|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur U21|
Tuesday, 3rd September 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Taylor: A Fantastic Exercise
Tuesday, 3rd Sep 2019 22:53
Assistant manager Stuart Taylor felt Town’s 2-1 Leasing.com Trophy victory over Tottenham’s U21s was a “fantastic exercise”, boss Paul Lambert having made nine changes from the team which beat Shrewsbury 3-0 in League One at the weekend.
Jordan Roberts scored both goals from Armando Dobra assists as the young Town team came from being a goal down to claim their first ever win in the competition.
“It was really good,” Taylor said. “Tottenham looked to go and play, they’re one of the top academies so it was a great exercise for us to go and play our younger players and also to go and play lads that are coming back from injury, like Nolo [Jon Nolan] and Emyr Huws and to get Willo [keeper Will Norris] to go and get game time as well.
“It was a fantastic exercise, we got what we wanted out of it, which was to give them game time, get the young kids game time and for Tyreece [Simpson] to come off the bench and show what he’s got.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give credit to the academy and bring up the players from the academy. They’re good enough, that’s why they’re playing and it was a great opportunity for us to do it, it was a great exercise and it was also great to go and get the win.”
Regarding Spurs taking a ninth-minute lead, Taylor added: “That happens in football, sometimes when you’re on the front foot and looking to be creative, you forget about closing the back door as well. And all it was was a simple mistake of not matching a runner.
“But they responded really, really well and probably it was a good thing for us because we had so much of the ball, it was a test, a reaction for the lads to see how they would deal with it, and they were fantastic and they dealt with it in the right manner and the responded really, really well.”
Taylor was pleased for Roberts, who hadn’t previously scored a goal for the Blues having signed in the summer of 2018 after leaving Crawley.
“That’s the thing about Jordan, he puts in that much effort that he always finds himself there or thereabouts to go and get chances,” he said.
“He did have a few chances in the first half but I think he was always stretching for a couple of them.
“He took his two goals really, really well, the second one especially, but massive, massive credit goes to Dobs for the effort that he put in and the desire that he showed to turn those chances and be creative. And it was great to see Robbo getting on the end of it for the two goals.”
The assistant boss says the 25-year-old is firmly in the first-team picture, despite being left out of the last two League One 18s.
“Yes, there’s a lot of competition now,” he continued. “The manager’s managed to get a couple of players in in the last couple of weeks and there’s competition for places now and Jordan, we can’t turn anybody down, we can’t put anybody away especially when they’ve got qualities liker Jordan, they can come on and be the threat that he is.
“With that presence he gives us a different dimension to how we want to go and play and you can’t rule anybody out at this club and Jordan’s shown that tonight, he's taken his chance and he’s scored two goals.”
Taylor says Dobra, who created both goals is the type of player who gets fans off their seats: “Definitely, especially when they’re young, it always seems to make it that little bit better as well.
“He came up with us training last season, the manager’s given him an opportunity, taking him away to Germany in pre-season and without a shadow of a doubt he grabbed it with two hands.
“He was very impressive throughout pre-season, hence he was in and about things at the start of the season.
“A game like tonight is an exercise for us, like the Premier League U21s, they use it for the younger kids coming through.
“This club’s no different, we have a great academy, we go and use our players and this tournament is great for us to use the younger players coming through, give them game time to go and play in front of the crowd and experience that atmosphere. And they’ve relished it, every single one of them.”
He added: “He’s bubbly, he’s lively, he’s full of energy, very, very confident and I think you need that certain amount of arrogance as well for a young kid to come in and play the way that he plays and go about his game the way that he does.
“He’s a great kid, he has a great attitude and he’s been brilliant since he’s been up with us.”
Can the Albanian U19 international get himself into the League One team? “He’s in contention with everybody else but you look at the quality of the midfielders that are at the club, the quality of the forwards and the wide players.
“It goes back to that squad, that competition for places and everybody fighting to get in and get a chance.
“The manager spoke before about squad rotation, he’s looking to do that and he’s part of that squad rotation like everybody else.
“He’s come and we always say to players, ‘Get the respect of the dressing room’ and Dobs has done that, without a doubt he’s done that.
“He’s shown that again tonight that he’s more than capable of handling a first-team game and churning out a good performance, I thought he was excellent.”
Taylor was pleased that both Jon Nolan and Emyr Huws - for the first time in a competitive fixture since May 2017 - played the full 90 minutes as they continue their comebacks from injury.
“It’s been massive for Emyr, the amount of time that he’s been out,” he said. “He came back, he’s played games in pre-season, he played at Luton as well, but it’s about building him up just now and it was great that it was his first 90 minutes.
“Everybody's delighted in there for him, all the players are over the moon for him and it’s something that’s a massive achievement for him.
“Also Jon Nolan, he’s been out for a long time, he’s not really featured since towards the end of last season. He’s had a difficult summer and a difficult pre-season but the strength of character he has and the good medical staff that we’ve got, we’ve got him back fit and for him to go and get 90 minutes, he's in that process of getting game time.
“But it was great for him to get 90 minutes tonight, it was really important for him and for us.”
Taylor was pleased that the Blues kept their winning run up despite the youthfulness of the team: “It’s really important that we keep performing, especially at home, winning games and turning this place into a fortress. The supporters have been massive for that.
“I think another good performance, another win is excellent for us and it’s exactly what we strive to achieve.”
Regarding Simpson, 17, he added: “He’s done excellently. We always speak closely with everybody at the academy and his was a name which kept coming through, along with young [left-back] Tommy Smith, throughout pre-season.
“We’ve brought Tommy up, he’s been involved in training and Tyreece has come up as well and this was his opportunity to go and get a chance tonight.
“Again, I thought he did excellently, he was full of energy, showed his presence, held the ball up well and he was a threat, so it was fantastic that he got that opportunity and it was great that he took it.”
Taylor says Josh Emmanuel’s departure for Bolton yesterday was a move which suited all parties.
“It’s one of those ones where we’ll look at what we’ve got and if we feel somebody’s not going to be playing, it’s best for them to move on for their career and Josh felt the same as well and we wish him all the best,” he said.
“He’ll do well, he’s a good player and he’s the right type, he’s the right attitude, good personality, a good character, so he’ll do well and he’ll have a good career.”
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