‘If that changes, it changes but it’s not in my control’ - Hurst not concerned for his future ahead of international break
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Paul Hurst was asked about his future at this morning’s press conference, with his Ipswich Town side still looking for their first win under his management and sitting in the Championship relegation zone.
We’ve seen this week that Steve Bruce has left Aston Villa and we’re at the time of year when some chairmen are starting to get a little trigger happy. Are you worried about your situation here, Paul?
“No, and when I spoke to the owner he made it clear what his thoughts were and if that changes, it changes. But that’s not in my control.
“I’m not saying it was the right decision for Steve Bruce to go, he’s got a promotion out the league and it’s strange because not so many weeks ago he was the right man for the job and there wasn’t a better one out there.
“But would that have been different if (Glenn) Whelan had put the penalty away (in the last minute of Villa’s 3-3 draw with Preston)? It’s not on that player and a lot more goes on well before that.
“There are lots of things that come into it. Steve Bruce has nothing to prove to anyone in terms of his record and knows what he can do.
Will Saturday have any bearing on the international break, getting to the international break and reassessing if you have still not won?
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“I’ve not been told that but if that’s the case (we’ll see).
“I am just trying to get the result that we want, that’s where the focus is.”
Is the Championship tougher than you were expecting now you’ve had 11 league games?
“Some things are clearly difficult and then other things, I would suggest, aren’t.
“But ultimately we are in the position we find ourselves in and people will make assumptions that they say are right. I’m confident in my own ability and in Chris’s (Doig) and how we prepare and what it takes.
“You are obviously with a group of players and other circumstances can obviously influence that. You can only control what you do and the biggest thing for me is being professional and doing things the right way.
“There will be lots of people in the past who have done that and it hasn’t worked out for whatever reason and others who maybe don’t take it quite like that and get away with it. They will only get away with it for so long and you just have to stay focussed, keep professional and hope things go the way you want.”
After so much change in the summer and so many new arrivals, when do you think it’s realistic you should be judged?
“I’ve got an idea in my mind with a couple of periods. Whether you can make an absolute judgement (I don’t know) but they are in terms of what I feel is required.
“They will remain in my mind and private behind myself and Chris, but we all know what football is and what it’s like.
“One thing I hate is trying to offer up any excuses. Let people make their own minds up on that and try to just get on with the job in hand and hopefully get the results that show the work we are doing is the correct way to do things.
Do you think 11 or 12 games is too soon?
“I wouldn’t particularly say that. I think it depends on what the job is.
“I’m only mentioning it because you’ve said it yourself there, but the Aston Villa and Ipswich jobs are in the same league but everyone in football knows it’s a different job.
“Some people get away with being average because of what’s available and different circumstances at the club but overall lots of chairman will be less patient than Marcus (Evans). That’s credit.
“It depends what you see as the vision and what the idea is moving forward.
Will you chat to him in the next week or so, during the break?
“I’m sure I’ll speak to him after the game on Saturday.”
Ourselves and the fans only get to see your team on Saturdays and Tuesdays but from what you’re seeing is the progress coming in training? Are your methods working?
“Yeah, I think so.
“Ultimately when you look at the lads train they look fine and bubbly, although some days are better than others which is natural.
“While you do want to see good training sessions, what I would say is that I’ve been in this long enough as a player and manager to know you can have a fantastic week of training and then you get to Saturday and it all goes horribly wrong. Or vice versa.
“So you try to not read too much into it as long as you are seeing the correct attitude towards it.
“Players should certainly see what we’re after now and I believe in what we’re doing. If I didn’t we’d rip it all up and start again. In terms of training that’s certainly not something we’re going to do.
“We’ll just keep working very hard on the training ground and, while that might sound very basic, what else do you do? Do we give them a week off and then go into a game? I’d suggest that won’t work for us.”
How much of this situation is confidence, then? You must feel if a result had gone your way earlier in the season it would be a very different situation sat here now.
“I would be lying if I said to I didn’t keep thinking back to the Rotherham game very early on and thinking that could have set a very different tone to everything.
“But at the same time that didn’t happen and we’ve had lots of opportunities since then to change it. While that thought comes into my mind we can’t hang our hats on it and nor can anyone else, whether that’s players, fans or anyone linked to the club.
“As much as I was annoyed by the goals we gave away the other night (against Middlesbrough) the next one comes around quick and you have to move on. That’s where the main focus has to be.”
Has the situation shaken any of the confidence you have in yourself at all?
“No, but I do think it makes you question things more in defeat.
“When things are going well you can maybe get complacent, not as is just leaning back and thinking you are alright, but maybe you don’t question things as much.
“Then when things aren’t going as well you can maybe over analsze things and you are always looking for a reason. As human beings most of us are built that way and you want to know why it’s not working or why it didn’t go in, why we’re on the run we are.
“Sometimes we’re not as good as we should be at accepting things as we actually are and the other night was one of those in terms of watching it back and listening to people who are in the game but are pretty neutral.
“It’s pretty obvious what it was. I can keep looking at the goal and wrack my brain but a large part of it was down to a couple of poor mistakes.”
There are few bigger confidence boosters than a win at Swansea, surely?
“Yes but we’ve been saying that for some time now.
“I was asked the question the other night about what happens the longer it goes on but I think we’re past that now in terms of us knowing where we’re at.
“We’re not where we want to be and as much as I would love to win on Saturday and win a game of football, what I’m going to be truthful about is that winning a game is not the magic formula which mans everything’s just going to run smoothly again.
“That’s not how life is, but it would at least stop that question being asked all the time and would change the table when you look at it and you would hope players would get a lift.
“There’s no guarantees going into that next game, though.”