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READ | Taylor's pre-Huddersfield Town press highlights

28 December 2022

Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Huddersfield Town press highlights

28 December 2022

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Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor spoke to iFollow Millers ahead of his side’s Yorkshire derby with Huddersfield Town in the Sky Bet Championship on Thursday.

The Millers will make the trip to take on the Terriers backed by a healthy away following, having sold out their allocation for the game.

The manager had to deliver some bad news, having confirmed the extent of the injury Ben Wiles sustained against Stoke City.

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

 

Taylor on Stoke City draw…

“In general, as a team we thought we were in the right place on that football pitch against a team who have some outstanding players for the level.

“We felt slightly disappointed that we didn’t take all three points, having led twice and conceding so late on.

“We limited them to fleeting sights at goal, our keeper still had some saves to make and he did have a good game but in general, I felt we kept them where we wanted them in terms of their delivery points.

“It still comes down to moments in certain situations, where they still have particular threats and when we perform as we did, we want to take more points from that game.”

 

Taylor on Tom Eaves’ display…

“We wanted someone to give us a bit of a platform at the top end of the pitch, especially with the experience that they had at the back with the likes of Harry Souttar and Phil Jagielka in the backline for them.

“We wanted to almost match their physicality. Tom has good legs and improved as the game went on.

“You almost want your centre forward to make his mark on the game in the right way and he was almost on borrowed time when he picked up an early booking, hence the substitution.

“Conor still offered us something when he came on and overall, we were pleased with Tom’s display.

“I think the goals will come for Tom, of course it is up to him to get in the right positions to score them, but the team also need to make sure they get the ball in the right areas for him.

“I think his overall performance on Boxing Day was pretty good. He didn’t get many openings or sights of goals, so we need to ensure we’re playing to his strengths as much as he is playing to ours.”

“He probably needs a bit of a run in the team as well. We’ll have some confidence from his performance against Stoke and hopefully he can start to build on that.”

 

Taylor on the performance of his strikers against Stoke…

“We want our players at the top end of the pitch. Of course, Chieo and Tom have done really well and Conor managed to get himself a goal, too.

“I was pleased with what the front line gave us, having to switch up after half an hour following Ben Wiles’ injury wasn’t ideal, but the team gave us a lot.

“They all have to keep pushing each other, we want to have two strikers on the pitch and we look to have a bit of a platform to build on in terms of a partnership.”

 

Taylor on Ben Wiles injury…

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good and we sensed that at the time when he landed awkwardly and the pain he was in afterwards.

“He’s had a scan and he’ll see a specialist next week, but the unfortunate fact of that is that we’ll expect him to have surgery and be missing for the majority of the season.

“It’s a big blow, but we need to think about Ben first and foremost, it will be the first bad injury he’s had in his career and he’s never been through this before.

“It’s a real shame, because we felt we were getting him back to speed. He’d been amongst the goals against Burnely and Sheffield United and he was carrying a goal threat.

“He gives us something different, we can utilise him a little higher and he breaks the lines. We can’t hide the fact that he’s going to be a big miss but our immediate thought is supporting Ben through the next 3-6 months.

 

Taylor on Cohen Bramall’s withdrawal against the Potters…

“He felt his hamstring tightening up and for someone who moves like Cohen to feel a tight hamstring, is a bit of a worry.

“He’d been feeling a little under the weather heading into the game, so we got him as far through the game as we could.

“Hopefully it was a case of fatigue due to the time out ill, but we’ll know more tomorrow about his availability.”

 

Taylor on the extent of Josh Vickers’ injury…

“We’ll find out more at the weekend, the physios wanted to give him seven to 10 days to assess the injury.

“Right now, we have two options, the first being he has an injection or the more likely one is unfortunately surgery.”

 

Taylor on Peter Kioso…

“He’s got a chance of starting. We’ve not go the luxury of getting him any more game time under his belt in terms of a reserve game or training.

“We want to try and get him up to speed pretty quickly, but we’ll need to trust the work that he’s been doing in the gym.

“We know the difference he’ll make to this group of players, so we’re really keen to get him on the pitch, but we need to keep him fit when we get him there.”

 

Taylor on the current injury problems…

“It’s bad for us in terms of squad size, you speak to other managers and they have the same problems.

“But when you’re missing five or six players with our squad size, it does have an impact, especially with the quality of players we currently have missing.

“We can’t do anything about it and I’m not just looking forward to the players we have out coming to full fitness.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing whether we can strengthen the squad. I’m really optimistic about what we can still achieve this season and that involves us getting the right bodies on the pitch and keeping them there.

“The availability of good players is huge, as it is for all clubs but especially our own, we need our value to be on that football pitch and not elsewhere.”

 

Taylor on whether injuries in the team will hand chances for others…

“Jamie Lindsay was a bit unlucky not to start the game on Boxing Day, but he was quickly on the pitch and having to get back up to speed.

“His performances have largely been solid, we always want more from everyone at the football club and Jamie is no different.

“Haks comes back into the fold now as well. We want to strengthen that area as we do a few others, but Haks and Jamie are players we trust.”

 

Taylor on the January window…

“In terms of immediately, our targets haven’t changed, we’re still focused on the profiles and positions we were recently.

“How Georgie Kelly and Grant Hall are towards the end of the month will give us an idea of what we may or may not need in terms of those positions.

“Ben Wiles is the only one at the moment in relation to long-term injury news. If Josh is out for a lengthy period as well, we’ll have to go out and get a goalkeeper, too.

“That isn’t what we were planning for, but that is the nature of the beast. We’re really positive about what we can achieve in January and we’re constantly finding out more about who is available.”

 

Taylor on Huddersfield…

“You can give it any title you want, but any game we play in the Championship is worth more than just the points on offer.

“It’s a big game of football in terms of where we both are in the league and where we are in terms of geographical location.

“It will be a well-supported game, they had a comeback win against Preston and we were pleased with our own performance. We’re expecting it to be a good game.

“It was my third game when we played them and that feels a long time ago, we got a good performance on that day and we’ll be hoping to do that again on Thursday.”


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