Ipswich Town set to name new manager by end of this coming week – and it’s likely to be Paul Hurst

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst acknowledges the fans after the final whistle following their Lea

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst acknowledges the fans after the final whistle following their League One play-off final loss. Picture PA - Credit: PA

Paul Hurst could be named Ipswich Town manager by the end of this coming week following Shrewsbury Town’s 2-1 extra-time defeat to Rotherham defeat in today’s League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.

It’s understood that Blues owner Marcus Evans identified the 43-year-old as one of his prime targets weeks ago but had been waiting until the Shropshire side’s promotion push was over before making an official approach.

Talks will begin immediately and Hurst is very much in pole position for the role. All of Evans’ other shortlisted candidates have been interviewed, with two who impressed now out the picture. Jack Ross has joined Sunderland from St Mirren, while Frank Lampard is reportedly set for the Derby job.

Tottenham Under-18s coach Scott Parker, the former England midfielder, looks the most likely to provide competition.

MORE: Wembley heartbreak for Ipswich target Hurst - six observations from the League One play-off final

Quizzed on the Ipswich links after yesterday’s game, Hurst – who is keen to get away on an already delayed holiday as soon as possible – said he’d received no contact from Ipswich, but reiterated that he is an ambitious manager.

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“It’s been rumbling on for a while and I’ve been linked with a couple of other ones as well,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s really the time (to talk about it). I appreciate you are doing your job but I don’t want to pass comment on that – I’m still very much hurting from what I’ve just seen.”

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A long-serving left-back in the lower leagues for Rotherham, Sheffield-born Hurst has worked his way up from the bottom as a coach. After masterminding Northern Premier League promotions at both Ilkeston Town and Boston United he embarked on a six-year stint at Grimsby Town, eventually leading them back into the Football League at the fourth attempt in the play-offs.

He soon moved to Shrewsbury and in less than 18 months has transformed them from League One relegation-battlers into promotion contenders on a shoestring budget. Experienced players were quickly moved on and Hurst pieced together a hungry squad of former non-league drifters and young loanees.

Shrewsbury occupied a top-two spot for almost five months of the season but were pipped to automatic promotion by big-budget Wigan and Blackburn. Having reached the final of the Checkatrade Trophy and taken West Ham to an FA Cup third round replay, their marathon campaign consisted of 62 matches.

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