Shropshire Star

Paul Hurst outlines crucial run in Shrewsbury's battle for survival

Paul Hurst has admitted that Shrewsbury Town’s next run of games will be ‘crucial’ to their League One survival.


Town suffered their second defeat in the space of a week on Saturday as they lost 2-0 at home to Neil Critchey’s Blackpool, who still have slim play-off hopes.

As for Shrewsbury, the defeat takes them to 20th in the League One table – and should Cheltenham win their two games in hand, they will slip into the bottom four for the first time this season.

That said, Town have three huge games on the horizon.

First, they take on Port Vale on Saturday, before they have games against Exeter and Carlisle at the Meadow – and winning them could be key to their League One safety.

Boss Hurst said: “If we can be successful in those games it is also a game where those teams that are in the same area have not picked up points.

“It has looked that way for some time, arguably from first coming in where if you looked at all the games that little section in particular looks really crucial.

“Whether it proves to be the deciding factor, we won’t know until the end of the season.

“But I do not want us shying away from that and I have just said that to the players about next Saturday.

“Let’s not hide away from the fact that it is a big game.

“Port Vale versus Shrewsbury is a big game anyway, it is an important one for the fans. But given the situation and everything that both clubs are in, you know it gets even bigger and there is no point trying to play that down in my opinion. It is what it is, we have got to face up to it. We have got to go there and rise to that challenge – there are a lot of other games and a lot of points to play for so we cannot just give up on those either.

“So we will see but we have got to try and come out of that set of games better off than we are.”

And Hurst confessed that the situation Shrewsbury find themselves in at the moment is not a surprise to him, but the players must show ‘belief and commitment’.

He said: “I’m not standing here thinking I wasn’t expecting this, that’s the brutal truth. However, we can do enough to be a League One team next season.

“However, there’s got to be an element of belief and commitment.

“I don’t mean a commitment of going on the pitch and running around, I mean a commitment to the situations as we’ve discussed.

“Being deemed aggressive, forward-thinking, understanding the situations – just being on the front foot more to make things happen.

“We talk about trying to score a goal. We had a corner and I watched some of our lads stand next to a defender and not move.

“Unless you’re six foot six and it lands perfectly on your head, and even then you’re probably not going to score.”