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Taylor Pleased With Performance But Disappointed With Result
Tuesday, 8th Sep 2020 23:48

Assistant boss Stuart Taylor said he was pleased with the performance but not with the result after the Blues’ 2-1 EFL Trophy defeat to Arsenal’s U21s.

Town were the better side in the first half and went ahead through Jon Nolan but George Lewis, a one-time Town trialist, grabbed an equaliser for the visitors just before half-time and Folarin Balogun scored what would prove to be the winner nine minutes after the restart. The Blues had several chances to level and hit the woodwork twice in the latter stages, but ultimately failed to find the net for a second time.

“I thought it was a positive performance, there was a lot of good play about us and what we asked the lads to do was have the bulk of the possession and dominate the game and turn it into creative play. Get crosses in the box, shots on goal, which we were really happy with,” Taylor said.

“We ended up with about 17 shots on goal, which is a high stat but we wanted to turn them into goals. Credit to their goalkeeper [Tom Smith], I thought he played very, very well on the night and they were throwing their bodies in front of it and making good blocks.

“But we had a lot of good play and a lot of positive play and we’re really pleased with the performance, but not the result, obviously.

“There were opportunities, towards the end it was a case of a little bit of it all going on and you’re thinking ‘It’s going to go over the line this time!’.

“Again, good defending from them and that’s their job and they did it well. It was just a case of getting the ball over the line. But there was a lot of good stuff and we were happy with it.”

However, he was disappointed not to take another win into Sunday’s League One opener against Wigan Athletic at Portman Road.

“Without a doubt, and that was the biggest disappointment of the night that we didn’t win the game,” he added.

“We set out our stall to go and win the game and continue from Saturday’s performance and Saturday’s win.

"We’ve got a mentality at the football club that we want to win every game, and we were the same last year as well. We started the tournament and we did well, and it’s no different this year.

“The manager kept close enough to the same team [that beat Bristol Rovers 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Saturday] and asked the lads to go again and there’s a positive in that sense that a lot of lads have got 90 minutes.

“But we wanted to win the game, we set out our stall to do that, we didn’t do that and that’s a disappointment on the night and we can’t come away from that, but it’s how we played in the game and the process of it, which I thought was pleasing.

“As I said before, good play, a lot of the possession and a lot of creativity on the night, we good created good chances and shots.”

Regarding the loss of Toto Nsiala ahead of the game, the central defender having been named on the teamsheet, Taylor said: “He went out on the warm-up and felt his hamstring. He gave us a shout over and we said there was no point in risking it.

“He’s had a great pre-season, a great start to the season and we didn’t want what happened last year and he was out near enough a couple of months.

“We didn’t want that again, we didn’t take any chances, so we just took him off. Corrie Ndaba’s being doing great and it gave him an opportunity to go and make his full debut.”

Ndaba himself went off after a clash with Arsenal keeper Smith in the closing stages, but Taylor says the injury isn’t as bad as was first feared.

“Worryingly, we thought it was a clash of heads but thankfully it wasn’t,” he said. "It turns out he’s got a really bad dead leg. He couldn’t move at the time, he had no feeling in it so he had to come off.

“We went down to 10 men, which was a different challenge for us. Thankfully, Corrie’s fine apart from a really bad leg, we’ll nurse him and see how he is in the morning.

“He did very well. He’s come back this pre-season with a real maturity about him and a lot of purpose about his play and about his work, which has been really good for us and really pleasing.

"He was one that the manager identified as soon as we came in here at first and we brought him up [to train with the first team].

“Sometimes lads take a little bit of time to go and progress and develop and Corrie’s been one who last season was close to getting in and with one thing or another he ended up not making his debut, I think it was a clearance issue when he went out on loan and he came back.

“He’s had it now and now he’s had a taste of it I’m quite sure he’ll want a lot more of that.

Stephen Ward was seen running up and down the pitch with fitness coach Jim Henry before the game but Taylor says that wasn’t a fitness test.

“No, that was just a session just to keep him ticking over and keep get him ready for Sunday, if he’s involved,” he continued.

“That’s all it was, just getting his legs going again. He wasn’t going to be involved tonight, he wasn’t doing that as a fitness test or anything.”

He says Freddie Sears was substituted for precautionary reasons rather than due to an injury: “The thing with Freddie is that he’d come back from his cruciate injury and then the season stopped, and then he’s had that five-month break, so two 90 minutes back to back would have been too much, so we erred on the side of caution there and looked after him, that’s all it was.”

Taylor says Cole Skuse, who is yet to be involved this season, is continuing his recovery form a minor niggle: “Cole had a knee injury before the Cambridge game, he just had a little slip and tweaked his knee. He’s just nursing that back and hopefully he’ll be back pretty soon.”

David Cornell was given his Blues debut in goal with Tomas Holy having played in Saturday’s match. Taylor wouldn’t be drawn on which of the two might be viewed as the number one.

“I think that’s probably a question for the manager to answer,” he said. “They’re two good goalkeepers and I’m sure they’ll keep pushing one another through the season.

“Tomas was fantastic at the weekend and Dai did very, very well tonight, so it’s competition for places, just like it is everywhere else in the side.”

Taylor says Crystal Palace target Flynn Downes is back with the squad and in an improved frame of mind having been given a few days off by manager Paul Lambert. Might he be involved against Wigan?

“Flynn came back in training with the lads yesterday and he took part in a training session. We’ll just see how the week progresses,” he said.

Has he put the Palace interest and his subsequent transfer request to the back of his mind? “That’s something Flynn would be able to answer for you. I had a good conversation with Flynn yesterday and he’s certainly in a better place than he was at the end of last week.

“I think the manager giving him a couple of days away to go and clear his head has helped. Having had a conversation with him yesterday, he was in a better frame of mind.”

Taylor says he’s been pleased with how the midfield has done in his absence: “Definitely, I think Andre, Bish and Nolo have been fantastic in every aspect of their game, both in possession and out of possession.

“They’ve been creative, they’ve looked to go and find little pockets and tried to get in behind the opposition’s midfield. And from that progressing forward and having that final pass and getting in the box, tonight we saw Nolo getting his goal.

“On the other side of it, out of possession they’ve been really good. They’ve been aggressive in their press and they’ve done very well and the two games that they’ve played in.

“It’s pleasing that they’ve got more minutes under their belts which is important at this time of the year, this time of the season. It’s a real good positive play from them tonight again.”

Looking to next Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Premier League Fulham, he says it’s a game to look forward to: “Definitely, two teams who want to go and play football. We spoke about it after the game on Saturday, that typically with no supporters allowed in we’ll draw a Premier League team and it will end up being one which would have been a full house.

“It’s just the way it works out that we don’t have that full house coming in and the atmosphere it would have been.

“I think we’re all missing the supporters, we were all needing them back and getting behind the lads. Without a shadow of a doubt they would have helped tonight when it was a little bit tough for the lads and I’m suite sure the supporters would have got them through that.”

Before that Town face Wigan Athletic on Sunday in their live-on-Sky League One opener, a game Taylor says it’s important to win: “That’s it, it’s the first game back of the season, and we’re all looking forward to it and can’t wait.”

Photo: TWTD

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Saxonblue74 added 06:44 - Sep 9
One good half, one average half. Not clinical in front of goal so chances squandered. 2019/20? Groundhog day!

Saxonblue74 added 06:46 - Sep 9
......won't get away so lightly against Wigan if we repeat that performance on Sunday.

SouperJim added 07:18 - Sep 9
Decent performance and really not fussed about the result in this competition, but is Lambert going to dodge the press every time we lose? Or is it just a case of Taylor doing the tinpot trophy?

Skip73 added 07:55 - Sep 9
"We've got a mentality that we want to win every game" Really?

Linkboy13 added 08:11 - Sep 9
Pleased with performance we just lost to Arsenal youth team.

midastouch added 08:25 - Sep 9
Silence of the Lamberts!

brittaniaman added 08:57 - Sep 9
Just a question why does Scott Parker keeps appearing on the TWTD articles ???
We know he had an interview here for the managers position but was rejected, but the way he has turned Fulham round, what have we missed ???? just a thought.

supasmiler71 added 09:31 - Sep 9
Not concerned about this loss at all. I'm sure it was seen as another good run out for the first team (or most of them) before the serious business of getting back up to the Championship begins in earnest. Sunday will be different. By the way, there's a reason many of these "kids" are in the U21s for Arsenal....because they are bloody good players!

Nobbysnuts added 10:34 - Sep 9
Its obviously tailor's turn to come out and talk b#llocks.🤥

Lathers added 10:56 - Sep 9
How can a management team be pleased with a performance which saw our first team totally dominated by Arsenal’s academy for 25 minutes after half time. It was like we were playing the proper Arsenal team during that period. We couldn’t get near the ball and despite the chances we had later on, they could have been out of sight if they’d taken their chances. Still, it was great to get another 90 minutes under our belts.... 🤔

Radlett_blue added 11:19 - Sep 9
A League Cup game against Fulham's Reserves would have been a full house?

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