Rotherham United Manager Matt Taylor spoke to the local media ahead of Saturday’s clash with Hull City at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The Millers will welcome the Tigers for a Sky Bet Championship affair, looking for their third successive victory after picking up maximum points against Huddersfield Town and Stoke City.
You can read highlights from the interview below, with video content to appear here on iFollow Millers shortly.
Taylor on Grant Hall’s fitness…
“He looks okay. He got a whack on it on Saturday during the game and then played on Tuesday as well.
“Sometimes when there is a severe injury, it can just enhance a fluid in that area, so it felt a little tight.
“It was in a position where he didn’t want to risk and neither did we. We could have kept him on but I think the sensible thing to do was to introduce Woody.
“He looks like he’ll be fine going into the weekend.”
Taylor on team news…
“We have no fresh concerns. Peter Kioso has picked up an ankle injury, which is a shame, so he will be doing bit-part training tomorrow. I don’t think he will be involved at the weekend.
“Tolaji Bola trained for the first time live, so he’s going to take a bit of time to get up to speed. Chieo’s second scan was unfortunately not great news.
“We’re going to miss him for a couple of weeks. Jamie Lindsay is training fully now off the back of that facial injury, which has healed up as best as we could’ve expected, which is a bonus because his face feels a lot more normal, so he’s on the right track.
“The squad looks in a good place going into the weekend, as always it is about how they respond to the rigours of the game.
“It was some effort on Tuesday, so we’re going to have to see how they get through it.”
Taylor on midweek win at Stoke…
“It is important we talk about the first half, we started the game really well and got the rewards for it.
“As much as our headlines will be about our goalkeeper and our defensive resilience throughout that game, we move the ball quite well.
“It broke down in the final action, but we got into some positions, especially in the first half. In the second half it was more backs against the wall and we had the ‘tin hats’ on and we certainly got the recognition off the back of it.”
Taylor on Viktor Johansson…
“From what I’ve seen, his shot-stopping is unbelievable for the level and he has great power in his movement.
“We want more from him in terms of crosses and dominating his box, because he’s not the biggest.
“He’s still young, though, and he hasn’t played hundreds and hundreds of games, so there is still bandwidth there for him to improve even further.
“Viktor has been ever-present in the league this season. From what I understand in terms of Josh Vickers’ ability, we essentially have two ‘number ones.’
“There’s great strength in that department, but as always you want to nail down your first choice and give them the run of games that they need and Viktor, so far this season, has done that. Consistently he has been a steady performer so far.”
Taylor on Hakeem Odoffin…
“He earned that opportunity, partly with his attitude in training but also how he played in the game against Huddersfield.
“You’ll hear me say it all the time, football is all about balance and he’s a slightly different profile to what I’ve seen we’ve got in the middle of the park.
“Haks does something slightly different and there are going to be times moving forward where we will use him.
“I feel like he had a really good impact on Tuesday and contributed to that middle of the pitch.
“We’re still trying to get him up to speed, because he just hasn’t featured this season and hardly featured the last.
“He’s someone we want to utilise going forward and we’re pleased he got through the game unscathed.
“He can only get better and we’ll have to use the balance and the personnel of the squad at different times throughout the campaign.”
Taylor on options in the squad…
“We’re always looking to add options because we might change shape at some stage this season. You always have to be flexible and sometimes, if you changed shape to a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2, you want legs on the outside of the pitch and output in relations to those positions.
“We’re looking for a number of ways to competitive, away from home especially. Our home systems, principles and structures probably won’t change much, but it was apparent we had to try something different on the road.
“A manager needs constant options and the Haks one was an option we had on Tuesday. We have to try these different positional displays and how to strengthen each area of that pitch.
“We want more options in attacking sense and out wide, we want balance all over. It is always going to be a constant process of working towards something.”
Taylor on the Championship…
“It is an incredible division. We just have to concentrate on what is next, as much as we enjoyed the two previous results, our focus swiftly shifted to Hull City on Saturday.
“It just never stops and every opponent adds a new challenge. We haven’t got the biggest squad in the world.
“The next few weeks will really test us and we hope to go into the World Cup break in a strong position.”
Taylor on home form…
“On the back of Tuesday, we have to have confidence in our home form as well. This group of players have to be ready to contribute to a certain level of performance.
“In any league your home form is what you’re judged on. It is your biggest following and where everyone has come to see you play.
“Away from home we have to try and pick up points, now we’re looking forward to the games coming up, but first things first, another big home game that we’re all looking forward to.”
Taylor on Hull City…
“We watched them last night and have watched their last few games. It has been a difficult run of games for them, barring the result they picked up last night.
“Generally, their principles and shape hasn’t changed too much, so we have an idea of what to expect this weekend.”
Taylor on how the weather has had an impact on training…
“When we got to the training ground, the pitches were okay, but once we got out onto the grass to train they were under water.
“It was pretty apparent very quickly that it was going to be a bit-part session. Some things you just can’t control and the weather in the last 12 or so hours has been pretty brutal.”
Taylor on the upcoming Prostate United challenge…
“We’ll get involved in some capacity, I’d be lying if I said I could commit to a 10k run every single day!
"The time restraints of being a manager and a new dad mean I don’t have much time to be going here there and everywhere.
“As everyone does at this football club, we’ll do our bit. It is such a great charity and it’s fantastic to see our staff as always, stepping up.”