‘The bottom line is he didn’t want to play for Ipswich Town’ - Hurst on Waghorn departure
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Paul Hurst admits he felt for striker Martyn Waghorn during his transfer limbo this summer but insists he was left with little option but to let him leave.
The Blues come face-to-face with their former striker tomorrow night when they face his Derby side at Pride Park, less than two weeks after his move in a deal worth an initial £5million.
Waghorn was chased by the likes of Middlesbrough and Sheffield United for several weeks prior to joining the Rams, with Hurst feeling he had little choice but to let him go after the popular striker told him he no longer wanted to play for Ipswich Town.
“I did feel for Martyn because I think he’s a very genuine person and I really liked him as a person as well as a footballer,” Hurst said.
MORE: Hurst makes no loan progress but plays down move for Swansea-bound Carter-Vickers“But he did find it difficult. When he spoke to me the very first time he said he didn’t really know how to handle it because he’d never had it before. He said it was nothing personal towards myself and Chris coming in or anything like that.
“He just felt the opportunities being presented to him were too good to miss out on. Realistically I understood that and after that we almost had a bit of a laugh and a joke about it at times.
“Martyn made it clear he wanted to leave and once you get that situation it’s very difficult.
“The bottom line is he didn’t want to play for Ipswich Town and as much as we can say ‘if we’d kept him, then eventually he has to get his head round it’ would we still have got the best Martyn Waghorn possible?
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“Nobody’s got a crystal ball so I’m not saying we might not have but he was certainly in limbo and it just got to the point where the squad was there and he was around but not really here.
MORE: Harrison, Skuse and Nolan all shake off knocks for Derby trip“It was the best decision for all concerned at the time.”
Hurst wishes Waghorn well, although that sentiment does not apply to tomorrow night’s game.
“If Martyn hadn’t come to me and said any of that he would have been in the team tomorrow night I’m sure,” Hurst said.
“When you do you background and your research, nobody would speak badly of Martyn because he’s a great lad and a great character.
“He never caused an issue and I would love to see him do well in the future, albeit not against us. I’m sure he will be wanting to get off the mark against his former club.”
Waghorn’s departure gave Hurst more flexibility in the transfer market, with Jon Nolan, Toto Nsiala and Kayden Jackson all arriving following his departure and further loan signings possible.
“I’ve been able to bring a lot more players in that I thought and changed the squad around more than I ever envisaged because I expected to be working with (what was here),” he said.
MORE: ‘I’m in the place where I want to be’ - Bialkowski would be happy to finish career with Blues“That includes Adam Webster because that happened very quickly. When we were doing our planning and thinking about what we needed it never entered my head that those two players wouldn’t be here. Two of the better players as most would say.
“I take positives from that because we’ve brought other lads and hopefully they will do very well for us.
“I have no issues with either (Waghorn or Webster) that’s for sure. I didn’t know Adam long enough and Martyn and I had conversations which were always pleasant in some respects.
“You never want players telling you they don’t want to play for your football club, though.”