Shrewsbury boss Hurst says Town link is a compliment

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst. Photo: PA

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst says it’s ‘a compliment’ to be linked with the vacancy at Ipswich Town and has offered no guarantee that he will stay at the promotion-chasing League One club next season.

The 43-year-old took over the Shrews when they were bottom of League One 18 months ago and has just guided them to a third-place finish, pushing bigger budget Blackburn and Wigan all the way for automatic promotion.

Ipswich owner Marcus Evans has said he will take a ‘calculated risk’ when appointing Mick McCarthy’s successor at Portman Road and has been undertaking plenty of research on the men behind success stories below the Championship.

It’s understood that Hurst’s journey is one which has captured the imagination, with the former Rotherham stalwart having previously led Grimsby back into the Football League via the Play-Offs in 2015/16.

The League One Play-Off Final is scheduled for May 27, with Evans having said he expects to make an appointment in ‘late May to early June’.

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Chris Coleman is the current bookies’ favourite after he was sacked by Sunderland on Sunday.

Speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, Hurst – who is the current bookies’ favourite for Town at 2/1 – said: “I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not nice to be linked with jobs, because it means you’re doing something right.

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“All I will do is assure people that my focus is very much on trying to be successful and get this club promoted.

“It’s just a compliment to everyone here and the season that we’ve had.”

Hurst says there has been no contact from Town but when asked whether he could give Shrews fans an assurance he would still be at the Montgomery Waters Meadow next season, he responded: “I can’t honestly answer that – it would be wrong for me to sit here and say that. I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then.

“All I can honestly say is that I enjoy it here, I’ve got a good relationship with pretty much everyone at the football club and I want to try and take this club to the Championship.”

Shrewsbury’s regular campaign finishes with a home game against MK Dons tomorrow. They will then face either Scunthorpe, Charlton or Plymouth in a two-legged play-off semi-final.

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