Paul Hurst comes over as a very honest fellow. You could say, former boss, Mick McCarthy was too but sadly he was delusional in his interpretations of the truth.
In his play of around 1604 entitled ‘All well that ends well’ William Shakespeare explains that “no legacy is so rich as honesty” and in this, I am inclined to agree. Honesty can be painful to some when it is imparted so bluntly but to others, they take it on the chin and are grateful for it and I would hope that the Town squad that performed so abysmally on Tuesday night will heed his words on just how poor they were and indeed why and then move on.
In his Thursday press conference at Portman Road this afternoon, Hurst said that it was not about hitting them with a big stick but much more about rubbing their heads together and getting some kind of positive reaction. He wanted them to grasp, in quite graphic terms, just how poorly they played and to realize the error of their ways. To suggest, as former Blue Russell Osman did in a tweet, that Hurst must be careful not to blame everybody but himself is very wide of the mark. Hurst has said that ultimately he is responsible for the team and the reaction he gets from the fans but he cannot help but express his frustrations at what was in effect, such a decidedly inept display; from a full strength team against a side lying two divisions below them.
Too many football managers are afraid to say it how it really is and instead, would much rather blame the ref, or the conditions – or the hostile atmosphere, rather than dare to point an accusing finger at one his own. Perhaps they are more scared of the player’s agents than they are the players themselves? Whatever the reason, in this politically correct environment we live in, it as if most of them are walking on a glass ceiling, fearful of the outcome of putting a foot wrong.
I already admire Hurst’s honesty and I really do think that if we all stick with him, we will truly see the benefits of his endeavours but it will of course take time. This is, to use that old familiar cliche, ‘a work in progress’ and we cannot expect three years of terminal stagnation to be wiped away in the blink of an eye. In football, as in life itself, time waits for no man and that is why a win to boost club morale cannot come quick enough.
Let us hope that a big crowd on Saturday in our second home fixture of the season could prove to be a turning point. In the unlikely event that we were to actually beat free-scoring Aston Villa, then this staggering start will be soon forgotten. That would indeed be the golden bullet – not just for manager Paul Hurst and his players but for supporters too, who badly need to see their faith in him and the team restored, without further inconvenience.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich