Ipswich granted permission to speak to Shrewsbury boss Hurst after two clubs agree compensation
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town have been granted permission to speak to Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst.
The Blues have moved quickly following Sunday’s League One play-off final, in which Hurst’s Shrews were beaten 2-1 by Rotherham after extra-time.
Hurst was tight-lipped when asked about links with the Blues following the game at Wembley, but will now discuss personal terms with Ipswich after a compensation package was agreed with his current employers.
The 43-year-old is currently in Dubai on a delayed family holiday, but the appointment is likely to be confirmed in the coming days.
Ipswich owner Marcus Evans is known to have identified Hurst as a leading contender to replace Mick McCarthy early in a search which has now lasted close to two months, but is now likely to come to swift conclusion.
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It is also understood Hurst’s assistant, Chris Doig, will be part of the package coming to Suffolk. Doig, a former Nottingham Forest midfielder, has assisted Hurst both with Shrewsbury and Grimsby and is also a former Northampton team-mate of Ipswich captain Luke Chambers.
Speaking after Sunday’s game, Hurst said: “It’s been rumbling on for a while and I’ve been linked with a couple of other ones as well,” he said, when asked specifically about the Ipswich Town vacancy.
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“But 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.”
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.