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Interviews

Matt Taylor | Post Coventry

22 July 2023

Interviews

Matt Taylor | Post Coventry

22 July 2023

Head coach Matt Taylor met with the press after Town's first pre-season fixture in front of fans.

Town drew 1-1 with Championship side Coventry City at the Croud Meadow on Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in the ninth minute, thus securing his second goal in as many games in pre-season.

Kasey Palmer equalised just after the half-hour mark with a heavily deflected effort before Marko Marosi pulled off a stunning penalty save a few minutes later.

The boss discussed this afternoon's game among many other things in his post-match interview.

On the game:

"Today was an important fixture because we lost one (it was called off) during the week, the players were tested physically and also technically today.

"In these types of games when you play against opposition from a higher division, you always expect to have less of the football and we did, but I think today where it was really evident by the work that we've been doing, we looked solid out of possession and I was really pleased with the lads physical effort and how they applied themselves to that side of the game.

"[We] could have been slightly better in certain areas of the pitch of the ball, yes, but it's pre-season, I'm sure that Coventry’s manager will be saying exactly the same, but I was really pleased with a lot of aspects of our game today.

"I thought we took the goal very well.

"We set up in some very aggressive pressing positions which we’ve been working on and the players.

"While we don't expect them to have all of the answers right now, they're getting closer to what we're trying to get them to undertake in terms of out of possession and in position.

"I've said from day one when I came into the football club that we've got some really good players here and it's my role and my responsibility, alongside the coaches, to give them the opportunity to go and flourish.

"I thought, in patches, we did that today, but there is still much more to come from this group and you know today, while it's a pre-season friendly, to not get beaten at home I think is of paramount importance."

On the players’ performances:

"When you stand here having played the game, I could say the goalkeepers are paid to make saves and the strikers are paid to score goals, that is the reality of it.

"However, Bowman has come back in fantastic physical shape and he's scored now. If you count behind closed doors, he has four goals in three games so that’s a positive for our strikers.

"But I must touch on Dan Udoh and George Nurse, it’s fantastic to have them back in with us.

"Marko also made a great save, was up quickly and what I liked was that his teammates really supported him after he’d made that [penalty] save.

"So, lots of positives to take, but it's important right now that we speak to the players, removing the emotion of the game and we use today as a learning tool for Monday when we feedback to the players."

On George Nurse leaving the pitch due to injury:

"Hopefully [it's] precautionary but we don't know as of yet. I haven't had the chance to have a conversation with George or the physio, so the main thing at the moment is that we focus on finding out whether or not there is an issue, and if there is we will support our player any player to the best of our ability."

On his style of play and how the players are doing:

"It's getting better, still not where I wanted it to be.

"I think I said very early on in my first press conference that one of the mainstays that would underpin us as a team this season would be our work rate and our effort.

"I think that you saw today in patches that when we really committed to our press and we went after the opposition, we won the ball and we're aware that we're playing a team that, as you say, got beaten in the play-off final last season so they’re a very good outfit in the Championship.

"For us today and for the players, to gain belief that we can win the ball back in areas of the pitch and can hurt the opposition is important.

"But one thing I will demand is they have to give 100% and I think every player on the pitch gave that.

"You spoke about George Nurse and I thought he was excellent today, he played some wonderful passes down the line and he was confident in possession. Hopefully, we find out that he will be back with the group very soon."

On more new signings:

"We’re hoping next week will be a week where we can announce at least one signing.

"I’m also aware that players we have been going after are wanted by other teams or their current team wants them to stay.

"It’s a process. One thing I do know is that Micky and I, along with Tom [Ware], Marcus [Bignot] and David [Longwell] have had lots of conversations about players that we would like to bring into the building and the type of player that we want them to be.

"As I say, we’re cautiously confident that next week will be a positive week because we still need to add players to the group, but I think what’s important to say is that we won’t just add numbers, we want to add the right type of person and therefore the right type of player because I hope the fans leaving today can see we have a clear structure in the way we’re going to play.

"I want the players to express themselves, but they have to work hard. The harder you work off the ball, the more time you have on it, and I hope that was clear today.

Thoughts on trialist Taylor Perry’s performance:

"Taylor’s obviously a player that we were all well aware of having played a lot of his football at this level.

"Micky and I have got to make a call on that over the next day or two. I thought he performed well for the majority of the game. There were obviously errors with his finish but if you’re pushing me for an answer, I haven’t spoken to Mick now."

On the remaining friendlies:

"Tuesday night against Stourbridge will be a different type of game.

"I’d like to think we will have more of the possession, so we therefore have to make sure we express ourselves, but then it’s imperative we deal with the physical aspect of that fixture.

"Their players will want to make sure they see it as an opportunity to perform. Will the group change slightly? I’m sure it will. One thing that I am paramount on is that all of the players must be ready regardless of the team picked, to play.

"Our job now as coaches is to make sure we expose the whole group to as much football as we can, so that come the Friday before the Cheltenham game it becomes a very difficult decision to pick a team.

"We want all of the players ready to play a part this season."

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