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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Ipswich Town’s players will know the Paul Hurst Way ‘within a couple of days’ of meeting him

PUBLISHED: 13:11 01 June 2018

James McKeown has been discussing his former Grimsby manager, Paul Hurst. The roadsign (inset) was put up in Shrewsbury a few months after he joined the club. Picture: PA

James McKeown has been discussing his former Grimsby manager, Paul Hurst. The roadsign (inset) was put up in Shrewsbury a few months after he joined the club. Picture: PA

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The Ipswich Town players will know what new manager Paul Hurst is all about within a few days of meeting him.

Paul Hurst, pictured during his Grimsby days, is known to be popular with his players. Picture: PAPaul Hurst, pictured during his Grimsby days, is known to be popular with his players. Picture: PA

So says goalkeeper James McKeown, who first linked up with Hurst at Boston before playing 250 games under him at Grimsby, where they won promotion from the National League together in 2016.

The 28-year-old says the Ipswich squad can expect an honest manager, not afraid to speak his mind, but believes they will enjoy working with him and quickly understand what he is all about.

“The gaffer is very honest and very straightforward with you,” he said. “He sees something in people and gets the right characters in first and foremost, which is a good thing.

MORE: ‘He has never stopped wanting to better himself’ – Minto’s insight into Hurst’s thirst for learning

“There is a time and a place when he will lose his temper but he will never get carried away. You can have a laugh and a joke with him but you also know where the line is with him. You don’t want to take it too far and he’s very good at just building the spirit.

“He is stepping up in standard but I think within the first couple of days of meeting them, the players will know what he is all about and start to enjoy it, definitely.”

On a personal level McKeown, who won Grimsby’s supporters’ player-of-the-year award last season, believes the Ipswich squad will appreciate the way he deals with players, even if he is criticising them and dropping them from his side.

MORE: Motivational posters to suggestions of counselling – an insight into Paul Hurst’s management methods

“The biggest memory for me is the year I started the season in hospital with meningitis and I tried to get out too quickly and be there for the start of the season,” he said.

“I must have had the worst run of form ever and kept costing us goals. He had a go at me a couple of times and pulled me in for a chat. If you aren’t doing it he will tell you, then you get a chance to do it. If you didn’t then he would drop you and that’s all you ask for.

MORE: Lampard discusses ‘preliminary conversations’ with Ipswich during Derby unveiling

“He told me I wasn’t playing well but told me I was his No 1 and that he was sticking by me, which helped no end. It ended up being the year we got promoted.

James McKeown played under Hurst at both Boston and Grimsby. Picture: PAJames McKeown played under Hurst at both Boston and Grimsby. Picture: PA

“He’s still one of the first people I turn to if I need advice. He is also probably the first to text me if he sees I make a mistake.

“He helped me no end and I’d say 95 per cent of players to play for him wouldn’t have a bad word to say about him. That’s whether he has moved them on or dropped them. I’m sure he will be a success.”

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