Paul Hurst: Former Shrewsbury boss will not come back, says chief executive Brian Caldwell

Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury Town to Wembley twice in seven weeks last season - but they lost both times
Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury Town to Wembley twice in seven weeks last season - but they lost both times

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell says former manager Paul Hurst will not be returning, having burnt his bridges when he left the League One club in the summer.

Hurst joined Championship side Ipswich Town just three days after Shrewsbury's play-off final failure at Wembley.

He lasted only five months at Portman Road before being sacked - and had been linked with a return to Shropshire.

But Caldwell said: "It's too soon for Paul to come back to this club."

He told BBC Shropshire: "A lot of things went on which obviously not everybody's privy to. Some things have come out recently, the way everything happened in the last few months before Paul left, clearing his desk before the biggest game in our history.

"There's no doubt interviews took place before that. Things come out in football. People talk. Eventually you find out more and more truths.

"When you've lost that trust, somebody's been doing stuff behind your back for such a length of time, at a really important time for the football club. Nobody's bigger than the football club.

"Paul and his agent negotiated a contract at the turn of the year, which is only 10 months ago, and then he was obviously trying to work on his exit strategy."

BBC Shropshire have tried to contact Hurst, but have yet to receive a response.

So who will get the Town job?

Shrewsbury have been linked with a variety of names, including former Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer, since John Askey was sacked as manager on Monday.

Welsh duo Sam Ricketts, doing well in his first managerial role with National League pacesetters Wrexham, and Mike Flynn, who has Newport County sixth in League Two, currently head the bookmakers' market.

But with Bowyer reportedly now no longer a contender, Caldwell says that the club, who are 18th in League One, still have an open mind.

"We are open to whatever comes in," he said. "The difficulty sometimes is that some Championship manager, for example, or ones who've managed in the Championship, would see it as a step down.

"We've always gone with the identity of somebody who's up and coming.

"We're still collating all the applications that are coming in and notes of interest. We're collating a list which is ever-changing."