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Pre Cambridge | Matt Taylor

12 October 2023


Pre Cambridge | Matt Taylor

12 October 2023

Matt Taylor previewed our trip to Cambridge as we look to make it back-to-back wins in League One following our victory over Northampton.

A last-minute goal from Dan Udoh saw Town secure all three points against The Cobblers last weekend.

Matt's side will now look to build on that performance at the Abbey Stadium but they travel without Max Mata and Nohan Kenneh who are both on international duty.

Speaking to the assembled media, Matt discussed the mood in the camp following Dan Udoh's late winner last weekend.

The boss also praised Jason Sraha who made his league debut for Town against the Cobblers.

And our head coach also gave a fitness update on Morgan Feeney and Taylor Perry - with both players coming off injured last weekend.

On Morgan Feeney and Taylor Perry:

"Morgan I know will be out for a number of weeks, which is unfortunate. But we do have Joe Anderson coming back into the squad.

"Taylor Perry as it stands is 50/50. He did some light training today so we'll see if we can step him up tomorrow and see if he's available but at the moment we're not sure on that one.

"It's not come at a great time for us because we've lost Nohan as well as Max on international duty.

"Happy as we are for them, it's very disappointing that we're going to be at least three players down from Saturday."

On Nohan and Max going on international duty:

"It is (a big miss) but we were aware we were signing international players and both of them are really good players.

"I'm happy for them that they get to go and represent their respective countries but obviously it hurts because we lose them both for this really difficult game against Cambridge.

"The big thing is that they both go away and enjoy their time.

"Hopefully they will return first of all at full fitness, and secondly having performed well and been part of positive performances for their countries."

On fellow injury absentees Jordan Shipley and Elliott Thorpe:

"They're doing really well as far as I'm led to believe.

"I can't stand here and put a time scale on either of them but what I can say is that it's great to see both of them back on the grass working really hard and doing what they need to be doing in terms of making sure that they're ready as soon as possible.

"I think both of them are on schedule, along with George Nurse.

"Ryan Finnigan has gone back to Southampton (for treatment) because unfortunately for him it looks like he needs a procedure and he'll need an operation. 

"It's another really, really difficult thing for us to take at the moment. It feels like at the moment we're not getting niggles, it seems the injuries we're getting are all freak injuries like Ryan's was."

On Jason Sraha:

"Jason came on for his football league debut for us and I thought he performed very well. 

"Like I previously said,  we've got Joe Anderson back in the squad. Joe's played a lot of football this season, we're strong in terms of that side of defence.

"It's difficult that we've lost Morgan, but what we have is a squad of players who I believe when they're given the opportunity will perform.

"If Jason gets that chance on Saturday I have no qualms that he will go and perform.

"He's a young player. Will he make mistakes? Yes, it's part and parcel of everybody's education.

"He's waited a long time. I've had to leave Jason out of a lot of squads this season which has been really difficult because he's trained exceptionally well, he's given everything.

"Jason's one that's developed since he's been here. He's hungry like all of the players are and if he's given the opportunity to put on a shirt on Saturday, then I'm sure he'll perform really well.

"But I'll touch back to it, Joe is back in the squad after his red card."

On young players waiting for their opportunities:

"It's really difficult because if you speak to players, and having been one myself, you think you're ready here and now.

"Whereas Jason was a player we signed who had a really bad year last year with injury.

“He didn’t play a huge amount of football. 

“But what I have enjoyed about Jason is his attitude towards training. 

“As a player when you are not in the team and you are chomping to get in, it can be difficult. 

“But what you have to do is remain patient. 

“I’ve said this to Jason and to all the young players. You have to remain firm in the belief that what you are doing will get you an opportunity. 

“And if you train well every day, when that opportunity does arise – and it will arise whether that be through injury or poor form – you have got to be ready to take it. 

“That is all the players can do when they are not in the team or are out of the squad, they have to continue to train well. 

“I’m a firm believer that when you sign a contract, you sign a contract to train. You don’t sign a contract to play. 

“Playing is a by-product of how you train on a daily basis and if you deserve to play you will.” 

On the mood in the camp following the win over Northampton: 

“The players have been really good this week. They understand how much it means to everyone. 

“What I liked after the game, particularly when we scored, is the reaction of everyone who is connected with the football club. 

“Whether that be the staff members behind the scenes, the coaching staff, the players on the bench, the staff at the stadium – everybody seemed to celebrate together and I think that shows you how much it means. 

“The mood has been good. The players have worked hard this week. They have had a different week in terms of what training looks like. 

“I’ve been pleased with them. Now what’s important is the team that is picked goes and performs in what will be another difficult game. 

“This will be a tough game against a team who haven’t got the results lately that their performances have deserved.” 

On Cambridge: 

“I went to watch them on Monday night at Burton. 

“I felt their second-half performance was really good. 

“Mark (Bonner) is an experienced manager at this level.  

“He has got some really good players and what I like is they have a real identity. They play their own way, he doesn’t waver for anybody or any team and I respect that. 

“It will be a difficult game for us – without a shadow of a doubt. But what I do know is we have a hungry group of players who are desperate to back up the win over Northampton with another positive result. 

“All we can do is be the best version of ourselves and when we get those opportunities take them - like we did last Saturday. 

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