'Far from a great performance but a fair result' - Hurst on Town's work in progress
PUBLISHED: 18:45 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:58 04 August 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Hurst was happy to end an emotional day with a point but admitted his Ipswich Town side remains a work in progress.
Hurst’s side rescued a draw thanks to Tayo Edun’s stoppage-time leveller, on an afternoon where the new Blues boss blooded five new signings in front of an excited Portman Road crowd.
“You’ll probably have to remind me who they are,” joked Hurst, who is looking to do a number of deals to add to his squad before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
“We speak about patience and a work in progress and I feel silly using it because we’re one game in, but it will take time and it’s not an excuse. Anyone with half a brain will see that’s a fact.
“I think a lot of them did well. Donacien only joined this week and we started him in a position I don’t think is his best one. It was a tough call to leave Woolfy out but I felt I wanted to go for a little bit more experience in the back line even though he’d not played in the Championship.
“Chalobah had been a way but came in and showed moments of the real player he can be and, overall there are some who stand out to me as players who need a bit more work to get to the levels I expect from them and what we expect as a staff.
“I still think we were looking strong overall and were pushing for that equaliser without creating numerous chances. We were certainly pushing Blackburn back and if we were going to get caught it would have been on the break which is something you have to accept.”
Hurst admitted his first day as Ipswich manager was an emotional one, on an afternoon where he believes a draw was ultimately a fair result.
“Lots of emotions but, in the end, pleased to get something out of the game,” Hurst said.
“Obviously the later it goes the more you are questioning whether that will be the case.
“I was very proud, as I said I would be, leading the team at this level for the first time for myself and delighted with the start we made.
“Then, the other side of it, I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded because they were soft ones from our point of view. I think it knocked us, knocked the players.
“It’s the first real test we’ve had because pre-season, as much as we pushed them and asked for their commitment, it doesn’t give you a situation where it really matters.
“I thought the response was good. We asked at half-time for them to be brave and have a go and if it doesn’t come off then so be it, don’t come in thinking ‘I wish I’d done this a bit better.
“Far from a great performance but what I would say is the players showed a lot of character and I thought they kept going.
“It was clearly an exciting end for the game and, personally, I think we deserved the point.
“Blackburn had chance to make it 3-1 where we got ourselves in a mess (Palmer’s effort from Donacien’s loose ball) – but overall I think a point was probably a fair result.”
On Edun’s goal, which saw the Fulham loanee’s cross go in off the post, Hurst said: “The goal is fortunate on the one hand but it’s also exactly the right delivery. You want that to hit the back post because that creates difficulty for the goalkeeper and it’s one of those where it could get a touch and it didn’t. When it hit the post thankfully it went the right side of it for us.”
Hurst revealed Tristan Nydam and Josh Emmanuel were left out of the 18, rather than dealing with injuries, while Jordan Spence left the game in the first half as he felt the effects of a clash of heads.
“That’s not what you want,” Hurst said of Spence. “Woolfenden coming on did well. He was unlucky not to start given the minutes he had in pre-seaosn. That’s why I get paid to be the manager and make those tough calls. You are never quite sure if they are right or not.
“I just said to him, going on to the pitch, ‘go and prove that I was wrong to leave you out’. Overall I thought he did pretty well, apart from the last few minutes when he couldn’t move!”