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Interviews

Post Port Vale | Matt Taylor

25 November 2023

Interviews

Post Port Vale | Matt Taylor

25 November 2023

Matt Taylor spoke to the media following our 2-1 victory over Port Vale.

Max Mata scored his first Town goal while Dan Udoh netted a sensational strike to see us claim all three points at the Croud Meadow - with the result lifting us up to 12th in the League One table.

Speaking to the assembled media, the boss discussed the performance and praised his players for their response following last weekend's defeat at Blackpool.

But Matt also revealed Tom Flanagan picked up what looks to be a serious knee injury - with that meaning we now have nine players in the treatment room.

On a hard-earned win: 

“Every result we have had this season I would argue has been hard-earned.  

 “It feels really sweet today. I questioned the players very honestly and openly during the week. 

“What they have done - and what they have done recently at home a lot – they have found a way to win a game of football.   

 “If I look at the aspects of the game in terms of did we keep the ball well enough? No. But we defended our box today - apart from that one set play – really, really, well.   

 “It’s an unbelievable result at home. 

“I’m over the moon for Max Mata to get his goal - which was long overdue. 

“Hopefully now what that does is give him the opportunity to kick on and get more goals and do what he was brought to the club for. I thought today he was really good.   

 “Dan Udoh – an unbelievable individual goal. He has done that two or three times now this season. 

“I’m really pleased to get the win. All credit to Port Vale, they will be disappointed they haven’t got anything from the game from the amount of chances they have had. 

“But I can’t remember Marko [Marosi] having to make an outstanding save.   

“We conceded from a set play which is really disappointing. 

“But in terms of the reaction from the players from last week, the result and the performance is really impressive. 

“Now we have got to replicate what we do here away from home.  

“That is the biggest thing I can ask and I will continually drive the players to deliver that. 

“Tuesday night we have got another big game coming up but I’m really pleased for the players today and the fans were really good they got behind the team and got them over the line in the end.   

“I popped into a shop in Shrewsbury this morning and the lady that served me – she wished us all the best. 

“I saw two or three other people and they were really positive, especially with today being really poignant (following the deaths of Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Fitchett and Hugo Morris). 

“It was important that, as a football club, we showed our support for the community following the tragedy that’s happened. 

“I’m really pleased today we’ve managed to get three points on what was an emotional day.” 

On Max getting his first goal: 

“It was a wonderful spot from Elliott Bennett. 

“He shouted at Jordan Shipley or Morgan Feeney to get out of the way. He then hits a 60-yard diagonal pass. 

“There’s then a brilliant cross and Max is where he should be – between the posts. And he puts the ball in the goal. 

“It’s a wonderful moment for him. I just felt that when we scored so early in the second half, we sat a bit deep. When you do that you invite pressure. 

“But, to a man, the players dealt with that pressure today. 

“It is never easy at 2-0 because as soon as the team that is 2-0 down gets one back, they then get momentum – especially when they are kicking towards their own fans who were really loud and tried to drive them on. 

“I’m just over the moon we have got three points – it lifts us to 12th position in the league which is another positive. 

“The league is really tight this year. What we have to continually drive with the players – what we need to get better at – is delivering consistent performances. 

“Those consistent performances can be gained through hard work, they can be gained through effort. 

“We are always going to make mistakes. The players will do. I’ve got no issue with that. 

“But I felt today, we looked strong physically. And that was the main thing I asked from the players today – a reaction from last weekend’s result. 

“But I asked them to win the running game today. I felt we did that.” 

On Tom Flanagan and Taylor Perry coming off injured: 

“Tom is in a knee brace. We are fearing the worst. 

“And it just seems at the moment everything is going against us. 

“We are picking up injuries that aren’t avoidable – they are contact injuries. 

“It’s a really difficult time for us at the moment. 

“Taylor Perry has got tight hamstrings. Will he be available for Tuesday? We are hopeful. 

“But the squad in terms of those available is thin at the moment. 

“Worst case is that we travel to Exeter with two less players in the squad. The best case is one. 

“Tom Flanagan won’t be available. He is quite emotional at the moment as you would imagine. It has been a difficult day for him.  

“We have got to start getting players out of the treatment room – we need more players back fit. 

“At the moment, the players that are fit – we are going to ask them to perform on Tuesday, which we know will be difficult. 

“But I still think it's the best job in the world.” 

On Morgan Feeney returning from injury and Joe Anderson doing well after replacing Flanagan:

"They both did well. Morgan's been out a long time but what you see with Morgan, Morgan is a really competitive, combative defender, he will go up against anybody.

"What he did today was he managed to get through a game of football.

"We put Aaron Pierre on at the end because we knew there was going to be an aerial threat with the substitutions they made, but, the players dealt with it.

"Joe Anderson, Joe's come in for some criticism from me recently to be quite frank with you, but what he did today was he focused on the basics which is defending.

"I'm pleased for both of them to get some minutes. They're going to be needed, we will have to utilise the whole squad.

"But if we continually perform like that here, we're going to keep getting people coming back to the stadium because the fans were brilliant today. They got us over the line at the end.

"I know that at times I can be quite expressive in the way that I am on the sideline, I understand that, but it's just hoping that they understand how important they are to this team.

"It's huge for those players to have the fans, you see the way Daniel (Udoh) celebrated with them, and how long he celebrated with them.

"That's how much of a connection that our players have with our supporters at this football club and I think it's fantastic."

On injured duo Jason Sraha and Elliot Thorpe:

"Jason we might have him back (for Exeter), I'm not sure.

"Elliot Thorpe, I'm not sure. The problem we've got is the injuries we're picking up aren't small injuries.

"We're picking up horrendous, catastrophic, contact injuries. There is not a huge amount we can do about that.

"At the moment it's testing for us but it's vitally important that we can't affect what's happened we can only affect what is coming and that is the next game on Tuesday against Exeter."

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