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READ | Taylor's pre-Coventry City press highlights

24 October 2022

Club News

READ | Taylor's pre-Coventry City press highlights

24 October 2022

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Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor sat down with iFollow Millers ahead of the Tuesday night trip to face Coventry City in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Millers boss covered a range of topics from learning about his players following defeat at the weekend, Georgie Kelly being amongst the goals again and updates on Ollie Rathbone and Ben Wiles after they were withdrawn at the weekend.

You can read the higlights from the interview below or watch the videos on iFollow Millers shortly HERE.


Taylor on whether he is able to learn more about his side after a defeat...

"To a certain extent. Nobody likes losing games of football. 

"We all had heavy heads on Saturday night and Sunday watching the game back. We weren't good enough to start with and we didn't do the basics of football or stay true to our identity for long enough.

"We ended up chasing the opposition instead of us having them where we wanted them.

"We had no control at any stage in that 90-plus minute game of football, but still found a way of scoring two goals.

"We quickly have to understand why that was and put that to one side, learn from it and then move onto what's next."


Taylor on a good points return, despite the result at the weekend...

"It was a great week for us - but it could have been better, which was the disappointing aspect.

"We put ourselves in a fantastic position to win three games in a week, or even pick up seven points from nine. Six from nine is still a good return, but the disappointing aspect was our performance really.

"We can accept losing games of football but the manner of Saturday's defeat was one which hurt a little bit more than a usual defeat would do.

"We didn't really give ourselves in that game. We'll brush ourselves down and there is a fresh opposition coming around the corner and a fresh challenge that we've got to look forward to."


Taylor on Georgie Kelly scoring again...

"He's impacted games.

"Even the game that he started at Stoke, he impacted that game and he's starting to find a rhythm.

"He's starting to get up to the speed of the game and the feel for the level.

"He did that fantastically well on Saturday and not many of our front boys got the service that they needed throughout the game, but he still got his goal and put himself about and he's getting closer and closer to getting a sustained period of time on that football pitch.

"We'll have to look after his body because he still hasn't done it consistently in his career to date, so we'll support him through that but we're looking forward to seeing how he develops and improves.

"He's certainly been a bit of a talisman and an impact player and we'll be looking for that consistency from the start.

"There has to be a simplicity to his game and we're trying to clean up certain areas.

"I've mentioned previously that there is a 'rawness' to his game but we also need him to understand the tactical detail.

"We're doing all of that with him, but we're doing it with other the players at the football club."


Taylor on Ollie Rathbone and Ben Wiles' conditions after the weekend...

"We'll give them a bit more time. It's difficult for me to comment on both of those players today.

"They've got niggles so they're not injuries as such, but if the niggle starts affecting the performance then it is pointless being on that football pitch.

"Ollie we had to withdraw at half-time and Ben at a later stage in the second half.

"Players aren't going to be 100% fit at this stage of the season unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast at the level.

"We have to utilise the squad and no manager wants to change a team, but the way that this squad is and the team at the moment, we're almost forced into doing that due to the three games a week."


Taylor on Peter Kioso and Tolaji Bola being on the recovery trail...

"Peter has had this ankle complaint now since that reserve game against Huddersfield, which is a real shame because that was his first game back from a different injury. That has set him back longer than we expected.

"He's not trained with the group as of yet, he's doing bits and pieces, passing drills and everything unopposed to look after the ankle.

"He needs another week's worth of training in that environment before we can start building him up.

"'T' is back with us and he trained Thursday for the first time. He did an individual session on Saturday and he's trained again today. Tomorrow will probably be too soon to involve him - he probably needs a couple more days' training under his belt - but he's getting closer and hopefully will be in contention at the weekend."


Taylor on overall squad health...

"In relation to the rest of the squad, bar Chieo - who is not long-term but is a longer term absentee - it is just a case of who is fresh on the back of the weekend."


Taylor on fixture schedule meaning that time on the training ground will now be spent mainly preparing and recovering...

"It pretty much has been since we came into the building, I'm afraid.

"We only had that free week where we had the reserve game.

"It's playing, recovering, playing, recovering. Within that there are players that aren't getting the minutes that they need to keep that sharpness so we do overload them in certain moments throughout the week.

"Trying to keep them mentally and physically fresh is so, so important.

"They'll spend a bit of time on the coach for the upcoming away games which will take its toll but that all plays its part in how we have to keep assessing every single day."


Taylor on whether he enjoys the 'purity' of matchdays - which are coming as thick and fast as they are...

"When you come into a building you want to spend time with a group. The perfect time to take over as a manager is in the off-season, so you get a whole pre-season, a six-week block and friendly games with no pressure.

"We've had no time with this group whatsoever. We're trying to get points and principles across but it's happening in the heat of battle.

"It is difficult, but we're paid to play football and manage teams in terms of football matches and that is the level we're at."


Taylor on whether he has earmarked the World Cup break as a 'checkpoint' in the season...

"Yes, but this group of players 'empty the tank' anyway.

"Some of them empty the tank and we can't refill it quick enough in terms of what is next but that is what we are as a group.

"They're going to give everything, no matter what and we don't want to look too far ahead.

"The schedule was already in place for that four weeks before I came into the football club and that will stay the same.

"It will consist of a week off - for some down time for the players - a week away where we'll train in a better climate and environment than we have in November/December here in Rotherham and then two weeks’ worth of work on the training pitch, in which we'll try to get a couple of friendlies in."


Taylor on facing Coventry City...

"They're the form team, they just haven't played as many games as everyone else.

"Maybe they'll be fresher off the back of that. Maybe we're seeing them pick up points on the back of that mental and physical freshness - which everyone else is fighting against at the moment - but then they've got to catch up those games at some point.

"They look strong in all areas, they have a consistency to their group with a manager that has been there for a long time and they understand what it takes to be successful.

"As always, our focus is on ourselves.

"We want another positive away performance and the confidence that we picked up from last week should take us into it."

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