‘Some distance’ to go, but ‘not everything wrong’ – Hurst reflects on Town’s start to season

Paul Hurst watches his side in action at Rotherham. Photo: Pagepix

Paul Hurst watches his side in action at Rotherham. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst admits his team have ‘some distance’ to go in terms of reaching the levels he expects, but says ‘not everything was wrong’ in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham United.

Ipswich Town are still searching for the first win under new manager Paul Hurst. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town are still searching for the first win under new manager Paul Hurst. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

The Blues have started the campaign with games against two newly-promoted clubs in Blackburn and Rotherham, salvaging a point with a late leveller against Rovers at Portman Road (2-2), then conceding a last minute goal to lose 1-0 at the Millers on Saturday.

“I’ve watched it back this morning and not much changed in terms of what I thought on the day, in truth,” said Hurst, reflecting on the weekend defeat.

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“We’ve had a lot of the game, we’ve put some really good pieces of play together, but the final bit was missing. Obviously that’s the all important part. You need to score a goal, at least one, to win a game of football.

“There were some very good bits of play, I think you can see what we’ve been trying to work on, but we have got to be more clinical, there’s no doubt about that.

“The second chance for (Grant) Wardy, when he’s gone to look to volley, I think if he just takes off and heads it – and I’m not saying that’s ever going to be his biggest strength – but if he throws himself at the ball, I don’t think the defender has a chance to get there.”

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Asked how far his players were from reaching the levels he expects of them, Hurst replied: “I think still some distance, in truth.

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“Are we going to have a much better chance of winning games of football than we did on Saturday? That performance, the amount of possession we had and some of the situations we got in to, I would suggest we’re not.

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“But football isn’t quite as black and white as that. A results industry is what we’re in, so that’s what we’ve got to get, however that happens.

“But at the same time, results can often cloud what’s actually gone on in the game. We won a hell of a lot of games last season (at Shrewsbury), but it didn’t mean everything was right – far from it. It sends people away happy when you win a game of football – fantastic – but from a manager’s point of view, have the team performed how you wanted?

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“Were you right defensively? All of that. Often that’s not the case. Winning can trick you into thinking everything is right. And, vice versa, you’ve got to be careful not to be too negative when you’re not winning.

“I’m still disappointed now about the weekend, but it doesn’t mean everything is wrong. It was far from everything being wrong.

“But, we all feel better about ourselves and the football club when you win games.”

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