'Let's go on a journey together' - watch Paul Hurst's video message to the Ipswich Town fans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 June 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
'Let's go on a journey together' - that is new Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst's message to the fans.
The 43-year-old, who recently guided small budget Shrewsbury Town to the League One Play-Off Final, looked around Portman Road and Playford Road for the first time since his appointment yesterday.
“The first thing is thank you for how I have been welcomed – albeit that’s come from what other people are telling me,” said the former Rotherham defender, who started his managerial career in non-league with Ilkeston Town, Boston United and Grimbsy Town.
“They (the fans) seem optimistic about the season ahead and I want that optimism to stay with us as long as possible.
“Let’s go on a journey together. Get behind the team and the players – that’s the most important thing. It’s nice if they can back myself and (assistant) Chris (Doig), but ultimately it’s about giving the players the support they need.
“I’m really, really looking forward to this and hoping that we can put some smiles on faces and get that real feelgood factor in the stadium and around the area.”
He continued: “I don’t want to come in and say I’ll be happy finishing mid-table. That might be what happens, but you have got to at least have hopes of doing better.
“Every single manager will be hoping for that at the start of the season in this league, and not everyone will be satisfied come the end of it, but you’ve got to have ambitions and you’ve got to have dreams.
“Fans certainly have their own dreams and it would be great if we can make some of those happen.
“Playing at home is supposed to be an advantage, so what we need to do is put on performances where the crowd can get involved in the game and cheer the lads on. It’s a nice area and it’s a nice stadium, so I’m not sure if we are going to have that intimidating atmosphere, but we can certainly make a lot of noise.”
He added: “This is not a criticism of people like Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who have had excellent playing careers and been given some excellent opportunities (at Derby and Rangers), but I wouldn’t have changed my path to get here. I am proud because when I was at Ilkeston Town I could only imagine that I’d end up somewhere like this.
“I was part of the first group of players who did the media degree at Stafford University through the PFA. I was participation officer at Rotherham and was part of the group of coaches who put the summer camps on and went out to schools and did assemblies.
“I’ve had an experience of different work, and I quite enjoyed those jobs, but it’s nothing like being a football manager.
“Maybe it was fate, but I chose to go to Ilkeston Town rather than staying on full-time as a player because I thought it might be my final season playing. It’s led to this, albeit quite a long path.
“I’ve enjoyed the journey, but I’m not going to sit back now and think I’ve made it now I am at a Championship club. I want to be successful here.”