Shrewsbury fan: Paul Hurst has transformed our season

Shrewsbury fan Jack from the Blue and Amber forum thinks the Shrews boss has performed a minor miracle at the club…

Thanks to REP for posing the questions 

About the fan…

“My name’s Jack Groom, and I’m 17 years old. I’ve been a Shrews fan for all of my life, and have been a regular attendee for the past ten seasons (since the new ground opened) and a season ticket holder for the past nine. I attend all home games with my Dad and Grandad, and as many away games as possible with my Dad…”

How do you expect your team to do this season?

It’s safe to say we had an abysmal start to the campaign. Ten points from fifteen games left us languishing at the bottom of the table six points adrift of the next placed team. This ultimately led to the dismissal of manger Micky Mellon, who left to take up the same post at Tranmere Rovers.

Paul Hurst took over on October 24th, and from there the only way has been up. He has miraculously guided us to five points clear of the drop (at the time of writing), and a position in which we would be very disappointed if we were to be relegated.

At the start of the season most fans wanted to see the team build from last season’s relegation near-miss to a comfortable mid-table finish. Alas, it was not to be, and we now find ourselves in a position where any place above the dreaded dotted line will be seen as a miracle when you consider the state of the squad in late October.

What are your thoughts on the manager?

It is safe to say if Paul Hurst keeps us up this season he will go down in Shrewsbury Town folklore. From a team devoid of confidence, ideas and seemingly any quality, he has transformed us into a hard to beat team, whilst adding some much-needed pace and power up front. He has restored pride into the club, and turned around a side sleep-walking to relegation to one genuinely competitive in this league.

The players to watch?

We have a number of dangerous young players on loan, notably Tyler Roberts and Stephen Humphreys, on loan from West Bromwich Albion and Fulham respectively. Remarkably, Tyler is only 18, and shows the skill of somebody much more experienced, while Stephen is a powerful forward with an eye for goal.

We also possess Vale old-boy Louis Dodds (Who I’m sure you know all about) and he is our top scorer this campaign. Finally there is winger Shaun Whalley. His express pace makes him a threat to any team in the division.

A score prediction?

It’s a massive game for both sides, with both needing the three points as much as the other. Our away form hasn’t been great, but I’m confident we can nick it 2-1. An early goal from Stephen Humphreys for us, before a Vale leveller – and then that-man Dodds to pop up with a late winner. Sorry Vale fans!

What are your thoughts on Vale?

I know that you imported a lot of foreign players in the summer and that it didn’t work out for manager Bruno Ribeiro with you guys; From what I gathered he came across as a nice chap, but unfortunately that doesn’t win you points. It’s been a season similar to ours, but with fortunes flipped – You started well, but now appeared to be tailing off a bit.

I have heard that Nathan Smith is highly rated, and know that Chris Eagles has had a decent career at a higher-level. JJ Hooper also gave us a torrid team when in the visiting Northampton team back in October – although that probably says more about the state of our defence!

Did you attend the game earlier in the season?

Yes I did, and the less said then better. It was a very drab affair, and the only effort of note I can recall is ex-Vale man Alex Jones firing a 20 yard effort just wide of the post. Apart from that, nothing springs to mind – which probably sums up the game as a whole.

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