‘He has never stopped wanting to better himself’ – Minto’s insight into Hurst’s thirst for learning
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New Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst has the thirst for learning and won’t be afraid to upset the applecart.
That’s according to Sky Sports’ Football League presenter Scott Minto – someone who knows the Blues’ new manager pretty well.
Minto competed with Hurst for the left-back slot at Rotherham (03-06) before the pair attended the same journalism course at Staffordshire University.
Many of the ex-professionals who attained that degree have gone on to become established figures in the media – including Kevin Kilbane, Chris Iwelumo and Clarke Carlisle – but Hurst, 43, has climbed the management ladder, success at Ilkeston, Boston, Grimbsy and Shrewsbury leading to his appointment at Portman Road.
“He’s quite softly-spoken, he’s a really, really nice guy, but there’s a steeliness too,” said Minto. “If he needs to have a pop he will do. And he will certainly not be afraid to make big decisions or upset the applecart.
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“I wouldn’t say I ever disagreed with him on anything. There were people he disagreed with though and he was never shy in making his feelings be known in a passionate, but respectful way. People admired him for that.”
Hurst, already a UEFA A License coaching badge holder, completed stage one of the League Managers’ Association’s ‘diploma in football management’ last year, studying modules on leadership, finance and mental toughness.
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And as soon as he returns from a family holiday in Dubai at the end of next week, he’ll be heading to London for part two of the summer school.
“He’s someone who has never stopped wanting to better himself,” said Minto. “He’s very meticulous and leaves no stone unturned.
“I would say – and he would agree with this – that he is a glass-half empty person. It’s about the fear of failure for him. That’s what drives him on, that’s what’s kept him grounded and that’s what’s enabled him to work his way up from the bottom.”
He added: “I think he’s a great appointment for Ipswich. It’s really refreshing to see a young English manager on the up given the chance to take the next step rather than the same experienced names swapping jobs.
“To follow in Mick McCarthy’s footsteps is a big challenge, but I think he is more than up to the job.”
• More Hurst insight inside.