Sadness and hope from Paul Hurst as GTFC relegated from English Football League
Following their 3-2 defeat at Exeter City last night, GTFC have been relegated to the National League from the English Football League.
This comes after the squad spent five years in the EFL following their victory at Wembley.
Now, they will return to non-league status, as new owners Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit are set to complete their takeover within the next two weeks.
Paul Hurst has expressed sadness at the GTFC relegation, but is looking to the future and focusing on how the team can “improve as a football club.”
He told John Tondeur on BBC Radio Humberside: “Let’s not kid ourselves or anyone. It wasn’t simply about tonight, but in terms of tonight, the sending off played a massive part. For me, it’s not a sending off. I think this endangering of opponents is getting silly. I’ve got no criticism of the Exeter player, I’m sure he took a knock, but there’s no mark on him when he comes off and goes back on the pitch. The less said in terms of what I witnessed tonight, the better really.
When asked if it was “more difficult than he expected”, Hurst said: “Possibly. For me, the month that really hurt us was January in terms of, we had a lot of games against teams in and around us then. While we never know for certain, I felt that if we had the squad that we finished with and were up to speed, then I’m sure we would have stayed up.
“For me, it’s not trying to deflect blame, as it happened over the course of the season, but it’s moments that people look at while I’ve been in charge, points dropped, but the squad that I inherited would have gone down a long time ago. This group I feel for, because I genuinely think they would’ve been fine had we maybe had a bit more time together.
“Overall I can’t be too critical of the effort of the players and the fight that they’ve shown, but ultimately it’s come up short and we’ll all have opinions and views on why we have been relegated. I’ve certainly got my own, but at the same time I want to concentrate on the time that I’ve been at the club. We need to look at that as well as the overall picture of what we need to do to improve us as a football club.
“Of course it hurts, but at the same time I think it’s something you have to have in the back of your mind, as much as you don’t want it to be. It’s the reality. I am disappointed and talking about it probably makes it worse, but at the same time I’m excited about the future. There’s lots of things that we can do better as a football club and again, this isn’t about trying to get people to spend all their money.
“Things do cost money, but at the same time there’s so much we can improve on and I’m interested to see what we can and can’t do now, because ultimately we’ve dropped out of the EFL, and with that, some serious finance is lost. But there is a desire moving forward to give the club the best chance and trying to win promotion back to the EFL.
When asked if he can “see the silver lining” with the takeover, Hurst said: “I hope so. I’m not going to criticise John Fenty or anyone who employed me previously at the football club, but I think maybe it’s just time for a new start. I think the fans are ready for a fresh start, and now it’s about ultimately getting the squad together and trying to give us a better chance and make sure the infrastructure is there to give ourselves every opportunity to progress as a football club.”