Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor was on hand to speak to iFollow Millers ahead of his side’s midweek trip to face Stoke City.
The Millers head to bet365 Stadium off the back of their first win under the new boss, who was keen to ensure his players took the plaudits for a strong showing against the Terriers.
The manager discussed a number of topics, including Chiedozie Ogbene’s injury, the importance of keeping the squad fresh for a hectic schedule and taking on the Potters.
You can read highlights from the interview below, with video content available HERE on iFollow Millers.
Taylor on his first win in charge…
“I was pleased the players got a reward for a performance that lasted for 90 minutes of the game. We weren’t spectacular but we were where we needed to be.
“It was exactly what we’ve been looking for since we arrived, it was only our third game, but a big three points, that puts us in a good position going into tomorrow’s game.
“We’re trying to add quality to our build-up play, which we have to keep building towards. The bedrock of everything we do has to be hard work.
“We need to be quick to the ball and be ultra-competitive, especially at home. That was the biggest factor in our win on Saturday, we made it uncomfortable for Huddersfield and threw them off their game.
“We were pleased with the mainstay of our performance and we’re still trying to improve some aspects as we go on.
“As you saw though, some quality moments can come from set pieces.”
Taylor on how his side controlled the second half against Huddersfield…
“I thought we were solid in the second half and didn’t open up ourselves on the counter attack. We spoke about that at half time and it was an obvious threat of theirs, down that righthand channel.
“The second half performance was a more controlled affair, we didn’t create too much ourselves but even Georgie’s goal was off the back of some sustained pressure.”
Taylor on his strikers scoring goals…
“Just as managers are judged on winning games, strikers are judged on scoring goals and Conor’s finish was a quality finish.
“We speak about moments of quality and the pass from Dan and the way he struck it was just that, opening his body up and hitting the corner of the net, it was a fantastic moment for him.
“It was a fantastic moment for Georgie and he took it really well. Woody at the back post put his body on the line for us, so there is starting to be a little pattern for us in terms of how we’re looking to create and hopefully that will continue moving forward.”
Taylor on Tom Eaves…
“We have to understand the balance of play and what did for that first hour. Tom and Conor worked their socks off for us.
“We have to share out that workload at the top of the pitch and I was really pleased with the contribution of all our centre forwards on Saturday, obviously some will get more credit than others for their goals, but as I said, I was really pleased.
“We’re still trying to get Tom fully up to speed, he’ll only get better from this point going forward and it is up to myself, the fans and the team to keep on supporting him going forward and we’ll get the rewards off the back of it.”
Taylor on competition for places…
“We want players to consistently perform well, like on Saturday. We were pleased with certain aspects of the Millwall performance and the first half of the game against Blackburn.
“It was a disjointed week in terms of the unexpected injuries we picked up, so it was important that the squad contributes and we certainly did that from the bench this weekend.
“We’ll be looking to do that again going into Tuesday, we saw with the Blackburn game the players couldn’t quite put in the levels they had been doing because it was a three game week and we’ve got that for the next six weeks until the World Cup.
“We’re going to need our squad.”
Taylor on Chiedozie Ogbene…
“He’s got his secondary scan today. I’m hoping to go into the physios at some point today and get good news.
“As tomorrow night gets closer and closer, it is unrealistic for him to play a part anyway, but if the results are positive we can hopefully look towards the weekend, but we don’t know yet.”
Taylor on Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Peter Kioso
“Brooke came back into training today, so hopefully he can come back into the fold. That was a pleasing aspect of the win on Saturday, we didn’t have to risk him.”
“Peter Kioso is doing a bit of a session today. It is a shame because he was coming back from a different injury in the reserve game but ended up taking a whack to his ankle.
“Jamie Lindsay is just counting down the days. I think it is Thursday where he can come back into ‘opposed work.’
“We’ll have to protect him for a certain amount of time whilst it heals.
“Only Lee [Peltier] picked up a little bit of something in terms of his hamstring on Saturday and he will need to be assessed tomorrow.”
Taylor on Stoke…
“You always need to be fresh when you go to Stoke. We need energy, it always feels like a big pitch when you go to Stoke, it is a big club, with big expectations.
“We need freshness, we need life and that is something we are looking for tomorrow night. We have to use the ball well as well but the squad will be our marker going forward, especially with how many games we’re playing from now.
“We have players in the squad that just can’t play three times in a week and like I spoke about recently, we have players at different ends of the spectrum. We have to utilise our squad.”
Taylor on the squad…
“We had the three league games, but that reserve game was so important as well, in terms of getting eyes on players that we haven’t seen.
“So we’re four games in, in terms of seeing the players and how they perform, but we’re looking for a consistent type of performance.
“Winning the game against Huddersfield in the reserves was a good confidence boost and with Gerogie getting his goal too, he took that form into the weekend.
“We’re going to need everyone to remain at their peak for as long as we can up until that international break.”
Taylor on whether the victory at the weekend will give the team a confidence boost…
“I think the group are lively no matter what and that is a pleasing factor. We’ve spoke about our identity and I think that is down to the characters that we have in the squad.
“The biggest positive for myself was the feeling around the stadium, it generated a fantastic atmosphere and I think that we fed off that.
“The fans can play a big part in that, our home form has been strong of late and we want to continue that but we also want to get some wins away from home as well.”