'There need to be a few home truths... that performance worries me' - Hurst on Exeter loss
PUBLISHED: 10:24 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 16 August 2018
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Paul Hurst will ensure his Ipswich Town players are told a few home truths following their penalty loss to Exeter.
The Blues lost 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw inside 90 minutes at St James Park, with Hurst angered by what he saw from his players.
“I was disappointed with the performance in both halves,” he said.
“We can pretend we passed it at times and I think we had a couple more efforts second half than we did in the first but it was too slow, too pedestrian and people not really playing the way they were supposed to and not making it as fluid as it needed to be.
“I didn’t think we worked hard enough in possession or out of possession. The players will be shown Exeter players running past ours far too easily and I’m not having that they are faster, fitter or stronger. They will be shown things I don’t want to see again.
“There need to be a few home truths. I’ve said what I am and I’m honest, I say what I think and what I say. And that’s what I saw.
“With all due respect to what Exeter have put out, it’s not their strongest team. We should have controlled the game, we didn’t and it’s another pathetic goal to concede.”
Hurst made three changes from the side which lost 1-0 at Rotherham on Saturday, with the Blues boss insisting the strong side he picked should have had more than enough to beat the League Two side.
“I don’t think that’s the contributing factor to that performance,” he said.
“I’m a big believer in that it’s about what goes on between your ears and how you approach things. Clearly our attitude wasn’t right tonight.
“There are some massive games on front of us which, while some will say they’re good games for us, if we play like that they won’t be that’s for sure.
“It starts at training and we’ll see now who wants to step up and be the type of character that we need going forward.
“A lot of questions need answering from tonight.”
“Of course and that’s natural,” he said. when asked if he was concerned by the Blues’ winless start to the season.
“That performance worries me. I don’t think it’s a true reflection of what we’ve got to be honest. But that was night and day in comparison to Rotherham. This was night, that was day.
“I’d understand people having concerns.”
When asked if there is a lack of on-field leaders in the dressing room, Hurst said: “That’s what we have to clearly have.
“If one or two are trying to ease their way in then they have to step up quicker – find their feet, find their voice and find the performances to be able to make a difference.
“I want people at the football club who don’t see it as a limit of their ambitions, but performances like that are only going to take them one way. It won’t be forward.
“We’ve got to dig deep, do some soul-searching and look at ourselves in the mirror and be honest. Have they prepared correctly?
“Because somewhere along the line it’s not happened.”
When asked if complacency played a part in the Blues performance, Hurst said: “It looked like that.
“I have to concentrate on my team so I don’t want what I’m saying to take anything away from Exeter, but I thought we had some bits of play which showed we should have control of it.
“We got ourselves in front and you should be looking to kick on. I saw no evidence of that. (Complacency) has to come into that. It’s got to.”