Taylor: Massively Disappointing Because We Did Enough to Win
Saturday, 4th Jan 2020 18:28
Town assistant boss Stuart Taylor felt it was massively disappointing to exit the Leasing.com Trophy 2-1 to Exeter City at the third round stage believing the Blues did enough to win the tie.
Ex-Town midfielder Lee Martin netted the winner deep in injury time to end the Blues' hopes of a Wembley appearance in the competition.
"I thought they did really well, we played some really good football at times," Taylor said afterwards.
"We asked the lads to be brave. On this sort of surface a lot of teams would have gone back to front and not taken any chances, but we asked them to be brave, to play the style of football that is suitable to them as football players and how we want the club to go and play - get it down and play with intensity.
"I thought we did that, I thought we were creative, we just need to learn our lessons in terms of being a little bit more ruthless in both boxes.
"We created some really good chances but we just didn't make the keeper work enough or the keeper pulled off some good saves.
“And the two late chances they’ve had in each half they’ve got goals from them. It was a real sucker punch, we didn’t see it coming and we didn’t expect it.
“All credit to them, they took the chances and they go through to the next round. Massively disappointing to us because we did enough in the game to win it, but I’m really disappointed.”
Taylor and manager Paul Lambert have both spoken about ruthlessness in both boxes in recent weeks, is the penny not dropping?
“I don’t think it’s a case of the penny not dropping,” he reflected. “I think it takes time to be like that. I think it takes time to work that ruthless streak in them, that’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.
“It’s something we need to be a little bit patient with, they will get there, there’s no doubt about it, they’re a good bunch of lads, they’ve done everything that we’ve asked since they’ve come in. The manager’s put a lot of demands on them in terms of how we want to go and play.
“We’ve changed that style of play and they’ve done great with it, I guess it’s just another thing that we need to keep demanding from them is being ruthless. But they’re trying, there’s no doubt about that.
“But sometimes you need a little bit of luck as well, but we’ll keep working at it and look to add that to our game.”
Exeter made nine changes from the team which won 1-0 at Forest Green Rovers in League Two last week but Taylor dismissed suggestions it was the Grecians’ B team.
“I wouldn’t say it was a B team, but we made a lot of changes as well,” he added. “I know previously in the campaign teams have been fielding reserve teams, U23 teams, U18 teams, I guess we’ve been open to that.
“But we said we were going to field a strong team today, and we did that. They fielded a strong team, albeit they’ve made changes.
“I think they showed in the game in terms of the dominance who was the better side. Not taking anything away from Exeter, we wish them all the very best in the next round, but in terms of [who was] the better side, we’ve created more chances, we had more shots on target, more shots at goal.
“We’ve had more corners, you can look at all the different stats if you want to go down the stats route, but the one, the big final one at the end, they scored more goals on that so they go through.
“But everything else in the game, there are loads of positives to take out of it, there really are. But there’s no hiding from it, we’re disappointed we didn’t go through, we wanted to go through, we said that before the game, but unfortunately sometimes you get hit by a sucker punch.”
Two of the big positives for Town were first starts of the season for Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears.
“Freddie got 60 minutes, I thought he was excellent,” Taylor said. “It was great to see him running around being the type of player we saw last season and hopefully we’ll get him back to flying as he was last season pretty soon.
“Bish came in and I thought he looked as if he hadn’t been away. A lot of the game he was really impressive, kept picking up little pockets and being positive and being aggressive when he was on the ball and being creative.
“I thought he was fantastic, I thought he did really, really well. We got 75 minutes from him which was a massive bonus. All credit to him and the medical team and big Jim [Henry, the fitness coach] fr getting him as fit as he is, so it’s something that we can build on with both of them and hopefully we can use them a lot more now for the remainder of the season.”
Will Keane netted his fifth goal of the season and Taylor says the striker is getting nearer his top form.
“We all knew that he was a quality finisher and we all knew the quality that he’s got,” he said. “Again, we’re just having to be a little bit patient with him with getting him back to where he is now.
“The last couple of weeks he’s been excellent, his performances have been really good, and it’s great that he’s been chipping in with goals. It gives the manager a little bit of food for thought when he goes and picks a frontline now.”
Asked whether the winless run, now 11, is becoming a concern, Taylor said: “Not at all. When you look at the league, again going into stats. We’re top of the league for our defensive record. I think we’re around about seventh for goals for. Our away record we’re top of the league, so there are a lot of positives there.
“It’s very easy to be negative. We’re not that type of people, I’ve never been brought up that way and I know the manager’s not either. It’s putting that positivity into the football club and it’s being realistic with it as well.
“When you look at those stats, we’re fine and it’s just a case of continuing a lot of the work that we’ve done in the last two games and being that little bit more ruthless and seeing out games.”
Could exiting the competition and concentrating on the league help Town? “From the first game of the season, and I’ve said it every season that I’ve been in football, even when I was playing, I want to win every game.
“And as a club, players, staff, we’re no different. So it is disappointing that we have lost today but sometimes in football you’ve got to look at the bigger picture and look at the other aspects, are we doing things right? Do we deserve to win games, and today we did deserve to win the game. There’s no getting away from that.
“But it just goes back to being ruthless. It’s something that the players are working hard to do, being ruthless in both boxes, because everything in between is very, very good.
“If somebody says we didn’t control the game, I don’t know which game they were watching. But it’s football and we’ll go and learn from it. We’ll move forward to ur next game and we’ll look forward to it.”
With their chances of playing now likely to be very limited, might some of the younger players be sent out on loan?
“That’s a possibility, we’ve always spoken about getting them minutes on the pitch and giving them experience,” he said.
“They’ve had those minutes, so that’s looking back on the positives of the season up to now, players have had minutes on the pitch that they probably wouldn’t have had otherwise, the manager’s believed in them, he’s played them and they’ve gained massively from that.
“If players aren’t likely to feature, then we’ll look at that and see if any players can go on loan. But we know it’s the right environment for them here and we need to make sure it’s the right environment for them if they go out on loan to a club.
“That’s a decision for the manager to make, whether he wants them to go out on loan or he wants to keep them because we are going to get injuries from now until the end of the season.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got a squad that’s strong enough to go and compete in every single game, so if we need the players here then we’ll keep them here.
“If the manager thinks they should go out on loan then we need to be careful with the clubs we put them out to and make sure they’re going to develop and progress and that they’re ready to come back for us next season.
“It is a possibility, but in terms of individuals and who’s going out, we’ve not spoken about that yet.”
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