MIS­TAKES? YES, BUT HURST WAS ON HID­ING TO NOTH­ING

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

A DECADE of suc­cess­ful work in the lower leagues led Paul Hurst to a chance in the Cham­pi­onship that he never even thought he would get – not with­out lead­ing a team like Shrews­bury Town there him­self, at least, as he came so close to do­ing last sea­son. Now the as­sump­tion will be that the step up to the sec­ond tier was sim­ply too big; that he was out of his depth. And, in all like­li­hood, fewer Cham­pi­onship chair­men will look to the lower leagues for new man­agers as a re­sult. All I can say, hav­ing played for Hurst at Grimsby Town, is that the first part of that is non­sense, and the sec­ond is a cry­ing shame. Hurst will not be out of work for long, but the more you an­a­lyse his 149-day ten­ure at Port­man Road, the more you see that the job was a thank­less task from the start. His squad was de­pleted by the de­par­ture of David McGoldrick, Mar­tyn Waghorn and Joe Garner – who be­tween them scored 32 of Ip­swich’s 57 league goals last sea­son – and Adam Web­ster, for a com­bined £10 mil­lion. Hurst made mis­takes, which I’m sure he will ad­mit in time. There has been crit­i­cism of his re­cruit­ment, al­most en­tirely from the lower leagues, but his track record in sign­ing young hun­gry play­ers is why owner Mar­cus Evans handed him the job in the first place. Evans wanted to see some youth and dy­namism in the dugout and out on the pitch. The fans de­manded it af­ter the howls of com­plaint about Mc­Carthy’s foot­ball. But it was also seen as a way of mov­ing for­ward within the con­straints of one of the di­vi­sion’s small­est bud­gets. Now that’s out the win­dow, they’re right back where they started. But please, enough al­ready with “they should have been care­ful what they wished for”.

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