'It's a perilous position... but we aim to stay up' - Hurst and Doig's return to Grimsby confirmed

Paul Hurst, Grimsby Town manager

Paul Hurst is back at Grimsby Town - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Paul Hurst’s return to Grimsby Town has been confirmed, with the former Ipswich boss appointed on a two-and-a-half year deal. 

Hurst had been out of work since leaving Scunthorpe in January but is now back with the club he took back into the Football League in 2016, where he is once again joined by assistant Chris Doig. 

The pair lasted just 15 games at Portman Road after they were appointed to replace Mick McCarthy in the summer of 2018 but are now back in familiar surroundings where they will look to take the Mariners away from their current position of 22nd in League Two. 

Hurst said: "No one wants to see the club where it is. There is no doubt that it is a perilous position. There is no point in hiding away from that fact and after being a big part in helping the club get back into the League, I can hopefully play a big part in making sure that we are still there come the end of the season. 

"You part company and we went our separate ways for a period, but that doesn't change the fact that you're always looking for the results. I don't take any pleasure in looking at where the club is currently.  

“Between now and the end of the season the goal is to stay up. There is no point in trying to pretend that it's any more than that but, longer-term, I have always said that this club can go further, I truly believe that.” 

Hurst is expecting to be busy in the transfer market, saying: "I am really keen to get back to work, to get to know the players, I have got to make some decisions very quickly in terms of ins and outs, in terms of who to include. One thing that is evident is there are too many players here. I have proved before that's not what I like to work with, I like to work with a smaller squad.  

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"There, it is easier to get everybody on board, you try and cut out any cliques or negativity around because if you have got 30 odd players, you can have 18 and the subs aren't happy anyway and then you've got another group of players. For me, how I like to work, that is something I will have to deal with, but I am looking forward to the challenge.  

“I am certainly up for the fight and that's what we are going to want and need from the players.” 

During his first spell at Grimsby, Hurst managed Toto Nsiala, Kayden Jackson and Jon Nolan, who he eventually signed for Ipswich.   

Grimsby are on the brink of a takeover at boardroom level, with majority shareholder John Fenty agreeing to sell his shares to a consortium. The move has yet to be ratified by the EFL.  

The club currently sit 22nd in League Two, two places and four points off the foot of the EFL pyramid. 

Hurst remains the only manager hired by Ipswich owner Marcus Evans to have managed again in English football following his departure from Portman Road, with both Roy Keane and Paul Jewell holding coaching positions without taking a top job in their own right. 

Mick McCarthy has managed the Republic of Ireland and is now with Cypriot club APOEL Nicosia. 

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