hurst has spoken to Dozzell and Nydam about potential loan departures

Hurst is doing that and it will buy him football’s most precious commodity – patience.

Is there room for improvement from the first two games? Loads. Have there been encouraging signs in both? Plenty. It’s already easier on the eye. On Saturday, the team had 63% possession, produced 16 shots on goal and forced 12 corners. That’s already a fry cry from ironic cheers greeting the long-awaited first shot on target.

MORE: ‘We need three players in and we’ve only got two loans to use’ – Hurst on Garner exit and Oshilaja bid

As Hurst and his staff’s methods slowly get ingrained, and the players gradually begin to gel, the results will surely come. And when they don’t it will still be a lot more fun to watch.

Town have to keep owning the process. And we have to keep trusting in the plan.

Paul Hurst will ensure his Ipswich Town players are told a few home truths following their penalty loss to Exeter.

Ipswich Town exited the Carabao Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat at League Two side Exeter City tonight. STUART WATSON gives his snap observations.

Ipswich Town are out of the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle after going down 4-2 on penalties to Exeter City, following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

Ipswich Town are in Carabao Cup action this evening as they travel to take on Exeter City at St James Park.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says he will name a strong team for tonight’s Carabao Cup first round match at Exeter City.

Kayden Jackson is excited to be playing alongside ‘the best full-back in League Two last season’ after being reunited with Janoi Donacien at Ipswich Town.

Mark Heath, Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back to discuss the latest goings on at Ipswich Town.

Ben Morris scored twice as Ipswich Town’s Under 23s went down 3-2 at Sheffield United this afternoon.

Kayden Jackson is Ipswich Town’s new No.9 after completing a £1.6m deadline day move Accrington Stanley last week. The 24-year-old speaks about his journey to this point, electric pace and hunger to succeed in the Championship.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst admits his team have ‘some distance’ to go in terms of reaching the levels he expects, but says ‘not everything was wrong’ in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham United.

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