'They've done OK but really I'm looking for a little bit more' - Hurst wants his players to step up
PUBLISHED: 18:38 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:33 21 July 2018
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Ipswich boss Paul Hurst wants his players to step up and stake a claim for starting positions after watching his side's 1-0 friendly win at Barnet this afternoon.
Myles Kenlock scored the only goal of the game at The Hive, as the Ipswich squad got further minutes in their legs with just two weeks to go before the start of the Championship season.
But while he admitted he was pleased with how his players are progressing, he insisted there is room for further improvement.
“It was a good game for us on a decent surface, which felt a bit more like a proper game,” he said.
“But I think the heat and the fact it is pre-season comes into it. Every season I’ve had as a manager I’ve said I am looking forward to the pre-season being over and the season being upon us, because those three points aren’t at stake.
“There are certain spells in games where it comes a bit pedestrian and it’s not so high tempo as you’re going to see in a competitive league game – that’s whatever message you put out there.
“Overall it’s a good 90 minutes for some of the lads, although we made quite a few changes, and for some others it’s more minutes out on the pitch.”
While things are becoming clearer in Hurst’s mind with just two weeks before his opening Championship game, the Ipswich manager wants to see his players step up.
“To a degree,” the Ipswich manager replied when asked if he is solidifying his thoughts ahead of the Blackburn opener.
“We’ve also got Jonas (Knudsen) coming back on Monday which gives us another defender. He’s obviously a left back but he can play centre back in a three or, I dare say, in a two at the minute and that’s something we could look at.
“Overall I’d like to see one or two lads really stake a claim. They’ve done ok but really I’m looking for a little bit more than that to really give me the nudge. Then, if I pick a team and they’re not in it they can really feel justified in coming to see me and telling me they should be playing.”
Flynn Downes was replaced at the break with a bang on his shin while Tristan Nydam hobbled back to the dressing room at full-time with a knock, but Hurst is not overly concerned by the young midfielders’ injuries.
“I had to take Flynn off because he took a bit of a bang on the shin which made his foot numb, which meant he’s had to come off, although it’s not on the bone so we’re not too concerned with that,” he said. Maybe he’s just taken a knock on a nerve or something.
“Tristan is packed up with ice but we have a very quick turnaround for another game at MK on Tuesday night.
“Again, that’s a really good stadium and a nice pitch and we’re looking forward to that one.”
Joe Garner once again missed out as he continues to deal with a knee issue, but is set to return to training on Monday and could potentially play at MK Dons the following night.
Tom Adeyemi has not yet returned to training due to an Achilles problem, Emyr Huws has been doing some light work at Playford Road as he recovers from his knee problem and Teddy Bishop is due for a light session tomorrow.