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Interviews

Pre Stevenage | Matt Taylor

11 August 2023

Interviews

Pre Stevenage | Matt Taylor

11 August 2023

Shrewsbury head coach Matt Taylor chatted to the press ahead of our League One clash at Stevenage.

Town travel to the Lamex Stadium tomorrow on the back of securing an opening day win over Cheltenham. We then put in an excellent display at Leeds on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.

Speaking to the assembled media, Matt discussed the Leeds game - a fixture which saw club captain Chey Dunkley return to the squad.

And the boss also gave a transfer update as we continue to work to improve our squad.

ON HOW EVERYONE IS FOLLOWING LEEDS: 

“Everyone is good, the players recovered well yesterday. 

“It was a lighter training session today. But everybody is in good spirits – I think that's important.  

“I think is also important to understand that while we were pleased with the performance on Wednesday, we lost the game.  

“What we've got to do tomorrow is make sure we do all we can to get three points against a strong Stevenage team. 

“Everyone has recovered well. The players that needed training minutes got their training minutes. 

“We have come through it relatively unscathed in terms of injuries – there weren’t any contact injuries we had to worry about.  

“We don’t foresee any fresh injuries heading into Saturday so we're in similar shape to that which we were in last weekend.” 

ON ROTATING THE SQUAD AT ELLAND ROAD: 

“We have to manage the players. At the moment we understand the games are going on considerably longer than what we are used to.  

“So we're just trying to make sure that we can spread the minutes around players.  

“But also, I think what was important on Wednesday was that some of our players got an exposure to what was an unbelievable atmosphere.  

“There is a different pressure in that game. Playing in front of 35,000 people was an amazing experience for our younger players.  

“What we're hoping now is that we see a development from the minutes they've had moving forward into the game at the weekend and into a tough run of fixtures. 

“We’re going Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday so the squad will need to be utilised.” 

ON MAX MATA’S VISA: 

"Unfortunately, it’s not come in yet. 

“I think we're slightly further down the line with the process. But unfortunately no, he's still unavailable for Saturday.”  

ON CHEY DUNKLEY'S RETURN:

“Chey is good, he is desperate to be back in involved and he will be. 

“With him being named captain it is imperative he's in and around the group.  

“He will be in the squad for Saturday so we're hopeful that - as and when he is needed – he'll be ready. 

“What we don't want to do – and what is so important – is that we don’t break the players.  

“There's a process which they have to undertake to get back to fitness. 

“Chey is well on the way to doing that. It’s great to have him back around the group, he is such a good influence.  

“But where we're lucky, I’ll say it again, is that we've got more than one Chey Dunkley.  

“We've got quite a few captains in and around the squad who are really good with young players. 

“I think we're exceptionally fortunate to have such good seniors that care about the young boys. 

“But Chey will definitely be back in the squad and available in some capacity.” 

ON SWITCHING FROM A 3-5-2 TO A 3-4-2-1 SYSTEM AT LEEDS: 

“What's important is that our principles don't change, regardless of what the game looks like. 

“I'd hope that on Wednesday and on Saturday when you saw us, you'd say you know what we’re trying to do.  

“The players are committing to that. There is a slight tweak in formation, but what the players have to do is be adaptable within our structure - and they are. 

“There's still a lot for us to try and get across them. We spend a hell of lot time, as coaches, really trying to make sure the information we give them is the golden nuggets.  

“You don’t want to leave them with any questions and I think on Wednesday you definitely saw a committed team performance.  

“It was high energy and it's going to be tough to replicate that week in week out – but that is my challenge to the players.” 

ON HOW WELL JOE ANDERSON AND MORGAN FEENEY HAVE SETTLED IN: 

“They have been excellent and they’re both young players. 

“Morgan's got more experience having played at Carlisle, so he's got that Football League knowledge.  

“Joe is a player that, the first time I watched him, what I liked about him is that he plays men’s football. 

“What I mean by that is you can see with his passes that he tries to play forwards when he gets the ball.  

“Also they are both becoming more aggressive. At the moment, I'd argue Morgan is slightly more aggressive, but Joe is adding that to his game.  

“I think Joe's performance on Wednesday night was excellent, as was Morgan’s. We could have scored from a set play just after we scored the first goal.  

“Both of those players are going to grow, both will develop.  

“Again, where we're fortunate is that we have got four senior centre-backs for three positions – which is a wonderful position for me to be in.  

“There’s no doubt I will have a headache very soon with who to pick. 

“But what I do know is that all four of them are capable and we're fortunate to have them at the club.” 

ON POTENTIAL ADDITIONS: 

“We’re trying. It's proving difficult. Every manager, every coach I speak to is having the same issues.  

“Clubs are, quite rightly so, holding on to their players for longer when it comes to the loans we are looking at. 

“It also is getting a point where it is imperative that anyone that comes in improves the group and that means they have to be ready to play. 

“What we can't do is waste a signing. We've got to make sure we get them right and I know that Micky and Tom are working extremely hard to make that the case. 

“I’m hopeful there will be new signings in the building but is that imminent? I'm not quite sure at the moment.” 

ON TARGETING PERMANENT SIGNINGS OR LOANS: 

“We are looking at both. We're no different to any other club in League One or League Two. 

“We want to improve the front line, we’ve spoken about that. 

“But I do know this from my experience, there will be one or two players that pop up at some point from now to the end of the window that maybe takes us by surprise.  

“We've obviously got a list, we're working very hard on that list. But whether or not we get them, I can't confirm.” 

ON STEVENAGE: 

“It will be a different test. They had great success last year. They will be extremely well drilled. Each and every player knows their job. 

“And I think when you’ve got an experienced manager, as they have in Steve (Evans) who has been highly successful, he is going to make sure his players are aware of what's required.  

“It's going to be a good game for us, especially coming off the game on Wednesday because it will be very different. 

“But the one thing I will say to the players, if they expect to go there and win because we've narrowly got beat at Leeds then they are very badly mistaken.  

“We've got to make sure that - first and foremost – we earn the right to play. 

“That might take us 10 minutes, it might take us 15. But we will play our way whilst understanding that Stevenage are highly effective and a very good team at home. 

“I went and watched them on Tuesday night against Watford and was really impressed. I thought they were very good so it’s going to be a really difficult game.”

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