Hurst remaining realistic after stunning Shrews start

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Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst is refusing to get carried away despite his side’s record-breaking start to the season.

The Shrews are the only unbeaten team in the EFL, and sit alongside only Manchester United and Manchester City as those yet to taste defeat throughout the whole of the country – their best introduction into a campaign for 67 years.

‘We’re above halfway to our target first and foremost’, Hurst revealed, having seen his side reach 26 points, over half of the 50 points generally aimed at for survival, thanks to their 2-1 win away at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.

‘I’m serious. That’s our first target. I keep saying that.’ he told BBC Radio Shropshire.

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Hurst’s men left it late to secure their eighth win out of ten in midweek, winger Arthur Gnahoua coming off the bench to grab a 94th minute winner for the team from Shropshire – taking them four points clear at the summit of the division in the process.

Gnahoua delivered on the message given to him by his manager just before he entered the fray in the 87th minute, and manager Hurst acknowledged that the Frenchman’s teammates had an inkling that the 25-year-old would create something special – something that he was not so sure of.

‘The last message from myself was produce a little bit of magic and go and win us the game’ Hurst said.

‘The lads said they knew he would score, which I wasn’t quite as confident because I’ve seen him get in those positions in the few little appearances he’s made and maybe not quite finish it.’

However, despite his reservations over the immediacy of the attacker’s impact, 43-year-old Hurst has credited the ability held by the former Kidderminster Harriers player.

‘In training he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen in that situation, he seems to just pass it into the net. Tonight i think he did seem to put is laces through it a bit more.’

He also conceded that it was not he who was keen to send the forward on, with another member of his coaching staff the man who planted the seed of thought in his head.

‘I have to say credit to my assistant Chris Doig, who had said what about Arthur?’

‘It took me a couple of minutes to decide it was the right thing to do and then gave him the opportunity, and in that short space of time he can’t really do much more.’