‘It feels hard to take today’ – Hurst reflects on last minute defeat at Rotherham
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst admits his team losing in the last minute at Rotherham United today was hard to take.
The Blues dominated possession, produced 16 shots on goal, had two major penalty appeals waved away and forced 12 corners. Yet they ended up leaving South Yorkshire with nothing to show for their efforts after Michael Smith found the top corner in the last minute.
Hurst was asked if he’s getting sick of the sight of the Millers, a club he made more than 500 appearances for, given they beat his Shrewsbury Town side in the League One Play-Off Final back in May.
“I’ll never get sick of the sight of Rotherham,” he said. “My time spent here was obviously a very good one, and I genuinely wish them well every time I am not up against them, but that’s three times in a row now I’ve come out on the wrong side of things against them and it feels hard to take today.
“In the dressing room we would have been feeling disappointed not to have won the game, so to actually lose it is hard to take. I’m probably not the best person to assess the performance overall because I am disappointed at this moment in time by the result.
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“And that’s what the business is about – results. As much as it’s nice to get performances, you want the results to go hand-in-hand with them.
“Look, I’m sure there are some positives to take, but at this moment in time they are difficult to see.”
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Town had a strong penalty appeal waved away in the 85th minute when Jordan Roberts appeared to be hauled down by Joe Mattock in the box.
“To be honest I didn’t quite see the incident entirely,” said Hurst. “What I did see was that Jordan Roberts had got inside Joe Mattock. But I’m not sure whether or not the player was looking for the penalty and if there was enough contact for him to go down. What I would say is that if I do watch it back and I think he’s gone down to easily then he will be getting an earful because it would have been a great opportunity.
“Ultimately though it doesn’t mean anything because it wasn’t given.
“I thought Jordan Roberts got blocked off just prior to them getting the free-kick for the goal. And I think Toto (Nsiala) actually got the ball first. I can understand perhaps what the referee is thinking, but I do think he gets the ball first rather than the man.
“We don’t actually defend it that bad, but it just drops down and Smith produces a good finish.”
On the encouraging performance of debutant Jon Nolan, Hurst said: “I wanted to bring Jon to the football club as soon as I joined, but it took longer than I would have hoped. He’s got quality. I never doubted he could step up and I was amazed that other clubs weren’t in for him. I don’t know what they’ve been watching and I would question their scouting networks.
“What I would say, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, is that today they have come up against a team they played three times last season. They’ve played here before. In some ways it wasn’t the most daunting fixture for them.
“(Paul) Warney will say the same about us, as we’ll say about them. There will be stiffer tests ahead.
“Him and Toto can be pleased because they’ve only trained a couple of days. And the team overall is new. You want your players with you as early as possible to work on things. In Blackburn and Rotherham we have come up against two teams that are very settled and know each other. We’re still learning.
“But I have to say that performance should have been good enough to leave with three points.”