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Interviews

Post Leeds | Matt Taylor

9 August 2023

Interviews

Post Leeds | Matt Taylor

9 August 2023

Shrewsbury head coach Matt Taylor expressed his pride after watching his Town side put in an excellent display at Leeds - only to fall to a 2-1 defeat.

A brilliant first-half performance full of energy saw Town go in at the break with a deserved lead thanks to Taylor Perry's first goal for the club.

The hosts went off to boos at the interval but went on to clinch a place in the second round of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Joe Gelhardt and substitute Pascal Struijk.

The night, though, was full of positives for Town with 17-year-old Travis Hernes starting at Elland Road, fellow youngster Harvey Watts also came off the bench while Jason Sraha and Tunmise Sobowale made their competitive debuts.

Speaking post-match, Matt discussed his team's performance, Taylor's goal and the outstanding commitment shown by all his players.

ON THE PERFORMANCE:

"They gave everything, we couldn’t ask for anymore.

"I’ve said from the first day I stepped in the building, if the players keep giving performances like they did tonight, then we will reap the rewards.

"I thought we were diligent out of possession, I thought the goal that we scored was excellent and it came from stuff we’ve worked on earlier in the week.

"They are an excellent team and they had to change their side at half-time.

"I felt the goals we gave away were avoidable, it’s an element of luck with the first one, the second one I felt we should’ve dealt with better as a team from the set play.

"But I stand here extremely proud of all the effort the players have given. And I thought the fans were unbelievable tonight.

"For our players to play in front of 35,000 people was a brilliant opportunity for them to showcase how good they are.

"I felt for moments in the game we were exceptional out of possession, we could’ve been better at times with the final ball.

"But you have to understand when you spend as much time as we did without the ball, the players are going to be tired.

"And the other thing you must remember is that we’ve got another game in three days time."

ON TAYLOR PERRY'S GOAL:

"It was wonderful, it comes from us blocking up the middle and winning possession back.

"Tom Bayliss plays a fantastic pass and then Taylor is off, and I think he did exceptionally well to delay the shot and then take the shot.

"It took a slight deflection, but I felt at that point - for all our hard work - it was something we deserved.

"It’s just disappointing they scored so early into the second half after we went in at half-time leading, and then you know the momentum is going to come with that.

"To concede from a set play was understandably upsetting for all of us but to a man they gave everything.

"And I’ll keep saying it because the players are believing – we’re a good team.

"The opposing manager has said that to me tonight.

"The players have now got to recover because we go again at Stevenage on Saturday which I’m sure will be a different test to tonight but still a difficult game."

ON JASON SRAHA, TUNMISE SOBOWALE AND HARVEY WATTS COMING OFF THE BENCH: 

"It’s never easy when you are asked to go on to the pitch in a game that is as fast as that, against opposition who play as quickly as they do. 

"I thought each one of the subs was exceptional when it comes to their effort.  

"Of course, there are always going to be technical aspects we can pick apart. But I felt tonight we needed to manage the fixture because we go again on Saturday. 

"We have got players coming back hopefully for Saturday, so that is a real positive. 

"But the young players that came on tonight, I thought gave an excellent account of themselves and they are going to be needed. 

"I think it also shows you as a staff and as a football club there is a clear pathway for young players.  

"That is important also, we need to continue developing our own and they are definitely going to get an opportunity to play."

ON TRAVIS STARTING: 

"Travis had tonight to either really accept the opportunity he was given or go under. And I don’t think he went under, I think he accepted it and that is wonderful to see. 

"With the young players, you never know until you expose them and exposing them to this tonight is a huge ask. 

"I just felt physically – towards the 50th/55th minute – he had given everything, therefore we were more than happy with his performance tonight. 

"I felt that he handled the atmosphere really well. I felt that he handled the ball exceptionally well. 

"He’s getting better with what we want in and out of possession. But what I like about Travis, he can handle the ball in tight situations and he is only 17 years old.  

"For him to have the experience of playing here tonight will most definitely make him a better player.

"In terms of the development of our group, I think to play here tonight is great. 

"There will be big games in our league, where we will be playing in front of 25/30,000. So this is a great opportunity for them to sample what that feels like. 

"But again, I have to mention our fans - I thought they were brilliant. Even though they were outnumbered quite heavily, you could hear them singing all night." 

ON CHEY DUNKLEY BEING BACK IN THE SQUAD: 

“Chey is club captain, to have him back in and around the group and to be on his way back to full fitness, we are extremely pleased about. 

“We want to step him up now this week to see if we can make him ready for Saturday – we will try and do that. 

"It’s good to have him back in the group, it’s good to hear him in the changing room.  

“He leads by example and that is what we want, especially when it comes to our young players – we want them to see that.” 

ON ELLIOT THORPE AND MAX MATA NOT BEING IN THE SQUAD: 

“Elliot has got a scan tomorrow morning on an issue he has got with his back – we don’t quite know the extent of that injury yet. 

“And we don’t know where we are with Max, we are still waiting on a work permit, we are still waiting on the Home Office. 

“I said it Saturday, that gives us an opportunity to get some more work into him. I think it will be great for Max to see tonight what is expected from our centre-forwards, especially when you play in a game like this. 

“But Max is really, really, desperate to get into the squad to be able to play but unfortunately it’s out of our hands.” 

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