‘I’m expecting a lot, lot better’ – Hurst pulls no punches after friendly defeat at Braintree

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watches his players during the warm-up at Braintree Picture PAGEPIX

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watches his players during the warm-up at Braintree Picture PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst pulled no punches after his team lost 2-0 at Braintree Town in their opening domestic game of pre-season.

Aaryan Tajbakhsh produced two fine finishes in either half for the newly-promoted National League side and the damage could have been greater.

Several senior Town men may have been absent through injury or international reasons, but this was still an experienced team that played the opening hour.

“We got through it without any injuries and that’s near enough the only positive,” said Hurst. “After that it wasn’t what I was looking for. Admittedly it was a very warm day and a difficult surface, but Braintree coped with those two things a lot better than we did.

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“It took probably until half-time to come for us to get into the players a little bit. I think the start of the second half, and I’m not saying it was fantastic, we were certainly better. Then we make the (nine) substitutions and naturally the game changes with a lot of the younger players out there.

“First half we were looking for a lot, lot better than what we saw.”

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With Martyn Waghorn playing as the No.10 behind new boy Jordan Roberts, Hurst explained: “That’s something we’ve spoken to Martyn about and something we think he can do. Some of it I thought he did well today. He’s a clever footballer. Anyone who plays that position is often described as being quite bright, even if that’s just in football terms. He showed that. There were times he was in positions I wouldn’t want him to be though.

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“We haven’t done too much shape work, in truth. At the same time there are principles and basics that the players know we are after that weren’t delivered today and, certainly moving forward, we won’t accept.”

Bartosz Bialkowski and Jonas Knudsen have been given extended breaks after going to the World Cup, Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Morris are way with England’s U19s, while Joe Garner, Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi, Teddy Bishop and Danny Rowe wereb’t deemed fit enough to take part.

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“We are lacking some bodies and some players who I think we all would agree could contribute, whether that’s starting or, at worst, coming off the bench,” said Hurst.

“That’s not any excuse for today. We should be able to come here and put on a better performance and win the game, realistically.

“Credit to Braintree, I thought they did very well and certainly deserved the win.

“But obviously I am Ipswich Town manager and I’m looking at my team and expecting a lot, lot better.”

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With the Blues taking on League Two side Crawley Town at East Grinstead Town on Tuesday night, Hurst added: “I’ll be looking for more and the players will know that.

“It’s not easy coming to places like this. Naturally the opposition are going to raise their game and it’s not the perfect surroundings, but that’s a great recipe from my point of view to learn about the players,

“We can all play when it’s a beautiful pitch and things are going really well. What about when things aren’t going quite the way we want to? Because I can guarantee there will be times like that in the season. We hope there won’t be very many times like that, but it will happen.

“You can always take something out of it, but overall I am not going to hide the fact that I am disappointed in what I saw today.”