'He's got to hit the ground running... he's done nothing for me yet' - Hurst on Knudsen
PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Jonas Knudsen will have to hit the ground running if he is to secure a place in new manager Paul Hurst's side and earn a new deal with the club..
The Dane, who returns to the club today following the World Cup, has been a regular fixture since being signed by Mick McCarthy in the summer of 2015 but has been told by new Blues boss Hurst that he must prove his worth all over again.
Knudsen is entering into the final year of his contract with the Blues, who took the option to extend his deal by a further 12 months during last season, with Hurst admitting there are no plans to discuss a new contract just yet.
“Not to my knowledge at the present time there isn’t,” Hurst said when asked if there had been interest in Knudsen since the World Cup.
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“I find it a bit different to where I’ve been previously – not so much last season but before that – because I’m used to players’ contracts running out and then they have to wait until they see the manager a couple of days later.
“I understand that when anyone gets close to being in their last year that people are talking and trying to set new deals up.
“Yes, Jonas was on the World stage but we’ve had this conversation, so this isn’t going to be news to him, and I’ve said that he hasn’t done anything for me yet.
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“I’ve seen some games but I’ve not seen him close up so he has to earn my faith and check everything about him is what I’m after before we think about a new deal.
“Realistically, if anything happens before that then all parties will have to look at it.
“He can’t sign anywhere else until January, by which time I’m sure I will have looked at it.”
Hurst has been impressed by young left-back Myles Kenlock this summer, meaning Knudsen has work to do if he is force his way into the side for the opening-day clash with Blackburn on August 4.
“With Myles as well there is competition there,” Hurst said when asked about Knudsen.
“He did very well to get his goal on Saturday (at Barnet) which was nice, although not the be-all-and-end-all of a left-back’s performance.
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“Myles has done OK since I’ve been at the club and has stepped up in terms of bringing out his personality as well. He’s another young player.
“Jonas isn’t going to come back and walk into the team – I said that to him when we agreed when he would come back in – and he’s got to really hit the ground running to come into my thoughts for that Blackburn game.”