MX23RW : Monday, November 19 08:03:04
Oct 24, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Elland Road (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 29,082
LeedsLeeds United
2-0
IpswichIpswich Town
FT

Paul Hurst will focus on job in hand despite Ipswich struggles

Paul Hurst will focus on job in hand despite Ipswich struggles
© Reuters
Town are bottom of the table, four points from safety after winning just one of 14 matches.

Paul Hurst is well aware that speculation about his future as Ipswich boss will continue to increase following the 2-0 defeat at Leeds.

The 44-year-old left Shrewsbury in the summer to succeed Mick McCarthy at
Portman Road and has endured a chastening start to life in the Sky Bet Championship.

Town are bottom of the table, four points from safety after winning just one of 14 matches, and were outclassed at Elland Road on Wednesday night.

Ipswich’s poor run of form has led to reports that Hurst could be sacked, but he is determined to turn things around.

Asked about the speculation, Hurst said: “I am not one to go searching for it, but I don’t lock myself in a room and don’t speak to anyone.

“Unfortunately those things are out there. Are they healthy? No.

“All you can do is focus on your job and do it to the best of your ability. It doesn’t help.”

Ipswich face Millwall, Preston and Reading – teams that languish in the bottom six -in their next three matches.

“We are in a pack of teams, currently, that whether we like it or not, are going to be fighting to stay in the division,” Hurst said.

“One team out of that will have a run and maybe one or two will drop back down. We have to hang in there for as long as possible until we gain more confidence.

“The next three games are big in the way that the teams are down in the lower region.

“It won’t be done and dusted either way after those three games. There is still a long way to go. We need to not let that gap get any bigger and hopefully reduce it.”

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa hailed the return of Pablo Hernandez.

United had won just two of their last eight league matches without the Spaniard in their starting line-up due to injury.

But Hernandez returned with a bang, setting up goals for Kemar Roofe and Liam Cooper during an inspired display, as Leeds returned to the top of the Championship.

“He was very important in the game,” Bielsa said.

“He played as if he was not injured previously. He was very intelligent with his game.”

Bielsa felt Leeds were full value for the three points after improving in the second half.

“It was a necessary win, a deserved one too,” he said.

“Our team was constantly offensive and we had 10 clear chances to score a goal.

“In the second half we defended well. In the first half it was hard for us to get over the way the opponent played the game.”

Leeds’ victory was soured by an injury to defender Gaetano Berardi in the first half.

“I think it is a muscular injury,” Bielsa added.

“He fell in an uncoordinated way and provoked an important tension of the muscle, meaning he couldn’t finish the game.”


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich1710342820833
2Middlesbrough178721981131
3Leeds UnitedLeeds1786329171230
4Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd179352719830
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1784537251228
6Derby CountyDerby178452520528
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest176922316727
8Swansea CitySwansea177551913626
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn176832021-126
10Queens Park RangersQPR178271822-426
11Aston Villa176652723424
12Birmingham CityBirmingham175932320324
13Bristol City176472019122
14Stoke CityStoke175751920-122
15Brentford175662723421
16Wigan AthleticWigan176291926-720
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds175572130-920
18Preston North EndPreston174672630-418
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham174671423-918
20Reading174492429-516
21Millwall174492229-716
22Hull City174491624-816
23Bolton WanderersBolton174491123-1216
24Ipswich TownIpswich171881428-1411

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