'What he's done in the past is irrelevant to me' - Hurst says Chambers must earn place in team
PUBLISHED: 09:29 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 02 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says no-one's place in the Ipswich Town team is assured - including skipper Luke Chambers.
The new Blues boss has already sold defender Adam Webster to Championship rivals Bristol City for £3.5m, while strikers Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner have been linked to Middlesbrough and Bolton respectively.
Hurst moved on several senior players when he first arrived at former club Shrewsbury Town and says he won’t be afraid to make bold decisions at Portman Road too.
“I’m coming in as a new pair of eyes and it is a clean slate for players,” he said. “I don’t want it to come across too harshly, but I don’t really care what they’ve done before. I’m interested in what they can do for me now.
“I’m going to use him as an example because he’s the skipper and has broad enough shoulders that he won’t get offended by me saying this, but what he’s done in the past is irrelevant to me.
“I know he’s a good pro and has had a good career, but he needs to be able to produce here and now. It’s the same with the young lads who might not have kicked a ball for the first team.
“If someone stands out pre-season and I feel he is ready to go then he’ll be given that opportunity.”
Hurst, who will put his players through gruelling triple sessions during a warm weather training camp in Spain this week, continued: “There are some obvious areas that need strengthening. It might be that during pre-season that one or two lads decide it’s not going to be for them. That’s football. Things always evolve. You very rarely get a squad that’s absolutely settled.
“I think in some ways we’ve got that here. We’ve got a good start point. I know that Mick (McCarthy) has left us a group of good people with good attitudes. That’s a good start point to work from. Ultimately they’ve got to be good players and be able to fit into how we like to play.”
He added: “I’ve had a good chat with Bryan (Klug). I’ve spoken with Gerard (Nash) and (Chris) Hoggy about some of the younger players.
“Overall it is a clean slate. Just because some young players made their debuts it certainly doesn’t mean they are first team players yet.
“The other lads who were injured come back. It is a fresh start for everyone.”