Hard work ahead for Shrewsbury Town's Zak Jules
Paul Hurst has challenged Zak Jules to put in the hard yards this summer in a bid to fulfil his potential.
The centre-back, signed from Reading this summer, became a goalscoring hero on his Montgomery Waters Meadow debut as he helped Shrewsbury down Aston Villa.
It was an assured display from the 20-year-old, who struggled somewhat in his full debut at non-league Brackley.
Hurst is confident that the London-born stopper can flourish into a talented player but acknowledged the work that lies ahead of Jules.
“He had a bit of a tough time at Brackley but Saturday was much better for him and should hopefully build a bit of confidence,” said Hurst.
“I think he’s found it tough coming into pre-season straight away, he’s not known anything like the running.
“So he found that tough. He was one, being away with Scotland, we didn’t feel we’d have to do as much work with him.
“Very quickly that was evident we had. I’m sure he felt the 90 minutes towards the end but they’ll do him the world of good.”
Town paid compensation for Scottish youth international Jules after the well-thought of defender turned down a new deal at the Madejski Stadium.
He tasted first-team football last season in a loan spell with Scottish top flight side Motherwell.
“He’s a player that we feel needs a lot of work,” admitted Hurst.
“That’s not a criticism of his old club but now he’s a first-team squad member he’s got to get ready for the challenges of League One and he did a lot better against Villa in all of his game.
“One thing we do believe, and the reason we brought him here, is that there is a player in there.
“But I think he’s one we need to develop and if he’s willing to listen and take things on board he could have a good future with us.”