'I'm desperate to get back now' - Waghorn excited to begin life under Hurst
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 June 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Striker Martyn Waghorn is excited for the start of the Paul Hurst era at Portman Road.
The 28-year-old topped the Blues’ scoring charts during his first season as an Ipswich Town player with 16 goals and is now looking forward to working under Hurst after he replaced Mick McCarthy as manager.
The Ipswich players have reported back to the club for fitness testing ahead of the official start of pre-season training on Monday, with Waghorn keen to pick up where he left off.
“I’m desperate to get back now and build on last season,” the striker said.
“There’s not going to be too many changes, I don’t think, squad-wise so we’ve got a good foundation to go and build on.
“For myself it’s good to know you are going to be in and around the squad and I’m going to work hard in pre-season, so hopefully I can kick on from last season and build on that.
“I’ve heard good things,” he said of Hurst and assistant Chris Doig.
“They’re very professional and organised and I think he’s quite similar to be the previous boss in terms of what he demands on the pitch. Hard work, teams pulling in the right direction, working together and I think it’s exciting for the club.
“It’s going to be a big challenge in the off-season but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”
The Blues face Blackburn on the opening day of the campaign before a visit to Rotherham and games with Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, with Waghorn happy to be opening the campaign at Portman Road.
“I think it’s always nice to get the first game at home,” he said.
“Last season we got off on the front foot (1-0 win against Birmingham) and I think if you can get three points from the first game it gives you a platform to build on.
“It’s followed by a good away fixture as well so hopefully we can capitalise on that and build on that and hopefully get some points on the board.”
And Waghorn is also looking forward to his side’s clashes with Norwich City, with the first of those scheduled for the first weekend of September.
“Obviously derby day is always a good one to come around and it’s relatively early in the season so I’m looking forward to ticking that off and hopefully get some good wins under our belt so we can go into it with some confidence.”