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READ | Taylor's pre-Norwich City press highlights

4 November 2022

Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Norwich City press highlights

4 November 2022

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Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor spoke to iFollow Millers on Friday afternoon as he once again prepared his side for battle in the Sky Bet Championship, this time talking ahead of the hosting of Norwich City.

There was plenty to discuss after an excellent performance at Turf Moor against league-leaders Burnley on Wednesday night, with positives coming in the form of a goalscoring return for Chiedozie Ogbene and the decision to play Ben Wiles higher up the pitch also proving dividends.

Also on the agenda was whether Taylor will look to harness the 'underdog' tag and the latest team news ahead of the visit of the Canaries.

You can read the highlights below and watch all of the video content, HERE.


Taylor on Burnley performance...

"We're disappointed not to have won the game, let alone not get a point.

"We deserved something for that performance and a reward for the efforts of the players. They put everything into it and performed fantastically well.

"So many things on that night went against us and ultimately it proved too much in terms of the scoreline, but the real positives were that we went toe-to-toe with currently the best team in the league and more than matched them for long parts of that game of football.

"We'll have to do the same again on Saturday."


Taylor on the players taking confidence from an excellent performance at Turf Moor...

"There's no bigger shot of confidence and no bigger boost than that.

"This group of players should be three points better off than they are now, in terms of the rewards from the last couple of games.

"We performed fantastically well [at Burnley] but sometimes when there is no expectation it is easy to perform well because there is no pressure on it.

"You have to back it with consistency regardless of the opposition."



Taylor on whether he likes to use the 'underdog' tag as a motivational tool, or whether it is more about making his players believe that they belong at the level...

"We are on a level playing field in terms of the will and desire.

"Probably defensively, we are as good as anyone in the league, but sometimes we have to be.

"I want to keep encouraging them to use the ball better than we have done previously, still in attacking phases we have created chances in our recent games - barring the Cardiff game - you look at Coventry where we scored two and created chances and Burnley where we did the same.

"Our use of the ball is improving and we're continuing to ask them to do more with it and to add more quality and more moments of execution, just to offset the balance of what games always feel like for Rotherham - where, more often than not we're having to defend more than we attack.

"I believe that we can compete and the players need to believe that they can compete. I think they generally do. I think what's difficult is when it is a constant challenge. 

"It is challenge after challenge and these are difficult ones. They're ones that this group of players haven't faced consistently and previously in their careers, but they're performing and they're performing well.

"We'll have our ups and downs and ultimately we're judged on results which is why it hurts a bit at the moment, but we've been so positive with them in terms of some of those performances."


Taylor on tweaking the shape away from home and how he has been pleased with the way in which the players have adapted to it...

"Tactically I felt we were where we needed to be on Wednesday.

"It's funny because sometimes you set up a team in a certain way and it's obvious that it strengthens your hand in the way that the team functions.

"Sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes the players don't quite understand it, certainly in terms of such a small amount of preparation time."


Taylor on trying to use Ben Wiles further up the pitch - which helped in him getting a goal at Turf Moor...

"I don't want Ben's energy to be constantly in a defensive capacity.

"He is one of our best attacking players and if he is going here, there and everywhere in the defensive moments of the game, then it takes all his energy away in an attacking sense.

"I showed the team a clip from Saturday where he was in the right-back slot blocking a cross in a defensive phase and then defending the back post 20 seconds later. He'll do it, but in terms of how we're going to hurt opposition teams, we just felt we needed to free him up a little bit."



Taylor on Chiedozie Ogbene's return - and goal - providing his side with a boost...

"He was. I would have loved to have seen that continue with 11 men on the pitch.

"He would have had more service and not as deep. Unfortunately we had to drop him one back to start with when Cohen got sent off and when Brooke came off, we had to put him at wing-back.

"When a team is high like Burnley were for the majority of the game, it means there is space, and there is no better player at this football club in terms of running into the space and getting centre halves running backwards."


Taylor on team news and the walking wounded...

"They were tired, physically and mentally. 

"Quickly you brush yourself down, put that to one side and concentrate on the performance.

"They have no time to dwell on the result on Wednesday night.

"We know we're a little bit low on numbers with Cohen's suspension kicking in straight away. We look like we're without Jamie [McCart] and Shane [Ferguson] and Tolaji Bola.

"Then we have some question marks on several other players.

"Cam Humphreys is having an injection in a back complaint and there are some in certain age or physical brackets - like Brooke who was cramping up or at the end like Hally and Lee -  where we are just assessing who is ready and available to play."



Taylor on looking for 'more of the same' in another clash with a high-flying side, this time on home soil...

"That's exactly it.

"We need more of the same and have to take the confidence on the back of the performance on Wednesday into this weekend.

"We know we'll have to freshen up certain positions due to injuries and suspensions, but also fatigue levels.

"Every player is getting their opportunity at the moment and a chance to showcase what they're all about.

"We need everyone to keep contributing. We need the same again in a home performance.

"Home comforts are something that we've not had for a little while, but it will be great to get in front of our fans and we'll be aiming for an energetic performance - which might be difficult at times and we'll need a bit of help from the crowd."

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