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Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Bristol City press highlights

8 December 2022

Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Bristol City press highlights

8 December 2022

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Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor was back on iFollow Millers duty ahead his side’s return to Sky Bet Championship action this Saturday.

The Millers will host Bristol City at AESSEAL New York Stadium in their first league outing since the middle of November, due to the World Cup break.

There were plenty of topics to discuss ahead of the clash, including team news, how the break was utilised and a look at the Robins.

You can read highlights from the interview below, with video content to appear on iFollow Millers...

 

Taylor on the World Cup ‘break’…

“I think it has gone really for us. We had a week off to start with for players and staff but then three weeks of good work has taken place since, both at the training ground and in Cyprus as well.

“We’re please with where we are right now and we’re looking forward to this weekend.

“It is important that we get in the rhythm of playing football again and by that I mean match demands that we have in the Championship, starting this weekend.”

 

Taylor on finding the right ‘balance’ during the break…

“As always it is about the balance, the group were at different stages in a physical sense towards the middle of November.

“Some were coming back from injury, some needed top ups and some had played a lot of football and needed a rest.

“We’ve tried to find the right balance in relation to everyone we’ve done in the last three to four weeks and hopefully we’ve done that.

“We’re pleased with where everyone is at physically. Some of the injured lads have come back in better shape and have been exposed to some much needed minutes and a lot of the group are getting more and more use to our way of working.”

 

Taylor on practice games In the build-up to Saturday’s match…

“We had a practice match amongst ourselves out in Cyprus, as well as a behind closed doors game and the reserve match.

“We’ve been taken constant steps towards Saturday’s game with Bristol City and after that the focus will move towards West Brom. That will be a constant focus.

“Regardless of the opposition, this has been our focus for the last month but that’s because it is the next game.

“The club worked really hard last year to get back into the Championship and it is definitely something that we want to maintain.”

Taylor on whether he’s looking forward to the restart…

“It’s strange because you do look forward to a bit of a break, its like the off-season. We can all spend some time away from the rigours of football life with our loved ones, but after that, we start to miss it.

“Then you want to work towards it and build-up to it, so I’m pleased we’ll be back in the swing of things next weekend.

“It has felt watching League One and Two, as well as the World Cup without having an fixtures of our own.

“So its great that we’ve got the Bristol City game coming up. We want to play with our emotions in check but in a positive-state. Saturday gives us the opportunity to do that.”

 

 

Taylor on Chiedozie Ogbene…

“We were lucky that he was the only one on international duty. Obviously, that Is testament to him and his form so far this campaign that he received that call-up to go and play for Ireland.

“He had the second week off after that, but since then we’ve had two weeks with Chieo and that time has been important because he missed a few games due to injury.

“We’ve not had too much time spent working with Chieo and he’s someone that we really want to work with because he has outstanding attributes.

“He made an impact in the games that he did feature in before the break, so it is important that we get him back fit and firing.”

 

Taylor on the break allowing players to come back to fitness…

“We had a few who were playing through the pain barrier for us in the build-up to the break and rightly or wrongly, they often go above and beyond for us.

“I don’t think any professional player ever plays ‘perfect’ in terms of their physical condition, so it was important that we gave them some time to recover.

“Having these players is back is big for the group, not just in terms of options but the quality of training as well.”

 

Taylor on illness in the camp…

“It’s that time of year, chest infections and other things are flying around. It is important that when players are ill, they don’t come into the building and infect the rest of the group.

“But also that they recover pretty quickly and hopefully it won’t have taken much out of their system, we’re going to need energy levels this weekend, so we’ll see how they are.”

 

Taylor on Peter Kioso injury…

“We’re hoping to have him back around Christmas, whether that be in a playing or training capacity. That shows the nature of the injury he’s picked up, which is a shame because he’s been unlucky with them.

“We need to ensure that when he comes back, he remains available. No matter what happens at the end of the season, we want him to have played a big part, because he’s an important player for us.”

 

Taylor on looking ahead to January…

“Planning has always been in place, ever since we walked through the door. As the weeks have gone by, it has become more clear on the targets we need to add and what sort of characters and personnel we want.

“As we approach January, our list has been narrowing down. The 1st January will come around really quickly and I don’t want it to become a distraction for players or staff, so we have to prepare for that window.”

 

 

Taylor on contract offers…

“We’ve got offers on the table for some players already at the club and we’re hoping for positive news which will encourage the players, supporters and us as staff.

“That’s all we can do as a football club. Plan, prepare and put our best offers on the table and see where that takes us.

“You don’t want that lingering into the window, you want clarity, but that is also a sign that some players have been performing really well at this level.

“You want them to be in demand, if they aren’t you’re doing something wrong.”

 

Taylor on Bristol City…

“I suppose this has been tricky to prepare for in a sense, because you’re watching games from four weeks ago.

“Similar to ourselves, they may have players back who were previously out, so they could look different to what they did on 12th November.

“Our focus on the last few days has been solely on ourselves, because we can’t pre-empt what the opposition are going to do.

“I’m expecting a good game of football. They have some good players and are a big club for this level.

“I hope It is a good game, I would imagine most matches at our level may feel a little rusty, because it has been a long time since everyone played.”

 

Taylor on getting back to AESSEAL New York Stadium…

“It felt like every game in the build up to the World Cup break was on the road, so it is great to be back playing in front of our fans.

“They’ve backed us so well on the road and thankfully we were able to repay them with some good performances, especially in the final week.

“The fans will be excited, I’m sure they have missed it too. I think Saturday will be a long day for a lot of people, starting with our game before a little respite before the England game in the evening.”


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