Paul Hurst: I almost let Carlton Morris leave Shrewsbury Town
Paul Hurst has saluted the turnaround in form of Trophy hero Carlton Morris – as the boss admitted he considered cutting the frontman’s loan short.
Norwich striker Morris booked Town their Wembley ticket with a second-half header that beat League Two Yeovil on Tuesday.
But Hurst revealed Morris’s season-long loan could have ended at the turn of the year, only for the 22-year-old to decide to stay in Shropshire.
Morris had an indifferent first half of the season and did not become a regular starter for Town until mid-December.
“I look at Carlton as an example,” Hurst said while discussing how he used the Checkatrade Trophy in order to rotate his ranks.
“He was in and out a lot going into January. At one point I was thinking what the best way forward with it was, but he wanted to stay and I’m glad that he did because his form has improved.
“Injuries or anything can happen, it might be a suspension. It’s very much keep going, keep doing what we’re doing, accumulating points in the league and keep us fighting there.
“Then we might get a few days where we can switch off and think about that final.”
Morris was one of three Norwich loanees at Montgomery Waters Meadow in the first half of the season, alongside Ben Godfrey and Ebou Adams, who has since returned.
Town have struck up a fine working relationship with Canaries loans manager Neil Adams.
Meanwhile, boss Hurst added his joy as Town now find themselves just one step away from one of his pre-season targets.
The former Grimsby chief has not hidden his determination to succeed in the much-maligned competition from its outset this season. He also said taking Shrewsbury to Wembley for just a fourth time in the club’s history was a ‘dream’ shortly after his arrival in October 2016.
“I genuinely did say to staff about taking the club to Wembley,” Hurst added. “I didn’t say with any certainty it was going to happen!
“But I said I wanted to try and win this competition and we’re now one game away from achieving that.
“If nothing else along the way we’ve earned some money for the club with the added prize money. That’s not to turn your nose up at either.
“We’ve been successful and given our fans a good day out and with the added build-up and excitement.”
Shrewsbury are in the process of arranging ticket prices for the April 8 final.
Opponents Lincoln, of League Two, have already sold 16,000 tickets for the Wembley showdown. It is the Imps’ first trip to the national stadium in their 134-year history.