‘I’m not thinking that’s out of the realms of possibility’ – Hurst on whether his job may come under pressure
PUBLISHED: 16:03 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:28 17 September 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Hurst has spoken candidly about his eight-game winless start as Ipswich Town manager. Here’s what he had to say about his job potentially coming under threat at this lunchtime’s press conference.
Q: How do you reflect on the Hull game (2-0 away defeat on Saturday)? It was a performance which seemed to worry a lot of people.
A: Yeah and I think I said that myself. The first 35 minutes weren’t good, then for the final 10 minutes of the half and at the start of the second half I thought we were fine between both boxes. Then the longer it goes they obviously have a few more chances as we change system and try to get back in the game.
Overall it was a game we felt we had a good chance of winning and the performance wasn’t good enough to allow us to make that happen.
Q: Did you go away thinking ‘what more could I do’? Luke Chambers thought the preparations were A1 standard.
A: A lot of the goals we have conceded have been avoidable and down to individual mistakes. On the other side of that we haven’t made the most of opportunities that have been in front of us. We’ve actually got into positions where the end story could be a lot different.
That comes down to, perhaps, confidence – especially the longer it goes on – and perhaps quality, at times.
I’m a big believer that players are the ones who make the biggest difference. As a manager you get praise when you are winning, but a lot of that deserves to go to the players.
Q: In today’s society, patience tends to be in short supply. Doubts haves crept in for some fans. Were you expecting that to be the case so early in your Ipswich Town career?
A: I wouldn’t say I wasn’t expecting that to be the case. I’ve said this many times before, I’m a realist and I don’t have my head in the sand. At the same time I’m not hunting out social media to see all of those negatives that might be out there.
You get on with the job. I understand what the job is.
There was a big call for change, a change occurred and now some people will be questioning whether that was the right choice or whether it was the right way forward but I’m the wrong person to carry out those changes.
That’s life. It comes down to results. We were sat here not so long ago and the general consensus was we were playing some decent football and perhaps hadn’t quite had the rub of the green.
The longer it goes on the more those feelings and opinions will sway and turn more towards the type you’ve just been speaking of.
Q: Do you still have the self-belief that you can crack it at this level?
A: I said right from the start that it makes no difference that this is Championship level. I appreciate some people out there will be thinking that’s a ridiculous thing to say, but for me managing is managing.
The quality of the opposition goes up, yes, but I’ve got every confidence in myself.
Sometimes you go through difficult periods. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point and to get this opportunity and while ever it is still in front of me I’ll be doing everything I can to take it, not just for myself, but for the players and the fans and everyone associated with Ipswich.
Q: Was it a bit of a stinker of a Sunday for you?
A: No, we won – my son’s team made it three out of three! So that’s the CV I’ll be handing in if anything does change in my personal circumstances!
It’s not easy because I’ve been used to being at the right ends of tables and winning football matches more often than not.
No-one likes losing. It hurts your pride. Fans get upset, but no-one gets more of a feeling than myself and (assistant) Chris (Doig) and the players to a certain extent.
We’re the ones that can change that and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.
Q: You joke about it, but you’re not serious are you? You don’t think Marcus Evans would pull the trigger in September? That doesn’t seem his way.
A: That’s not my decision. Like I said, I’m a realist. I don’t know at the minute what Marcus might be thinking. That’s simply his decision.
Some people might say I shouldn’t sit here and say that, but why not? If he gives me a call or comes in and sees me and that’s that, then that’s that.
I’m not thinking that is going to happen, but at the same time I’m not thinking that’s out of the realms of possibility because you’ve got to win games of football.
It’s whether or not it’s deemed that things are changing for the positive, apart from results and where we sit in the table. I’m confident in saying that there’s been some big improvements along with big changes at the football club that will benefit it long after I’m here.
But I’m hoping to be here for a long time.
I can’t say I’ll definitely be here in 50 games time because Marcus might decide I’m not here after one game. That’s purely his decision. We’ve had no conversation about my future. I’m just concentrating on trying to win a game of football.
As I say, when I came here my plan was to be here for some time. That hasn’t changed. But, as I say, I’m not hiding away from the situation. We all know how football works.
Admittedly, there is an owner here who doesn’t want to chop and change as freely and happily as perhaps a lot do. Hopefully it will work that way. I’ll be speaking to him later.
Q: How will you feel when that first win comes?
A: There would be an element of relief, that’s natural. It would hopefully give the players that bit of confidence that’s required.
I’m not a doctor, but to my knowledge there’s not a drug out there that you can inject and just suddenly makes people feel better about themselves. That comes through an experience, for us that’s winning a game of football, and we haven’t had that yet.
What they can do is keep working extremely hard and make sure we do the basics well.
I think we have the quality. What they need is a bit of confidence, not through me saying they are good players, but by actions and seeing things come right for them on the pitch.
We can all say what is needed, but actually going out and performing is a bit more difficult.
We’ve got to remain positive and understand every time we step on the pitch it’s an opportunity to get people talking about us in a different way.
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