Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst won't be making financial excuses in summer re-build

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst wants his side to be competitive next season regardless of any budgetary restrictions.

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Salop’s financial plight has been well documented in recent months – when their 2022/23 accounts revealed more than £3 million worth of losses.

Despite that, Shrewsbury managed to maintain their League One status by surviving on the penultimate game at Charlton, and next season they will embark on their 10th consecutive season in the third tier of England’s domestic game.

Hurst is aware of the challenges the club are facing off the field, but despite them, he is determined to make sure they can compete on it.

He said: “I think budget-wise it is really tough. There is no getting away from it. I think we are going to be looking up the table realistically.

“In terms of being competitive, we could have no money and have to get 21 players in for free, but when that whistle goes and it is kick-off time we want to be competitive.

“Is it hard, is it more challenging than a lot of clubs in the league? Absolutely. But that competitive side will never change.

“I talked about culture I think after my interview after the last game, I think that is something that has got to change here.

“I think there was almost an acceptance of ‘We are going to be nearer the bottom of the league, that is alright then’.

“Now, it might be factual, and the end goal we still might turn around and say we have done all right, but you cannot set out with that mindset in my opinion.

“We have got to try and push and really try to get every ounce out of whatever squad we do put together and as a football club, we have got to do everything we can to do as well as what we can.

“It is too easy for me to just go, yes we are down there.

“I don’t mind a challenge, and we know that is what it is going to be. All I will say is we are going to be doing everything we can to give the fans and the club a team to be proud of.”

Town currently have nine first-team players on their books so Hurst, Micky Moore (director of football) and Tom Ware (head of recruitment) have a huge job on their hands.

But for now, Hurst has warned it is possibly too early, with the Premier League and EFL seasons still taking place, to see much movement in players.

“I think as soon as we came in we started looking at players for January,” he said. “Micky is here looking at players and working with Tom, and they are producing lists of players. I have met with them, to go over a lot of what we probably knew anyway, but just touching base and seeing where some situations are at.

“It does seem really early, you will get the odd player that wants to commit.

“As an example in terms of the loans, the Premier League is still ongoing as we are all aware and then you have got the Euros this year which will go into their decisions as to when they will allow players out on loan.

“So it all gets a bit complicated, in some way you think it is relatively easy ‘Can we take that player on loan yes or no? Yes, great, what are the finances? Yes, we can afford that let’s get it done.’ I really wish it was that easy.

“There is an element of patience attached to transfer windows, it is not ideal because we would all like to have the squad in place now, so you can start speaking to them and then you know they have done the programme of work that we want them to do.

“Unfortunately that very rarely happens.”

The Town players will report back to training at the end of June as they begin a six-week training block that will lead them into the first game of the League One season which will be on August 10.

And Hurst has no doubt that will be hard for the players.

“We seem to have got this reputation yes, I think Chris (Doig) has had quite a bit to do with that as well,” he said with a smile. “I believe you have got to work hard as it is the basis of your season.

“You hear a lot of teams talking about having a poor pre-season and I don’t mean results, I mean in terms of the training and then it sticks through the year.

“So it is so important and it is hard work but one of my messages to the player when they are back in is we know it is going to be tough – it is supposed – like it is when you play against the opposition.”