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Matt Taylor pre Port Vale

23 November 2023


Matt Taylor pre Port Vale

23 November 2023

Boss Matt Taylor met with the media ahead of our League One clash against Port Vale.

Town welcome Andy Crosby's side to the Croud Meadow on Saturday as we look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Blackpool last weekend.

With Max Mata and Nohan Kenneh away with New Zealand and Liberia respectively, Shrewsbury's already depleted squad got thinner when Tom Bayliss was substituted with an injury in the first half at Bloomfield Road.

The boss provided updates on Max, Nohan and Tom, as well as Morgan Feeney who is making good progress as he returns from injury.

On the past week: 

“Training for the players has been good. Their attitude and their application to our key principles has been very good. 

“Obviously after what was such a terrible result last weekend – losing in the way that we did – the players have, quite rightly, worked extremely hard to this point in the week. 

“We have spent a lot of time reviewing what happened. It’s always important to do that. 

“In those situations, it’s extremely painful, it’s extremely emotional but it also gives you the opportunity to learn. That is what we have done. 

“Then when the players get their release, their release is on the training ground, they have had some really good sessions. 

“From that perspective it’s positive. But it’s now about them going out and delivering a performance back at home. 

“I think, with the unfortunate news this week with the four young men that so tragically lost their lives, with the game on Saturday we are honouring those young men with a minute's applause. 

"It is devasting news for everybody concerned. On behalf of the football club and myself personally, I would like to send my condolences to their families. 

"I cannot begin to imagine how it feels because I have a daughter of that age so, as I say, it has been a tough week for the community in Shrewsbury. 

"We all need to pull together now because what is important now is we have an opportunity to honour those young men with a minute's applause on Saturday.” 

On how the players have reacted to last weekend:

"I was devastated more than disappointed, as were the players.

"It's difficult after games because emotion tends to overrule the conversation. What we did this week was remove the emotion.

"Have we had difficult conversations with players? Yes, we have because those standards are not acceptable from this group of players. The errors that we made were punished.

"We have to use it as a hard reset, it must be used as that because there is no point ignoring what happened. We must meet it head-on and make sure the players are as prepared as they can be for what will be another tough game at home.

"Our home form, especially in the last four games, has been really good. What we need to stop doing is conceding silly goals - that's what's really hurting us at the moment.

"At home, we get away with it because we score more goals than the opposition but take that aside, as a group including myself, the staff and all the players, we've got to do the basics well because we are a team that can keep clean sheets in this league and it's imperative we do our utmost to do that on Saturday against a very good Port Vale team."

On defensive mistakes:

"A lot of football is pressure related and pressure bound. We were in the game until we gave the penalty away.

"If you watch it back, we turn possession over against Blackpool far too easily. We actually had the best chance in the first 15 minutes with Tom Bayliss' opportunity, so we started the game really well.

"But we can't keep talking about starting games well and keep making mistakes, we need to get back to what the players were good at at the start of the season and that's been the message for a lot of this week.

"It's a realignment of the group with our key principles, both with and without the ball, so you will only get that if you're willing to run and willing to work hard. I'm not suggesting the players haven't done but what's been important for me this week is that we get back to basics.

"Speaking because at times it is always you as head coach, or Marcus (Bignot, the assistant head coach), or Sean (Parrish, first team coach) or Beasty (Brian Jensen the goalkeeping coach) talking to the players.

"What we've done this week is have conversations with the players that haven't been easy but nothing in life ever is.

"We have to use that as a massive learning tool for us and as a reset like I said earlier."

On Tom Bayliss:

"He had a scan on Tuesday.

"It is disappointing news but it wasn't as bad as we first feared it would be.

"He will be on the sidelines for probably six to eight weeks I would imagine.

"We were fearful it would be a period that extends that with an operation but that isn't the case.

"Obviously, it's another injury that we would do without, but it's part and parcel of the way things have shaped for us at the moment.

"The injuries we have got haven't been ones where I would question the training schedule or question what we are doing in the gym, they're contact injuries that you cannot do anything about.

"I am really disappointed for Tom but now somebody else gets the opportunity.

"It is a problem with the ligament within his ankle. He's probably going to be out for six-eight weeks to put a figure on it."

On Morgan Feeney:

"(He's) getting closer, Morgan is working really hard.

"It is not easy when you are out, especially with the injury that Morgan had, and where the problem originated from which was his back.

"He has had a procedure that had made his body feel slightly different to what it was. But Morgan is okay, he is working extremely hard and I am also conscious that we have three games in six days after Saturday so we are going to need to utilise the squad as well.

"Morgan is getting fitter whether he is ready for the weekend I do not know yet."

On Max and Nohan returning from international duty:

"They're both back, they both reported in for training today and both got back into the country yesterday.

"They both trained fully today.

"Nohan has further to travel and Max has just come back from Ireland.

"They're both in good spirits and both in contention for the squad."

On Port Vale:

"Every game at this level of football is extremely competitive.

"Out of our last four home games, we've won three. What we have to do is stop conceding goals.

"Port Vale are under a new manager this season so they might be trying to change the way they want to play, they are very easy on the eye, a very good football team with talented footballers.

"Our gameplan needs to work so we have to frustrate the opposition like we need to every game, but we need to focus on ourselves and let's be better in those big moments in both boxes."

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