‘We need more bodies, every Ipswich Town fan can see that’ – Hurst on Townsend bid and transfer search
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst has admitted he wants to do plenty more transfer business before his side’s Championship opener against Blackburn Rovers, at Portman Road, a week on Saturday.
The Blues boss has so far signed Ellis Harrison, Gwion Edwards, Trevoh Chalobah and Jordan Roberts this summer, while six-figure bids for Scunthorpe United left-back Conor Townsend and Blackpool centre-back Curtis Tilt have been rejected.
Scunthorpe chairman Peter Swann revealed the League One club have rebuffed a ‘rubbish’ bid from Town for Townsend. When that was put to Hurst, he replied: “Well if he’s said it then he must be true. I think I’ve said, I just want good players here. If I can add competition and I think it will benefit us, then that’s what I’ll do for this football club.”
Hurst has already sold defended Adam Webster to Bristol City for £3.5m and has done little to play down reports suggesting Martyn Waghorn – an unused substitute in tonight’s 1-0 friendly win at MK Dons – is set to join Derby County for £8m. Asked if he was concerned about time running out before the transfer window (for permanent deals) shuts on August 9, he replied: “I feel like it’s Groundhog Day. Every time I open my eyes we start the process of trying to come up with something new or hoping that a situation has changed, with news of perhaps bodies coming in.
“Just because Ellis (Harrison) has come in that’s not end of our business. The lads did well tonight, but we certainly need more bodies still. Every Ipswich Town fan and yourselves can see that. We talk about being patient. It is a testing time. It’s testing my patience. But we’ll get there in the end.”
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Asked if he is prepared to state how many more signings he wants, Hurst laughed: “I better not because I might scare the owner! We still need a few more, that’s for sure.”
When it was put to him that centre-back is an area his squad looks particularly short, Hurst said: “We’re looking at a couple of lads. Credit to Luke Woolfenden, he’s looking a good player, but is he ready to play 46 games of the season? We all know that’s certainly not the case. That’s nothing against him. Between him and Luke Chambers they are the only recognised centre-backs that we have.
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“We have a couple of players who can fill in there, but if that happens then we get stretched in a couple of other areas. Certainly that’s the most obvious place where we need strengthening – whether that’s lads to come in and start or compete.”