‘We’ve just spoken about belief again’ – Hurst frustrated after defeat at Derby

A relaxed Paul Hurst during the warm-up at Derby Picture Pagepix

A relaxed Paul Hurst during the warm-up at Derby Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst has called upon his players to believe in themselves more following last night’s 2-0 defeat at Derby County.

The Blues matched the Rams for large periods, but lacked a goal threat and ultimately ended up beaten by deflected strikes from Joe Ledley (59) and Tom Lawrence (68).

It leaves Town with just two points on the board from their first four Championship games heading into games against Sheffield Wednesday (a) and Norwich (h) prior to the first international break.

“I’m frustrated in terms of the goals which both, so I’m told, took deflections,” said Hurst.

“A few people have said to me, unprompted, that they didn’t think there was too much in the game.

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“Naturally Derby are a possession-based team, but I’m not sure how many times Bart (Bialkowski) was called upon. I think there was an element of frustration from the home supporters and a feeling of them being unsure what the outcome would be.

MORE: Stu says – Five observations on Town’s 2-0 loss at Derby

“Once they got the goal that seemed to give them a little bit more confidence and take a bit of the pressure off. That’s when we’ve got to try and be a little bit braver on the ball. We had little spells during the game, certainly a spell first half, but I didn’t feel we quite had the energy to put as much pressure on the ball as I would like at times.

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“That said, even in the games Derby have lost they have had a lot of possession and made teams work without the ball. Perhaps what other teams have managed to do against them, when they win it back, is be more cutting and take care of the ball a little bit more.”

Five of the seven goals Town have conceded this season have come directly or indirectly from set-pieces.

MORE: Derby 2 Ipswich 0 - match report

“They are all very different,” said Hurst. “I don’t like the first one. It’s not a great corner, in truth, it bounces, we get the first header on it and then it’s a strike that takes a deflection. Chambo (Luke Chambers) is saying it would have hit him had it not taken the first deflection. There’s an element of misfortune.

“The second one, if someone has a direct shot at goal then there is not a lot you can do about that. It’s nicked off of Jon Nolan on the end of the ball and Bart’s saying it diverted the ball slightly and that’s the reason he went to his right initially. He got a good hand to it, I thought he’d managed to save it, but it’s dropped in.

“You can’t just rely on luck, but at the same time we were a little bit unfortunate with those goals.”

Asked if playing with 10 men for 50 minutes of Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa had affected the performance, Hurst replied: “I think in truth it looked like that to a degree. We have to give Derby credit for the way that they play. They are going to make you run and it probably wasn’t the ideal opposition to play having had 10 men at the weekend.

MORE: Andy Warren grades the Town players’ performances at Pride Park

“But even then how many real saves has Bart had to make? But we did look like we lacked a bit of energy. Maybe we were a little bit deep as well.

“We had a couple of very tame efforts and other opportunities when we haven’t hit the target. It would have been nice to have nicked one goal just to see how Derby reacted, but we put a couple of good balls in towards the end and no-one was on the end of them.

“We’ve just spoken about belief again. We mentioned that after Saturday. Did we truly have that belief, collectively, that we were going to get back in the game? It felt like we almost gave them a little bit too much respect at times. We’ve got to try and shake that off because we know there are some big name clubs in this league and some big name players.

“We’re equals though because we’re all in the same league.”

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