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READ | Taylor's pre-Stoke City press highlights

23 December 2022

Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Stoke City press highlights

23 December 2022

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Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of his side’s Boxing Day clash with Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Millers welcome the Potters to AESSEAL New York Stadium looking to bounce back from successive defeats, with the manager delivering his team news ahead of the clash.

Other topics included the form of Viktor Johansson and the goalkeeping department as a whole, as well as his assessment of Monday’s opponents.


Taylor on addressing uncharacteristic errors…

“We’ve looked at them and assessed them but we’ve not focused on them in terms of our training detail.

“We’ve tried to take away a bit of the thought process which is involved in decision-making and getting back to their rhythm. We want them to react on instinct.

“We want to frame them up both mentally and physically. Being back out on the grass has helped with that.

“Even with the weather today, it has meant a quick and slicker surface to play off and more game-type practices. It has been a good week on the training ground.”


Taylor on the players having high standards for themselves…

“We’re allowed to lose games of football and we know that West Brom are a good football team. We just didn’t feel like we gave ourselves a good chance of competing.

“People don’t want to make mistakes, they want to perform to the highest of their abilities, whether that be players or staff.

“We didn’t do enough on that occasion but we have to understand that this team won’t win every game of football.

“With that said, we need to give ourselves more of a chance than we did on Saturday and that means we have to get back to doing what we have done so well as a team.

“That is a hard-working team. A team that is constantly on the move and constantly sprinting to try and compete for every single ball.

“That also includes not over-thinking their own style of play. We want to get them back to a few basic fundamentals.”



Taylor on taking on Stoke City…

“The Christmas period is a ‘different’ time for everyone involved in football, in terms of what we do before and on Boxing Day.

“All our focus is on the main aspect of it, which is the game against Stoke City on Boxing Day. I’m sure there will be players, staff and fans there with family members, so it will feel a little bit more like a family occasion.

“We know Stoke will be really well supported and it is important that we’re well backed by our own fans as we always are.

“We’ve got to give them something to get on their seats and positive about. We’ll be looking for a really positive performance.”

Taylor on the previous meeting with the Potters…

“We want the same result, how we get there, is what we want differently. Everyone who was there will have seen we started really well but after that, it was backs against the wall.

“Our goalkeeper made save after save and there were some chances missed by the opposition. It was a fantastic result, but we want to be on the front foot.

“It is easier said than done, because the opposition have some excellent players, but we’re at home and we want to get the fans behind us by getting the ball into attacking positions.”



Taylor on Viktor Johansson’s displays…

“Viktor has been our standout player this season. As a manager, you want to get to the stage where your goalkeeper is not your best player, because he doesn’t have too much to do.

“In the last couple of games, he hasn’t had as many shots to save, it has been more crosses to deal with.

“He’ll be wanting to improve his performance on the last couple of games as well. He’s hit some incredible levels this season and he’s a player we’ve enjoyed working with and someone we hope to continue to work with.”


Taylor on the goalkeeping department…

“Scott has been here for over a month now and his feedback has matched up with Billy Mercer’s in terms of our goalkeeping department.

“They are excellent, all of them. Their personality on the training ground is excellent. There is no arrogance or ego.

“There’s self-belief there that all goalkeepers need and we’ve loved working with them. Hopefully, they’ve settled into Scott’s ways of working, just as they

did with Billy.

Even in uncertain times in terms of change, the goalkeeping department has been excellent.”


Taylor on whether the illness in the camp from recent weeks has subsided…

“Not to the extent we’d have wanted. The first half of the week, there were three players off with illness, one of those was involved in the starting XI at the weekend.

“Another couple more have come down with it, but that is the time of year. It has gone through the squad and I don’t think there are many left who haven’t been affected.

“Our main concern is the state they come back in, in terms of how they are physically and some players need more time to recover than others.”


Taylor on Georgie Kelly’s injury…

“He has a tear in his calf, which is a really shame because he’s just come back from his hamstring injury.

“He’ll be out for around four to six weeks and fingers crossed we’ll have him back sooner rather than later.”


Taylor on Grant Hall…

“He was closer to a start, but unfortunately, he’s had to drop out with a fresh injury. It’s a shame, because we seem to be getting a lot of bad luck of late.

“In terms of the way the squad is made up, we need to start getting players fit and keeping them fit. We have players at different stages of their careers and sometimes the rigours of training and playing can take their toll.”

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