Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor spoke to local media on Thursday afternoon as he readies his side for battle in the Sky Bet Championship, this time talking ahead of the trip south to face Luton Town.
Following a historical victory against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, a possible hangover was on the agenda, as well as the unpredictable nature of the second tier and what to expect from a difficult trip to Kenilworth Road.
You can read the highlights below...
Taylor on injury news ahead of Luton Town clash…
“There is potential for Conor Washington to play some part if he gets through the next day.
“His scan results were relatively positive - it’s still with the surgeon in relation to what his plan next is over, certainly that four-week period when we’re off and have no league games per say.
“But, in terms of possible symptoms subsiding on the knee and the pains subsiding, he is the only one who’s got a chance.”
Taylor on what to expect from Luton after Jones departure…
“I think they’ll stay true to their identity, certainly what they’ve had this season which is a forward-thinking team – get the ball to their front players relatively early.
“They’re a handful as well, a very physical team.
“Anyone who’s played at Luton’s ground knows full-well how difficult it is playing there. It feels everything is on top of you; the players, the opposition fans, and the whole environment feels a close place to go to.
“We have to play well if we’re going to get anything out of the game.
“In terms of [Jones’ departure], it’s only been announced this morning. I don’t think too much will change in the space of two days – plus, they played on Tuesday just like ourselves so they won’t have had too much training time.”
Taylor on maintaining focus following Sheffield United victory…
“We have to try and back it up, back up another performance and hopefully get the result to back that up.
“Performances have generally been going – certainly what we feel – is the right direction, and it was a big three points on Tuesday night but in terms of a hangover going into the weekend, we can’t have that in our armoury.
“We have to put Tuesday to bed pretty quickly as much as we want to celebrate it. [We need to] put it to bed, understand it, learn from it, and look to better this weekend.
“It’s a really tough test because Luton away is always a really tough fixture anyway, let alone on the back of the run we’ve been on.”
Taylor on the unpredictable nature of the Championship…
“There’s a lot of drama, never a dull moment.
“We’ve not had chance to breathe and to relax and to really asses it in any detail as yet because we’ve always been preparing for what’s next, and the next opposition.
“Within this four week period, we’ll assess the first ten or eleven games.
“We’ll understand what we’ve gone through in that period, but also from the start of the season until now as well to get a better picture of this group of players and what we can achieve in the second half of the season.
“I will say that, generally, the league gets stronger in the second half of the season - there’s a lot of big clubs underperforming at this moment in time and they’ll naturally improve through new managers and new players.
“January is just around the corner, so the ones with the bigger ‘firepower’ in terms of spending more money will obviously strengthen from that point on.
“We have to understand what we are and what makes us successful, and the opposition we’ve played in the last three games – we’re not going to get tougher opposition than that.
“We have to keep on performing to give ourselves a chance.”
Taylor on the timing of the World Cup break from a personal perspective…
“From a personal perspective, certainly the family and taking care of a few bits and pieces and making sure everyone is settled, it has come at a good time.
“We are settled in the area anyway, there’s just been a relentless amount of games – that’s been the hardest thing.
“Not so much time away from the family, but just the amount of games where you’re not settled within that because you’re literally recovering, learning, preparing – that is just a continuous cycle of which we’ve done three times a week for the last ‘X’ amount of time.
“The next four weeks is going to be big, first and foremost for the players’ minds – a bit of a reset period for them – and then we have to try and get towards Bristol City with a stronger squad than we have right now.
“This squad has shown it can compete, and if we look to strengthen in the right areas and get the injured bodies back, then we will certainly be a stronger unit for it.”