Hurst running out of time to salvage season in woeful run

Grimsby manager Paul Hurst is under increased pressure

Hurst running out of time to salvage season in woeful run

Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Wrexham means the Mariners have won just two of their last 14 games, a run comparable to Paul Hurst’s ill-fated short spell at Ipswich.

At Ipswich, Hurst lasted just 15 games, picking up eight points out of a possible 45, meanwhile, Town’s current run sees them with just seven points out of a possible 36.

That short spell in the Championship has damaged Hurst, as he has similarly poor records at his next two clubs – local rivals Scunthorpe and currently Grimsby.

He lasted just nine months at Glanford Park with a win percentage of 31.6 per cent in 38 games, in his second stint at Town, he has won 32.7 per cent of his 52 games.

National League rivals have also pulled the trigger earlier on their managers, with better records than Town’s current run of two wins in 14, in all competitions.

Current league leaders Stockport, sacked Simon Rusk earlier in the season after picking up 17 points in their first 12 matches, in fact, Paul Hurst is currently enduring a run worse than Claudio Ranieri had at Premier League Watford, before the Italian was sacked at the weekend.

New owners Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit have emphasised the long-term ambition at the club, which perhaps makes the Watford comparison a little unfair, and very few fans wish for the constant managerial turnover seen at Vicarage Road.

It is this long-term focus that means that the owners are investing in training ground and stadium improvements, rather than splashing the cash on a star signing who may flop.

This long-term could also be the reason why Paul Hurst is being given more time than other owners would allow, as they see the signs of encouraging play in recent performances, but it isn’t clicking together to deliver results.

The new owners were reportedly involved in his hiring in December 2020, when he signed a deal until June 2023.

Speaking on the DN35 Podcast, Stockwood spoke about the performance during Town’s 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield in December, saying “I genuinely sat there and thought we played well, we lost 1-0, [but] we were unlucky.”

For all of the encouraging signs that the Mariners have shown since the turn of the New Year, results have not improved.

A dominant performance in a 1-1 draw to Halifax and a convincing 2-0 win against Altrincham are beginning to feel like false dawns.

The defeats to Bromley and Wrexham had all the hallmarks of the current poor run, with a good start undermined by sloppy defending and poor concentration, married with what some fans see as inaction from the manager to ‘go for the game’.

Paul Hurst is reluctant to make changes until the last 15 minutes of the game, perhaps too cautious of being caught on the break and ruining any hopes of a comeback before they have begun.

This was an issue fans pointed to in the aforementioned Chesterfield defeat, as Town waited until the final 10 minutes to make their first change of the game, while their rivals used their bench nearer to the hour mark.

Many will now look to Saturday visit of Wealdstone as a must-win game for Hurst, before a trip to Meadow Lane which could see Notts County put the nail in the coffin for Grimsby’s promotion hopes.

Do you think Paul Hurst can turn things around this season?

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