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Interviews

Post Oxford | Matt Taylor

3 October 2023

Matt Taylor spoke to the media following our defeat at Oxford.

On a night when individual errors cost us dear, goals from Fin Stevens, Ciaron Brown and Greg Leigh saw the hosts run out 3-0 winners.

Town also played the last 30 minutes of the game with 10 men after Joe Anderson was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.

Speaking to the assembled media, Matt discussed his side's display and his team selection after he made four changes from the side that drew against Charlton.

And the boss also demanded a reaction from his players when we host Northampton on Saturday.

On the game: 

"It’s always going to be tough when you make errors.

"I think for large periods of the game we were - out of possession - in control. But we made three errors tonight and we got punished.

"The first goal was an error, the second one was an error in terms of the sending off and not getting the free-kick right and the third goal was another error, so you get punished and that’s what happened tonight. 

"We had a couple of moments where we looked good on the ball, mainly in the second half. 

"In the first half, we turned over the ball too much and we worked extremely hard to get it back.

"But that first pass, that first touch wasn’t good enough.

"We can’t come away from home against anyone in this league and make errors, errors which are uncharacteristic for this group of players. They haven't done that before.

"It’s important now that everyone regroups. There’s been conversations that we’ve just had in the dressing room and the players are understandably disappointed.

"I'm extremely annoyed because - bar those errors - I think Marko had one shot from a counter attack to save.

"That’s the reason we lost the game today because we made errors and we got punished.  

"When you make errors against good teams - and Oxford are a good team - ultimately you run the risk of conceding goals."

On Joe Anderson’s red card: 

"It’s two yellow cards, no argument from me – I’ve just watched it back, the first one’s a yellow card and the second one is too.  

"But they’re avoidable, the second goal comes directly from that free-kick too which is disappointing. 

"As I say it’s uncharacteristic for this group of players to make those errors so what we need to do now is make sure we don’t do it again, simple. 

On making changes to the starting line-up: 

"I think we’ve got players here that have played nearly enough every minute of every game because they've had to and because performances have dictated that. 

"What we wanted to do - speaking to the medical staff, speaking to the fitness staff - is try and manage those minutes for players.

"We wanted to make sure everyone gets the right exposure so that - in a three-game week - we’ve got players fresh and ready to go on a Tuesday and on a Saturday so we’ve made four changes because we felt we needed it. 

"The changes (substitutes) were ready at 1-0, I thought they were positive and I think 11 v 11 we would’ve created more chances.

"But when you’re 2-0 down and you're down to 10 men which ironically, we kept the ball quite well for periods when we had 10 men, but you’re always going to have an uphill battle and then to concede in the 90th minute as we did is unacceptable."

On not creating as many chances tonight as we did against Leyton Orient and Charlton: 

“We didn’t make the correct decisions as often as we have done in the previous two games. 

“You can’t get away from the fact we have conceded three goals tonight. 

“We have had a couple of efforts on goal but from that perspective, it wasn’t good enough. 

“What needs to change now for the group of the players and the team that’s selected is they need to be positive going into a massive game at home to Northampton on Saturday.” 

On Town having now played 10 League One games this season: 

“It’s always going to be a big test but when you have to accept when you take a head coach role or managers role there is going to be pressure. 

“There will always be pressure associated with every team and every coach and every manager. That is part and parcel of the job. 

“My job now is to prepare the players – along with the staff – for Saturday. 

“Ultimately, while we reflect on the game tonight we can’t do anything about the result. The only thing we can do now is react in the best way possible. 

“That is making sure the players put in a performance at home on Saturday in what is going to be another really tough game. 

“But as stands right now I am really angry because that (performance) is not a reflection of the type of players we have got.  

“That is what is really disappointing me.  

“My job now is to decipher all of that, take what we can out of the performance and pick a team that is ready and raring to go to win a game of football on Saturday.” 

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