Paul Hurst sacked as Ipswich Town manager - with Lambert set to take over
PUBLISHED: 18:14 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 06:12 26 October 2018
Paul Lambert is set to replace Paul Hurst in the Ipswich Town hot-seat within the next 48 hours.
The club announced the departures of Hurst and his assistant Chris Doig – who were contracted until 2021 – this afternoon, with physio Chris Skitt and fitness coach Nathan Winder also heading for the exit door..
That comes after last night’s 2-0 defeat at table-topping Leeds United left the Blues at the foot of the Championship table with just nine points from the opening 14 games (W1 D6 L7 F11 A22).
Town are in advanced talks with ex-Norwich Lambert and will announce his appointment before Saturday’s game at Millwall.
Bryan Klug will be in caretaker charge for that match though, with Lambert’s first game being the visit of Preston next Saturday.
Hurst was recruited from Shrewsbury Town on May 30 just a day after his team had lost in the League One Play-Off Final. Owner Marcus Evans insisted the 44-year-old former Grimsby boss had ‘always been my top target’ during an ‘exhaustive search’ for Mick McCarthy’s successor.
The club trumpeted a ‘new era’, one based on sports science and greater joined up thinking with the academy, but sadly his reign as Blues boss ended up lasting just 149 days – by far the briefest managerial stint in the club’s history.
Including the Carabao Cup first round defeat at League Two side Exeter City on penalties, Hurst oversaw 15 competitive games in charge. His sole win came 3-2 at Swansea City earlier this month meaning he departs without having tasted victory at Portman Road (D5 L2).
After selling key trio Adam Webster, Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner, three players he insisted all wanted to leave, Hurst used his self-raised transfer kitty to fund 12 additions, most of whom had little or no experience at Championship level.
Hurst will look back and rue the early defeat at Rotherham, a game which his side dominated before conceding late on. A victory there could have set a different tone. Toto Nsiala’s harsh red card at Sheffield Wednesday also rankled.
As it was, he has chopped and changed when it’s come to team selections in the search for a winning formula – 27 players used is more than any other Championship club so far this season.
Dropping three times Supporters’ Player of the Year, goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, for the East Anglian derby was a bold call.
Jon Walters suffering a loan-ending Achilles injury against Bolton was a major body blow and, with Ellis Harrison also sidelined with an ankle problem, it left the Blues boss short of firepower in recent weeks.
Hurst and Doig are both self-proclaimed pessimists and take pride in the fact they speak bluntly. There have been plenty of rumours that this has not always gone down well at the training ground – something that former Town skipper Matt Holland said he’d also heard when speaking on TalkSport last week.
HURST’S 15 GAMES
D 2-2 Blackburn (h)
L 1-0 Rotherham (a)
D 1-1 Exeter (a) – lost on penalties
D 1-1 Aston Villa (h)
L 2-0 Derby (a)
L 2-1 Sheff Weds (a)
D 1-1 Norwich (h)
L 2-0 Hull (a)
D 1-1 Brentford (h)
D 0-0 Bolton (h)
D 2-2 Birmingham (a)
L 2-0 Middlesbrough (h)
W 3-2 Swansea (a)
L 2-0 QPR (h)
L 2-0 Leeds (a)
OUT: Adam Webster (£3.5m), Joe Garner (£1.25m) and Martyn Waghorn (£5m)
IN: Jordan Roberts (Crawley, free), Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea, loan), Gwion Edwards (Peterborough, £700k), Ellis Harrison (Bristol City, £750k), Janoi Donacien (Accrington Stanley, loan with view to £750k), Tayo Edun (Fulham, loan), Jon Nolan, Toto Nsiala (both Shrewsbury, combined £2m), Kayden Jackson (Accrington Stanley, £1.6m), Jordan Graham (Wolves, loan), Jon Walters (Burnley, loan), Matthew Pennington (Everton, loan).
TOWN’S SHORTEST MANAGERIAL STINTS
Paul Hurst – 15 games (2018)
Mick O’Brien – 39 games (1936-37)
Jackie Milburn – 56 games (1963-64)
Roy Keane – 81 games (2009-11)
Paul Jewell – 85 games (2011-12)