‘It was a relief when that final whistle went’ - Hurst praises character of his players after first win
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Paul Hurst admitted to feeling a real sense of relief as he praised his players’ character after they secured the first win under his management this afternoon.
The Blues won 3-2 at Swansea, with Trevoh Chalobah scoring a dramatic winner on 84 minutes after Bersant Celina had levelled matters to cancel out Town’s 2-1 half-time lead.
Hurst’s men had failed to win any of their opening 12 games under Hurst, with the Blues boss impressed with the character on display
“It’s been a long time coming and probably unexpected coming here today, we would certainly have been big underdogs and then to go 1-0 down early in the game,” he said.
“Probably not too many people would have seen that result coming, but big credit to the players for their efforts which were needed to be against a very good team that cause not only us but a lot of other teams a lot of problems having watched them.
“We had to ride our luck a little bit at times but I don’t think we’ve always had that on-side so I’m not going to complain about that too much.
“But at the same time we looked we could score a few goals today. There were other situations that we had that could have added to the three goals as well.”
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When asked for the over-riding feeling in the dressing room, Hurst replied: “Tired, in all honesty because a few of the lads are saying that’s one of the hardest games they’ve played but I’m not going to take anything away from Swansea, I think they’re a very, very good team.
“They’ll be disappointed with the final ball or final shot, execution but clearly I’m worried about my team, about how they played and I thought they put their bodies on the line, the work-rate was there and it needed to be.
“And also there was quite a lot of character shown, going 1-0 down early on, then being pegged back, so it was a big test and one that you only get if you’ve got a group of players that are willing to work hard and be committed to the cause, which they clearly were.
“We can stop asking the question about when that victory’s going to come and I really hope we don’t have to wait as long next time to have that feeling you have at the end of games.
“Those final minutes seemed like hours, in truth and I think they thought we were messing around with the substitute but genuinely that wasn’t the case. For some reason they thought it was Freddie but it was always going to be Gwion so that added another minute onto it.
“I think, if you’re honest, it was a relief when that final whistle went.”
While Hurst is delighted to have finally secured a maiden three points, he know there is still plenty of hard work still to do.
“We’ve looked at other results and a lot of them (around us) have won,” he said.
“A few teams are falling down but I think the bottom three from the start of play all won. We know it’s a touch league and nothing changes for us but it’s great we have that off our backs as a group and as a club.
“It’s a while now until our next game with the international break. I would rather carry on playing but I don’t think some of the players will feel that way because there were a few tired limbs in there.
“There’s that feeling of relief and I think emotionally they will be a little drained. With a long journey it’s not a bad thing on that side.
“It’s a couple of weeks now until that next game.”