‘I haven’t seen too much for us to fear’ – Hurst’s early assessment of the Championship
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst has studied the early Championship matches and come to the conclusion that there isn’t too much for his team to fear.
The former Grimsby and Shrewsbury boss is still awaiting his first win in charge of the Blues following away defeats against Rotherham and Derby, home draws against Blackburn and Aston Villa, as well as a Carabao Cup exit at League Two side Exeter City.
He’s been encouraged by his side’s performances though and, conversely, not that impressed with the general standard of the division when watching other matches.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at Sheffield Wednesday – the club he grew up supporting – Hurst said: “I think there’s been some good performances (around the Championship), but I’ve also seen quite a bit else that, I have to say, doesn’t strike me with fear. And it shouldn’t the players.
“I’ve watched some games and thought ‘I don’t believe either of those teams have performed as well as we’ve performed’. Teams have won and scored goals from performances that weren’t as good as ours.
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“In general, I haven’t seen too much for us to fear. We know there are some teams who are clearly going to be stronger than others. There are some very technically gifted players. But overall, in terms of our work-rate, approach and organisation, I think we look a decent-ish team, despite the fact we haven’t managed to turn performances into victories and got a few more points on the board.”
Birmingham, Stoke, Reading and QPR are the other four teams yet to register a victory heading into this weekend, with the Blues hovering above the relegation zone as it stands.
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“You can’t help it, can you?” said Hurst, when asked if he’d looked at the table yet. “It makes me laugh when they show that table after the first lot of results. But I’m aware where we are and the quicker we can get away from that position, the better we’ll all feel.
“I want a win from a selfish point of view. More importantly, I want a win for everyone else – fans included. It will just make everyone feel that little bit happier and get that monkey off the back.
“We can keep trying to ram messages down the players’ throats and get it embedded in their minds, but winning games helps people buy into things. At the minute we haven’t got that.
“I’ve had enough neutral people comment positively on our performances. These are people that I know who are very honest and aren’t just saying it to make me feel better. They feel that we’ve looked a decent team.
“A ‘decent team’ is fine – we want to be better than that. We also want to win games. I know already that teams have played worse than us and won games of football. That’s a bit of an art and a knack, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but generally performances over a period of time will get you results.
“That’s what we’ve got to stick to and keep trying to churn out.”