Paul Hurst admits securing safety for Shrewsbury is a relief

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Shrewsbury head coach Paul Hurst admitted the over-riding emotion after securing League One safety with a 1-1 draw at Charlton was “relief”.

The Shrews ensured they will have a 10th successive campaign in England’s third tier.

The Shropshire club reappointed Hurst as head coach in January after predecessor Matt Taylor had suffered seven losses in eight matches.

Daniel Udoh’s confident finish put the visitors ahead at The Valley – his 10th goal in all competitions – in the 23rd minute.

But George Dobson, set to leave Charlton after signing a pre-contract agreement with Hungarian club Fehervar, equalised in the 46th minute.

Hurst said: “Relief is the first emotion and then enjoyment and togetherness. I have to say I’m really pleased for the chairman (Roland Wycherley) because it hasn’t been easy, I think he has gone on record saying how difficult the last couple of seasons have been – but this one in particular.

“He will be a very happy man tonight. But I feel like almost the job starts again.

“Credit to the players, staff and everyone involved that they managed to get over the line.

“I’ve enjoyed being back in work. It wasn’t the longest break but you have to respect and cherish the times when you are working.

“No doubt there have been some challenges in front of us – like hoping to bring more players in than we did (in the last transfer window) and we’ve had some big injuries.”

Charlton are undefeated in 14 matches – losing just once since Nathan Jones was appointed manager in February – but they are guaranteed their lowest finish since 1926.

Dobson did have a moment to savour in SE7 as he raced on to Connor Wickham’s through ball, going past Shrews keeper Marko Marosi to convert in what is set to be his last outing as an Addicks player on home turf.

Jones said: “I believe he has signed a pre-contract – I want him to be at this football club and playing for Charlton.

“I will do everything I can to keep George Dobson at this football club. I did it in January – to prolong his stay. And I would like to keep him.

“He has done very, very well for me. I’m very proud of him. Now we need to find some common ground.

“He epitomises what I want us to be – front-footed and belief in what we do.

“At half-time we said some choice words and laid some tactical things down and we implemented it straight away. If we had only started the first half like that it could’ve been a different story.

“First half we weren’t us. Second half we asked for a reaction and we got it and we were much better.

“First half we were too passive all over, moved the ball too slowly and became that possession-based boring football team. Second half we were more us.”

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