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Interviews

Pre Burton | Matt Taylor

14 August 2023

Interviews

Pre Burton | Matt Taylor

14 August 2023

Head coach Matt Taylor chatted to the press ahead of our League One clash with Burton Albion.

Town host Dino Maamria's side at the Croud Meadow tomorrow night determined to bounce back from our defeat at Stevenage on Saturday.

Speaking to the assembled media, Matt spoke about the Stevenage game and how his players are eager to make it two wins from two at home following our opening day victory over Cheltenham.

The boss also gave an update on Elliot Thorpe's fitness as well as our application for a work permit for New Zealand international Max Mata - who we signed from Sligo earlier this month.

ON TRAINING TODAY AHEAD OF BURTON: 

“Everyone is good. I think, obviously, there is some disappointment from the weekend. 

“But we have got a fixture tomorrow night, a really tough fixture against Burton at home. 

“It’s an opportunity to be back in front of our fans so we’re excited about that. 

“We have debriefed with the players today quite considerably and extensively. There are lessons to be learnt and now we have to put a plan in place to win a game of football tomorrow night.” 

ON MID-WEEK MATCHES: 

“I think it’s really good for us to be back at home. 

“Our last performance at home was positive, the result was good. 

“The challenge for the players now is to repeat that. 

“We understand just how difficult this game is going to be. I don’t think the results Burton have had reflect the team that they are.  

“I think they are a really good team and I know it’s going to be a difficult night for us. 

“But what I want is to see a true reflection of the ability of our players and we expect them to carry out the game plan that we have given them. 

“If we do that then we have got a chance of a positive result and it will great to be playing back at home – and for me to manage this team for the first time under the lights at the Croud Meadow.” 

ON LEARNING FROM STEVENAGE: 

“You have to. What’s imperative is that win, lose or draw, you learn and you grow. 

“We are a new group, you have to sometimes put that into perspective. We were extremely grateful to win our first home game of the season. 

“The players then had two gruelling away matches that were both over 100 minutes long. 

“And now what we have to do is test the character of the players. 

“We have got a wonderful opportunity to play at home in front of our fans – we need to grasp that with both hands.” 

ON CHEY DUNKLEY AND ELLIOTT BENNETT RETURNING AT STEVENAGE: 

“I’m not sure yet (whether they are fit to start). Both players have come through today well. 

“We are looking at longevity as well because we want both players available for the entire part of the season. 

“We will make a decision on that. But what I do know – other than the injuries you already know about – we are in a good place right now.” 

ON MAX MATA’S VISA: 

“We still don’t have an update on Max Mata which is disappointing. He has just been in the office and he’s desperate to be involved with the team. 

“He’s fit and he’s raring to go – he wants to help his team mates which tells you the type of person he is. 

“We are hopeful - having had conversations with people at the stadium - that we can push that on as quickly as possible.” 

ON MAX BEING FIT DUE TO THE IRISH LEAGUE BEING IN MID-SEASON: 

“The difficulty for him is that the leagues are very different and quite contrasting. 

“Where Max has had to play catch-up a bit is with his sharpness and what is expected tactically and technically – that's very different to what was asked of him at Sligo. 

“We are aware of that. But he looked sharp today in training. He scored some goals.  

“I’m absolutely gutted he can’t be involved in the squad tomorrow.

"But we are hopeful we will have some good news before the weekend and we can get him involved in the squad as soon as possible.” 

ON ELLIOT THORPE'S BACK INJURY: 

“We are waiting for it to be confirmed but I don’t think it’s positive news. 

“I can’t give you any more detail other than that at the moment because I don’t have it myself. 

“All I know is our physios are in contact with Luton’s physios to see what the best course of action is for Elliot. 

“He came here with high hopes this season. But it does look like it’s a lengthy injury which may rule him out for a period of time but I don’t know how long that is going to be. 

“We don’t seem to be having much luck on the that (the injury) front. But we can’t do anything about that. 

“What we can do is focus on the players that are fit, on the players that are healthy and make sure that whatever team is picked tomorrow night it goes out and gives everything for the shirt. 

“That is the least we can expect from the group and that is what they will do tomorrow. 

“What the result will be, what the outcome will be, will be dependent on a lot of factors. But one thing I do know is the players are ready to go again.” 

ON THE SEARCH FOR NEW ADDITIONS: 

“It’s always tough at this time of the season for head coaches, for directors of football and for managers because you want players in the door yesterday. 

“But we are aware it doesn’t work like that. 

“Do we need some certain positions filling? Yes. Are we working on that? Yes – without a shadow of a doubt. 

“I know that Micky (director of football Micky Moore) is working extremely hard to get some deals done. 

“But it’s never that easy. The players that we are talking to are good players. 

“Therefore, their parent clubs aren’t quite sure what to do with them. 

“We have been in this situation now for the past couple of weeks and we are trying to move things on. 

“You can’t ask any more than for people to give their best and that is what we are doing in that department. 

“But let’s concentrate on the players we have got here because we have got some really talented players who are desperate to show they can perform.” imageeqmw7.png


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