'He might look elsewhere, I might not want him' - Hurst in no rush to start contract talks with Knudsen
PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:19 27 July 2018
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says now is not the time for him to be talking to Jonas Knudsen about his long-term future.
The 25-year-old became only the 10th player in the club’s history to feature at a World Cup earlier this summer when starting for Denmark in their last 16 defeat to Croatia.
During his subsequent delayed holiday, homegrown youngster Myles Kenlock has produced some good pre-season displays and Hurst has admitted to having a bid – believed to be around £400k – rejected for Scunthorpe United left-back Conor Townsend.
Knudsen, who now enters the final year of his contract with no option to extend, rejoined the squad on Monday and then played 58 minutes of Tuesday night’s 1-0 friendly win at MK Dons.
“I thought he had very solid first appearance with myself as manager,” said Hurst, who stated last week that Knudsen had to ‘hit the ground running’. “He used his experience well and looked nice and steady and assured back there. He does need to do that. I don’t know if it sort of came across as almost a threat what I said about him the other day. People can take it how they want – I don’t care, if I’m honest.
“Just because he’s been to a World Cup he can’t just come back and think ‘well I should be in the team’.
“Myles has been working hard. He scored the goal which turned out to be the winner at Barnet and has put in some good performances. That’s the sort of competition I want and the dilemma of who to start. It was certainly a good first appearance from him under myself though.”
He continued: “I was at the managers’ meeting in Walsall on Monday, so we met face-to-face for the first time as he was just getting on the coach. I was thinking ‘who’s that lad walking up to get on?’ I thought it was a new signing I wasn’t aware of! We spoke in the summer, obviously, about when he was going to return.
“I don’t feel there’s a conversation to be had (about his future) at this moment in time. If he sees it that he’s in the last year of his contract and thinks he’s going to start looking elsewhere then I can’t do anything about that. I might not want him.
“At the minute he’s got to prove himself. All the lads in there have got to prove themselves. At this moment in time I’m not going to make an absolute definitive decision on who I would like long-term and who not on the basis of some pre-season games. Because we all know that when the season gets underway, some will naturally improve and some might drop.
“Pre-season is great to get minutes in the legs and trying to get some ideas of how we want to play, but there’s no pressure around the games realistically. That’s what needs to come into account when we get into the league action.