Paul Hurst not afraid to rotate at West Ham to save for 'bigger picture' in League One
Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst has his eye on the ‘bigger picture’ and will not shirk away from making changes at West Ham tonight.
Hurst insists that Saturday’s League One visit of Doncaster to Montgomery Waters Meadow is of more significance than tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay at the London Stadium.
Town are fighting on three fronts and currently in a busy period of eight games in 27 days.
The boss has admitted Shrewsbury are having to contend with a number of bumps and bruises to the core group of players used in League One and the FA Cup. Hurst knows that while his squad will be desperate to play, some may have to sit out tonight for the greater good.
“I want to be in the best shape for the Doncaster game,” said Hurst. “The team I put out tonight will still be strong, so I’d see.
“But I don’t think I can afford to risk people for what I see as the bigger picture.
“There is no doubt I’m having to look at one or two players.
“I don’t think the players can lie to me. I know full well they’ll all want to play.
"I smiled that you just said about making 10 changes – I don’t think we’d be able to send a team out!
“We haven’t been used to losing games, so we’d like to get back to winning ways (in the league against Doncaster) if possible.
“I don’t see it as a distraction. Just a free hit. I really don’t like that phrase but I’m finding myself using it.”
Hurst smiled: “I don’t think that I’d be the most popular person (by leaving some out) but ultimately they know what we’re trying to do.
“I’ve got broad enough shoulders to cope with a little sulky lip and toys out the pram for a short amount of time, if that happened.”
Town will be backed by a sell-out 3,000 away following at the home of David Moyes’ improving Premier League aide.
The Shrews boss said: “You are hoping your team represent everything about the situation of the club and do themselves justice and well.”