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Interviews

Pre Lincoln | Matt Taylor

17 August 2023

Interviews

Pre Lincoln | Matt Taylor

17 August 2023

Head coach Matt Taylor chatted to the press ahead of our League One clash against Lincoln.

Town host Mark Kennedy's side at the Croud Meadow on Saturday looking to make it three consecutive wins on home turf.

Matt's side secured a deserved victory over Burton Albion on Tuesday night, with the result and performance the perfect response to last weekend's defeat at Stevenage.

Speaking to the assembled media, the head coach discussed the Burton game and the goalscoring return of skipper Chey Dunkley.

And Matt also gave an update on George Nurse who underwent surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee on Tuesday.

ON THE START TO THE SEASON: 

“The lads have all got smiles on their faces today. There are some sore bodies but that’s to be expected with the schedule we’ve had over the last 12 days. 

“We are looking forward to the weekend – everyone is. 

“We've trained lightly today because I felt – especially with the extra minutes we keep playing – it was imperative we educate the players on some of the finer points of the games. 

“We need to make sure we use the classroom here and we have done that. 

“But as you can imagine coming off a positive result on Tuesday night, everyone has been happy today. 

“I think they all had a nice day off yesterday – the weather was nice as well. 

“But we have been back at it today – the players have needed to work very hard and those that have needed to do slightly less (on the grass) have also done some good work today. 

“There have been lots of individual meetings today on aspects of their game I think are important so the staff have most definitely worked hard today. 

“It’s a good training ground to be at at the moment however I’m acutely aware in two days time we have got another game of football against a good Lincoln team.” 

ON HOW EVERYONE IS AFTER BURTON: 

“Everybody was on the grass today that needed to be – there are a couple of injuries but we knew about those so their isn’t anything new. 

“I think the players are looking forward to having a free week, next week.  

“But they are also aware that, first and foremost, we have to work really hard on Saturday.” 

ON MARKO MAROSI INJURING HIS NOSE AGAINST BURTON: 

“I didn’t realise it was actually Chey who managed to stud him or knee him! 

“His nose is slightly out of place. He has got a nice cut on there and a few stitches. But he will be fine for the weekend.” 

ON CHEY MAKING A GOALSCORING RETURN TO THE STARTING XI: 

“When I came in I hadn’t seen him play for Shrewsbury but I had watched him many times for Oxford because my family are all Oxford fans. 

“He is a big plus for us. I think you saw his leadership qualities, it wasn’t just what he did on the ball and the headers he won – it was more his organisation. 

“He is a natural leader. I think he is going to thrive on the responsibility of being captain. 

“But he’s also aware he has to do his job for the team and he did that really well. 

“He hasn’t had any exposure to football for three or four months so he was a little bit stiff today to say the least. 

“But, if selected, he’ll be ready to play at the weekend.” 

ON TOM FLANAGAN MISSING OUT FOR CHEY: 

“I understand how disappointing it is for players – especially Tom - when they are not in the team. 

“I do understand that and I sympathise. But I also think having been in that position myself – it's how you handle those decisions and his behaviour has been really good. 

“Obviously, he is extremely disappointed not to be in the team. But it will never be about one person and one player. 

“It will always be about the team and the squad. And I think everybody is aware of that. 

“I know as and when Tom gets back into the team, he will most definitely perform well.” 

ON GEORGE NURSE HAVING HAD HIS SURGERY: 

“He is okay. It was Tuesday his surgery. It will be a difficult one for George now because he’s back on that road to recovery. 

“He is due to come up here tomorrow so it will be good to see him. 

“And I know he will get all the support he needs from the staff and he will also get great support from the players which is hugely important. 

“They all understand what he has been through – especially Dan (Udoh) having been through that injury. 

“It’s going to be a tough one for George, I understand that. But we will be here to support him and I look forward to seeing him fit because he was doing really well."

ON HOW HARD GEORGE HAD WORKED TO RECOVER FROM HIS FIRST ACL INJURY:

“When you’ve worked as hard as he has, day one of pre-season he started with us. 

“He pushed his body, he pushed himself to the limits and was in a really good position. 

“I thought his football was of a high quality and a high standard. 

“Physically he was doing really well. The metrics he was hitting we were quite surprised at. 

“From a selfish point view I am distraught we have lost George because he would have been a key member of our team and a key member of our squad. 

“That has changed recruitment ever so slightly. We had to make sure Mal (Benning) came in and Joe Anderson gives us good balance as well. 

“But one thing I do know about George is that when he does get back fit he will be raring to go and we will give him everything and all the support he needs.” 

ON MAX MATA’S VISA: 

“I don’t think he’ll be available for Saturday. We’ve not heard anything so I’m assuming nothing has changed unless we get an email tomorrow to say he’s available.” 

ON LINCOLN: 

“I think Mark (Kennedy) had a really fantastic season with them last year considering it was his first season at the club. 

“They have recruited extremely well, they have got some really talented footballers and I like the way they want to play and I like the way they want to press. 

“It will be a very difficult test for us. I look forward to it. It will be a good opportunity for our players to see if we can get back-to-back positive performances. We haven’t done that if you like this season. 

“We did quite well at Leeds but the result didn’t go for us and then we got beat at Stevenage so the challenge for the players now is can we follow up the result we got on Tuesday night with a good performance on Saturday.” 

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