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Interviews

Pre Leyton Orient | Matt Taylor

21 September 2023

Interviews

Pre Leyton Orient | Matt Taylor

21 September 2023

Head coach Matt Taylor met with the local press to preview our game at Leyton Orient.

Town travel to Brisbane Road on Saturday looking to get back to winning ways in League One.

On Tuesday night, we secured a penalty shoot-out victory over Brighton in the EFL Trophy - with midfielders Carl Winchester and Taylor Perry missing that game after they both picked up minor injuries.

Speaking to the assembled media, Matt gave an update on their fitness. And the boss also talked about what the team has been working on in training to ensure they create more chances and score more goals.

On preparations for Leyton Orient: 

“It was a good session today. All the players are healthy, all the players were on the pitch. 

“It was a session that had a lot of detail, what we have to be careful of is we have got players who are two days post-game. 

“We also have some that aren’t so it was a split group at the end.

"But the players all got what they needed, we fed in all the information they need for Saturday and we’ll go over that again tomorrow.” 

On Taylor Perry and Carl Winchester: 

“Taylor Perry and Carl Winchester both trained today but didn’t do all of the session. We will have to look at that tomorrow. 

“That will be a conversation between the football staff and medical staff. We’re not sure yet if either of them are fully fit. 

“The one thing that is fortunate is that we do have lots of quality in that area of the pitch. 

“But if they are fit that will be a positive boost to the squad.” 

On what we’ve been working on in training: 

“We are putting the ball into areas in training and trying to make sure that we stress the players mentally. 

“We are making the right runs, we are getting the ball into the right areas but we are not finishing it off. 

“Even with the chances you saw – and the saves the goalkeeper made - on Tuesday.  

“We are getting opportunities. Of course, we want to up our number of opportunities. 

“Are we doing anything different? Yes. The players are being stressed differently. However, I think it’s important we continue to do that within the structure. 

“And I must say this, it’s not just about the strikers, it’s about the players when they go up for set-plays. It’s about if we can shoot more in and around the box? Can we take more risks? 

“When that one does fall – and it will do – when that first goal goes in, I’m sure you will see - which is natural - a release and relief of pressure because we haven’t scored enough goals. 

“We are fully aware of that. We need to be more creative in and around the final third. 

“But flip that on its head. We have been excellent out of possession for the majority of the games. 

“There are a few metrics that we look at and we are really, really, good out of possession. 

“That is a positive, but we need to get better in possession in the final third and make better decisions. 

“Whether that’s an opportunity to cross and we are shooting, whether that is a shot when we should be passing. 

“All of those things have to be taken into context. And it’s the players who have to take responsibility for that on the pitch because they are the lucky ones who get to go out and wear the shirt. 

“We have a lot of players that are desperate to succeed. When we get those opportunities, which we will do on Saturday, we need to be ruthless and put them in the back of the net.” 

On whether that first goal will lead to more: 

“I have been involved in this game for a long time. I played for over 20 years and I have been on the coaching side now for four. 

“I understand how it feels when you get a build-up of pressure that is what has happened. 

“We hit the post again On Tuesday. Kieron (Phillips) has a shot blocked on the line. Tom (Bayliss) - the goalkeeper makes a wonderful save, Dan Udoh can’t make that one-vs-one count like he did at Fleetwood. 

“As soon as that first one goes in the players will relax. 

“It’s for us as coaches and for me as the head coach removing that pressure from the players, putting them in the areas they need to be in and then they need to go and exploit the opportunities we get. 

“There is always a concern when you are not scoring goals. But the one thing I have to touch on is how good we have been without the ball. 

“The structure is there. But, of course, we need to start scoring goals.” 

On Leyton Orient: 

“They are a good football team, I worked with their manager (Richie Wellens) – he was a player-coach at Swindon so I know the type of football he wants to play. 

“They are open, expansive. They were excellent last season. This season I expect them to be a good team in League One. 

“It will be a tough game for us. It will be one where we face different challenges to those we faced against Bristol Rovers and Brighton. 

“But do I believe the players are in the right mindset to put in a performance? 100% I do. 

“It’s about making sure we give the best account of ourselves. We are away from home, it’s an overnight trip and it’s a time for us to get some important classroom work in with the players whilst also understanding that it gives us time for us to bond as a group. 

“It's still a new group You have to take that in context. But I expect the players that are selected – and those that get on the pitch to finish the game – to put in a performance that is worthy of gaining a positive result. 

“You can’t control victory in this sport. It’s really difficult to do that because you are going up against another team who wants to do the same. 

“We will have a different style to Leyton Orient. They play a different formation.  

“We have got to go there, the players know everything they need to about the opposition, we will put the finishing touches to everything tomorrow and it’s up to the players to go and deliver a performance. 

“Our job on Saturday is to be the best version of ourselves we can be, to be compact, to be good out of shape. 

“And then when we get those chances to exploit the opposition we have to take them.

“We will get chances, we will get opportunities and I’ve got full belief in this group of players.” 

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