Hurst knows Grimsby Town must deal with weakness against direct play

Paul Hurst spoke about Grimsby Town struggles with the long ball in the Crawley Town defeat and made a wider point about being adaptable to changes teams might make.

The Mariners boss touched upon his expectations for how Crawley would play based on their previous games, which was a pass-heavy, possession-based style, which he believed they moved away from during Saturday’s match. Dealing with long balls and generally direct play is not a rare occurrence in League Two, with a lot of teams not having the players to focus on keeping the ball with slow and considered build-up play.


Therefore, it is important that the team can deal with those situations, where they are having to defend lots of aerial passes, and while Hurst did not think his side massively struggled to cope he did perhaps see a lack of organisation at times. He said: “I hadn’t seen a game that [Crawley] had played where they played as many long balls as they did against us, but that is something that we have got to do better at in my eyes.

“I just don’t think we did as well as we could’ve with them in this situation, I don’t think [the long balls forward] caused us tons of problems but it just looked a bit messy. That was a step away from their usual style because I think they’d had the second most passes in the league behind Notts County but we edged the possession which is something we want to try to do.

“That suggests we did something right against them, but at the same time if there is a change from the opposition in how they’re playing then we’ve got to do with some situations better. It doesn’t matter whether it is League Two or Premier League, you have to be able to deal with direct play and I think we’ve got to try and improve on that side.”

Generally, Town have made a decent start to the season on the defensive end, but the last two games have seen them concede six goals in total, which is not something often seen by a team managed by Hurst. There have been one or two moments that the Town boss believes were difficult for his team to prevent, but it was not a surprise to hear him voice his displeasure at the fact they had conceded three times in each of the last two fixtures.

Hurst added: “Some of the goals we have conceded recently there have been some clear things that have contributed to them happening that are hard to stop, as in a mishit cross that goes in the far corner and last week the first one with Harvey [Rodgers] staying down but the play continuing.

“However, there are other things that I don’t like in what we’re doing and the manner in which we are conceding goals. To concede three again [against Crawley] is clearly not what we want to be doing as a team.”

Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/

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