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Hurst reacts to home draw against Stevenage

2 November 2019

Manager Paul Hurst provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after the 0-0 home draw against Stevenage.

Kevin van Veen and Ryan Colclough came close to breaking the stalemate in the opening half, while the latter almost netted in the second period as he caught visiting goalkeeper Paul Farman off his line.

Hurst said: “It’s the first 0-0 we’ve had (since I took over). We took something from it but ultimately we’re at home, and the form we’ve shown more recently and the goal scoring feats in those means we’re disappointed not to get on the scoresheet and win the game.

“You have to give some credit to Stevenage in terms of that their game plan probably worked, albeit I’m sure they’d have liked to have nicked one. At the same time, we have to try and come up with something different (in games like that).

“Often those types of games, when you’re up against that type of opposition, it’s important you get that first goal that makes them change what they’re doing. We couldn’t manage that, and you’re looking for a moment of individual brilliance and maybe a set-play to break that deadlock, and we couldn’t find that today.

“Having not found it, I am pleased we kept a clean sheet, and pleased for Jake (Eastwood), who was coming in as a young goalkeeper. Although he only had two saves to make of any real note, that will hopefully do his confidence some good.

“We know we weren’t at our best, but you still have to take something. It keeps the unbeaten home record going but obviously we’d have liked to have won the game.

“While our form has been better that it had been in recent weeks, it was a different challenge for us, we found it difficult and didn’t get hold of the ball well enough at the top end of the pitch at times, and didn’t move it quick enough. We didn’t really get down the sides or behind them too often.

“Perchy (James Perch) put one great ball in during the second-half that they had to defend really well, but those were few and far between (as a team) and we have to work on that on the training ground to try and get that side of the game better.

“While we are making steps forward, we ultimately need to put points on the board and improve further. We’ve lost two of the last 10 in the league and while it would have been nice to have more wins, after the start we had, it’s better going.

“We brought Procs (Jamie Proctor) on to go more direct and try to ask a different question. You have to find a way, but ultimately we couldn’t today.

“I have to give credit to a few lads because, given more options, they’d have perhaps come off and passed the baton onto someone else, but we need that character to get us through and I think there will be a couple of lads who were out there who might not train at the start of next week.”

Speaking about the four changes to the team, Hurst also revealed an injury to midfielder Regan Slater, which occurred in training on Friday.

He said: “Regan’s was extremely late, and right at the end of training on Friday. He’s slipped and done something to his foot, and will go for a scan on Monday. At the minute, we’re not expecting it to be anything short-term. Hopefully we’re wrong on that, but it’s not looking good.

“Wardy (Jamie Ward) and Lundy (Matthew Lund) have injuries but hopefully they won’t be out for too long. I certainly hope it’s nothing too serious, but we’ll continue to assess them as the week goes by ahead of the FA Cup tie (at Crawley Town).

“I think Rory Watson has done well generally but he’s a young goalkeeper and I think at times there is a lot of expectation placed on him. I think he might benefit from coming out. I want to be deemed as being fair, and I spoke to Rory yesterday and said if it was the other way around I’m sure he’d want to be in the team, and I felt it was time to give Jake another opportunity. How long that’s for will be determined by how we do.

“Rory McArdle is one, where I felt he was slightly below the standard he’d set. He still wasn’t playing that bad, but we’ve told the group they need to be on the top of their games because of the strength of the squad we’ve got. I think Andy Butler’s looked better in training after having a break and coming back from an illness. He’s had to be patient.

“As we keep saying, the squad is what will make you successful and not eleven players. We’ve gradually got that, albeit we’re back to having a few more injuries than we’d like.”

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