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Lots of positives for Hurst

17 September 2019

Manager Paul Hurst praised his team praised his team’s performance and comeback as they drew 2-2 at home to Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.

Performing strongly against the Latics, United found themselves two goals down midway through the second-half but came back through goals from Matthew Lund and Kevin van Veen.

Hurst told iFollow Iron: “I have lots of praise for the players, for the performance generally, but certainly for coming back from a scoreline that I felt was very unjust.

“I need to look back at their first goal but I just felt we backed off them slightly, and they have some very good players. They’re a team who will cause lots of problem for the opposition, certainly with the ball. For a lot of that game, we coped with it well and got on top of the game really. To concede when we did was disappointing. The second, there’s no hiding it, Rory (Watson) is disappointed with that one.

“The lads didn’t let that knock them and went forward. It would have been very easy for heads to go down, so I’m pleased with the character shown.

“Certainly, stood on the sideline tonight, it really felt like a ‘proper game’ and I’m proud to be the manager when you have a team with that commitment, energy and desire to not be beaten. We hauled ourselves back into the game, and both teams had a couple of moments where they could have won it.

“The crowd stayed with them because they could see there was a lot of effort there. It was nice certainly to take something from it, especially being 2-0 down, on the back of Saturday (beating Morecambe 3-0) and hopefully it can be the start of a little run – that’s the aim.

“We’ll take it game-by-game of course, but we go to Walsall (on Saturday) now at least with something to try and build on again.”

Talking about the goals and the impact of the front two of Jamie Proctor and van Veen, Hurst added: “Lundy finished well with his left foot. Kev was very unlucky with his earlier free-kick, which came back off the inside of the post. He got his reward with the equalising goal, not only for the quality he showed, but his work ethic for the team, and commitment to it.

“He’s filled in in other positions, won headers and he showed great skill and a good finish for the goal. He’ll be pleased with his night’s work again, having built on Saturday. He and Procs are making it difficult for George Miller in particular (to get in), but as much as we needed a goal to get back in it, I felt the lads were doing pretty well overall.

“They can complement each other, and you see them talking. They’re both bright footballers, and I was really pleased with the work rate of both of them. They want to score goals but there’s a lot more to it than that, and they certainly put in a shift for the team.

“Procs had a scare in the warm-up, so his knee’s sore. We have everything crossed that will settle down fine, but we’ll wait on that over the next couple of days.”

The boss concluded: “We had lots of positives on the night and though we’re disappointed we couldn’t get the three points, I go home tonight a lot happier with a lot of the things I’ve seen. I’m really pleased with the character shown and that’s the type of performance I want to be associated with us.

“We looked athletic and broke from one end to the other well. There were certain moments where we needed to take a little more care. To say we conceded two goals, I didn’t think we did too much wrong defensively. There are lots of positives to take.”

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