Hurst hopes TV spotlight can help his players shine in Middlesbrough test

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 October 2018

Grant Ward hugs teammate Kayden Jackson after his goal in Town's last game under the Portman Road lights.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Grant Ward hugs teammate Kayden Jackson after his goal in Town's last game under the Portman Road lights. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst hopes his players will rise to the challenge this evening as they take on promotion-chasing Middlesbrough in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMIpswich Town boss Paul Hurst. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

The Blues remain winless but are unbeaten at Portman Road, drawing all five games on home soil under Hurst, but now face a Boro side packed with experience and sitting third in the league.

They will do so in front of a national television audience, with Hurst hopeful his side can continue to build on the ‘tiny steps’ that have come in recent weeks despite the wait for a win going on.

“We have the same points as Millwall, who have clearly had victories but also suffered more defeats,” he said.

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“We’re above Preston, who have had a victory, so I guess it doesn’t matter in some ways where the points come from. But we know that, if you are going to get enough points in the end, you have to win games.

“For the second week running we’ve got a result and moved up a place. It’s tiny steps but we want to try and continue.

“It doesn’t get much tougher than Middlesbrough but it’s a game we have to look forward to and enjoy the challenge it poses.

“It’s on national TV as well so I’m hoping that can inspire us a little bit more to try and get that.”

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Hurst wants to give the Ipswich Town fans something to cheer about, especially because he feels they have stuck with his side despite a disappointing start to his time as the club’s manager in terms of results.

“The fans, from what I’ve witnessed, have been great and were yet again on Saturday,” he said.

“There was a bit of humour in some of the chants as well so it’s good they’ve still got that in them and are cheering us on because you always need that.

“It’s a long hard season but I’m sure we can give them some good moments along the way.

MORE: Town boss Hurst weighing up changes ahead of televised Middlesbrough clash

“I still think there were positive elements to the performance (at Birmingham), as I alluded to. It’s nice when people maybe not involved directly with us comment and say that we don’t look like a team that hasn’t won a game of football.

“Hopefully that won’t last too much longer. I do feel that the team put on a good performance and showed different characteristics.”

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