‘The fans have got to stick with it... I’m sure we’ll be fine’ – Paul Hurst on Town’s winless start
PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 September 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Hurst says everyone has got to stick with the new project after Ipswich Town reached the first international break of the season without a win to their name.
The new Blues boss, who is managing at Championship level for the first time, has overseen a dramatic squad overhaul this summer, focussing his recruitment largely on the lower leagues.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City made it three successive stalemates at Portman Road – points also gained against Blackburn and Aston Villa.
There have also been fine margins defeats on the road at Rotherham, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as the penalty shootout loss at League Two side Exeter City in the Carabao Cup.
“I’m genuinely not sat here trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes in saying this, but I don’t think everything is wrong because we haven’t won a game of football,” said Hurst.
“I desperately want to get that win so we can stop talking about it. We were close again today. I don’t think we’re a bad side.
“This might sound silly, but while we haven’t won here we also haven’t lost. No team has had it easy against us.
“The lads have just got to stick with it, I’ve got to stick with it, and the fans – who have been great since I arrived – have got to stick with it too.
“Hopefully they see what we are trying to. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
The loan additions of Jon Walters, Matthew Pennington and Jordan Graham last week took the number of summer signings to 12, with the trio all thrown straight into the starting line-up against the Canaries.
There’s now a two-week international break before Town return to action with a trip to Hull. Then follows games against Brentford (h), Bolton (h) and Birmingham (a).
Asked if he was looking forward to be able to spend some time with his players on the training pitch after such a hectic start, Hurst said: “Today it did feel like we were, again, putting another new team out here. And what are we, six league games in?
“So it can only help in terms of bedding people in; just silly things in terms of them getting to know their surroundings and getting to know their team-mates better.
“I think we need to do a bit of fitness work with one or two players as well. We’ll take that opportunity to do that.”