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Hurst assesses West Brom clash and provides injury update

20 July 2019

Manager Paul Hurst provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after the pre-season friendly clash against West Bromwich Albion.

A much-changed Iron side to the one that faced Leicester City in a friendly in midweek eventually lost 4-0 to the Baggies, although they went in level at the break.

Hurst said: “In terms of the scoreline, and the way the goals came, it was certainly, as the cliché goes, a game of two halves. I was pleased with quite a lot of what I saw in the first-half and we had a couple of chances.

“We started the second-half poorly (conceding almost immediately) and it didn’t get better, in terms of conceding three goals in around six minutes. With all respect to West Brom, who have some good players, it still shouldn’t happen. It was very naïve on our part.

“The other day against Leicester, when we did concede what turned out to be the only goal, we were rocked for five minutes and while it’s not a sequence, because it’s only two games, it’s something we spoke about in the dressing room afterwards and need to address it.

“Ultimately, people will score goals against you and it’s how you react to that. We have to somehow learn. I’ve said certain things that I don’t mind seeing us do if we’re in that scenario again, but you’re also looking for some know-how from some of the players out there. There are certain things you should be taught from a very early age, and I don’t know if they’ve overlooked them, forgotten them or thought it’s a pre-season game so that bit doesn’t matter as much.

“I said before the game there are actions that go on in games that I want them to treat as though it is a league game. We certainly didn’t do that. There was a lot of naivety and we kept playing the ball relatively short, invited West Brom to take it off us and break with speed and decisiveness to take the game out of sight really.

“We looked more of a threat in the first-half, played decent football and looked relatively strong in that period. It was our mistake that led to their best chance of the first-half. We had a couple that we probably should have done a little better with. At half-time in the dressing room we made some points but were relatively happy.”

Talking about the big picture in general, he added: “Overall, I have to say things aren’t really changing my opinion. I know what we need and what we have to do to make us a better team. They are things I’m in dialogue about, regarding strengthening the squad and making us better.

“We’ve introduced five players but when things haven’t quite gone the way we want, there’s been a worrying sign of perhaps things hanging over from last season. I comment on that from what I’ve been told by the staff. I wasn’t here, although I saw a couple of games. That has to change quickly.”

Amongst the planned changes from midweek, Lee Novak missed out as a precaution and Hurst also explained injuries to Kyle Wootton, Levi Sutton and Jacob Bedeau.

The boss said: “Novs had a bit of illness in the week. Though he has trained the last two days, he was poorly on Thursday. I didn’t want to risk giving him any more game time because we also have Kyle out injured, with his thigh, so we’re short in that area at the top end of the pitch. We wanted to protect Novs really.

“Kyle’s not too bad. I think there’s a thought to get him back on the grass on Monday, but to assess more than him joining training. I don’t think he’ll be available for either game (at Alfreton Town or Frickley Athletic) on Tuesday night, but hopefully not too long after that.

“Levi’s  had a bad start to life while I’ve been here. He reported back in injured from doing his running (in the closed season) and had a bad back. We got him back for a couple of days and he came on at Bottesford, before going into a block tackle where he’s injured his medial ligaments. He’s going to be out for a couple of months minimum, which is a real shame. I think he’d fit into how we’d like to play with the energy he brings to the midfield area. I was looking forward to seeing him and getting him some game time in pre-season to see if he’d be one of those who starts the first game.

“Jacob Bedeau will be out for a couple of months with the knee injury he picked up in La Manga. He’s one of those inbetween the first team squad and Under-23s. He made a good first impression though.”

Talking about the plans for the upcoming midweek friendlies, he added: “I’m probably looking at most of the players getting 90 minutes (on Tuesday). I will take a squad to Alfreton but some lads will go to Frickley and play because I think they’ll benefit more from the minutes than perhaps being on the bench. You need some players with you though to be able to make substitutions.”

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