Hurst and Lampard meet as equals this evening... but they’ve taken very different routes to get there
- Credit: Archant
Paul Hurst and Frank Lampard will meet on the Pride Park touchline as equals this evening, but the two managers have taken very different routes to get there.
Hurst’s Ipswich travel to Lampard’s Derby for what is just the fourth Championship game of both men’s managerial careers, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Having retired with 106 England caps and 13 major trophies following his long association with Chelsea, Lampard is taking his first steps in management at Derby after landing the job earlier this summer.
Hurst, meanwhile, has made it to the Championship the hard way after starting his management career in non-league with Ilkeston and Boston before guiding Grimsby into League Two and then reaching League One with Shrewsbury.
The Ipswich boss is looking forward to pitting himself against one of the great midfielders of his generation and certainly doesn’t begrudge the 40-year for beginning his career in the dugout in the second tier.
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“If someone offers it to you then what’s he going to say? ‘No, I’d rather go to non-league and start out’.
“There might be the odd person out there who would do that but, if Ipswich had come calling for my first job I wouldn’t have said ‘you’re alright, I’m going to go and start off at Ilkeston and hopefully get to you one day’.
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“I don’t begrudge him anything but I’m proud of the route that I’ve taken.
“It is a big ask because it’s ok working around good people and picking up things, but when you’re thrown in there it’s very different still.
“He doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would say they would only go into management if they were guaranteed to get a certain opportunity.
“Maybe there’s the odd person who moans about not getting interviews and not getting a chance in the league. But if you don’t get one, go into non-league and try and prove your worth.”
Lampard’s start to life as a manager has been a mixed one, with a win and two defeats in three Championship games, but Hurst insists it’s far too early to judge the former England international.
“They won the first one, a tight one which could possibly have gone the other way as well, but you have to give people time,” he said.
“Derby have big expectations on them after missing out in the play-offs last season and they desperately want that return back to the Premier League.
“With Frank, what I would say is that I’ve seen him bring some younger players in and he needs time. Let’s not be too critical because it is a tough learning curve and there’s nothing to say he won’t be as successful as a manager as he was as a player, although that’s some act to follow.
“Everyone should give him time, although he will be one of the names under a lot of scrutiny.”
While Lampard is taking his first steps in management, Hurst has a decade’s experience behind him but insists he will never stop learning.
“I know what I am and the way I act and conduct myself is not something I’m suddenly going to change,” he said.
“I’m sure he has an idea of how he wants to be but there will probably be a bit of learning to go on along the way. That’s natural
“I’m not finished learning but I’m clearly further down the road in terms of being down that road of picking the team and then standing up, addressing the players. That’s something I’ve had more experience in.”
For all the positives which came out of Saturday’s battling home draw with Aston Villa, Hurst knows his side will be in for a rough ride as they search for the first win under his management.
“Derby are a good team even though they’ve been beaten a couple of times, but you see enough in those to know they play good football,” he said.
“It certainly won’t be an easy game and they will be wanting to get a reaction after getting beat.
“We need to do all we can to impose our game on Derby.”
Town team news
- Paul Hurst has no new injury worries ahead of this evening’s game at Pride Park.
- Ellis Harrison (knee), Cole Skuse (quad) and Jon Nolan (calf) all suffered knocks on Saturday but should be fit to play against the Rams.
- Teddy Bishop, Danny Rowe and Emyr Huws all played for the Under 23s last night and will not be involved.
- Andre Dozzell is not yet ready to be involved in first-team games. - Paul Hurst says youngster Trevoh Chalobah is physically ready to play all 46 league games this season.
Derby team news
- Curtis Davies will miss his fourth-straight game with a hamstring problem. - Scott Malone is also set to miss out after picking up an injury at Millwall at the weekend. - Tom Huddlestone, linked with a move to Stoke City, could return from a groin injury - Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson is also a doubt with a groin problem.
Opposition key man
Ipswich Town fans will know all about attacking midfielder Tom Lawrence from his highly-impressive loan spell in 2016/17. He possesses a rocket of a shot and can run at defenders. Already has two goals to his name this season and is a major threat.
Betting Derby County - 4/5 Draw - 13/5
Ipswich Town - 17/4
Referee Scott Duncan (Northumberland)