|Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Gillingham|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 27th October 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Taylor: Professional Performance
Tuesday, 27th Oct 2020 22:39
Assistant boss Stuart Taylor felt Town deserved their 1-0 victory over Gillingham - secured via Teddy Bishop’s 87th minute goal - hailing it a “professional performance”.
Taylor was in charge of the Blues alongside keeper-coach Jimmy Walker with manager Paul Lambert absent having taken a precautionary Covid-19 test having reported symptoms this morning, while first-team coach Matt Gill has tested positive having been ill at the weekend.
“That was a really professional performance from us and we deservedly got the win,” Taylor said afterwards.
“Fantastic from the first minute because we asked them to be creative and be positive in our play, keep a clean sheet and answer any questions which were asked of them in terms of balls being thrown into the box, set pieces.
“The way they were going to play, we knew about it. I thought the two centre-backs [Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness], being young kids, actually dealt with it really, really well. Answered every question that was asked of them and we created quite a lot of chances.
“I thought at half-time if we were 3-0 up it wouldn’t have been unexpected. But great to come away with a clean sheet, great to come away with three points and fantastic to come away with a great performance.”
Asked whether the failure to take chances was a concern, he said: “You’d like to score with every attack. Every team’s the same, there’s a goalkeeper put in place to stop your shots. There were a couple of times in the first half we could have hit the target.
“Jack Lankester’s hit the cross bar and we put real pressure on their back four and their goalkeeper. You can ask to be a little bit more ruthless, but I thought all in all tonight the lads were brilliant, I couldn’t fault them much.”
Reflecting on Teddy Bishop’s performance and his excellent fourth goal of the campaign, he added: “He brings so much to the team in terms of finding little pockets and going and turning and driving at the opposition’s back four, which I thought he did fantastically well in the second half. I thought he was a massive threat.
“And to go and top it off with a goal was great. I think he’s got four now this season and it’s a little challenge that he’s given himself [to get 10] and he’s well on his way to his target, so good for him.
“I’m absolutely delighted for him. He’s played games back to back now as well. All credit to him and he deserves it.”
Was Emyr Huws unlucky not to come into the side for the suspended Jon Nolan, Lankester having been given the nod for the third berth in midfield.
“The gaffer’s wanted to go with the three that he started with and I think it proved to be the right three. I thought the three of them were brilliant,” Taylor continued.
“It was nice to see Jack play games back to back after all the troubles he’s been through. I thought he picked on some little pockets really nicely tonight. The second half got a little bit busy for him, hence why we made the change and Emyr came on and gave us great presence and quality and composure on the ball. There’s a lot of competition for places.”
Toto Nsiala and James Wilson were left out of the XI having been the regular centre-halves so far this season. Did they take the decision to switch things around well?
“Yes, they’re really good professionals,” Taylor added. “Obviously they were disappointed not to be playing but they’ve played a lot of games this season and they’ve done very, very well and they’ve been a big part of the winning run that we’re on.
“That was a little bit of freshness that the gaffer wanted and that was it. The two young kids came in and did very, very well.”
On-loan Arsenal man McGuinness was handed his league debut and Taylor says the Irish U19 international will have benefited from his first taste of Town action.
“Definitely, he’s come in with a bit of blood on his cheek and I just said ‘Welcome to first team football!’,” he laughed.
“None of that goes on in the U23s, being against someone that’s 6ft 3in and an absolute handful and dealing with balls that are coming into the box practically every attack.
“It was good experience for him and it’s part of his development to come here and come and taste that. I thought he was superb tonight, really strong, and on another side of it he was very composed on the ball, so it was a good experience for him in the game that it was.”
Taylor says that the Covid-19 tests didn’t have to much of an impact on preparations for the game.
“It’s strange times now but we’ve got a lot of good people working at the club and everybody just mucks in,” he said.
“They’re a fantastic bunch of lads, very professional and that mentality at the football club is that everybody mucks in and helps each other out and that’s just the way we are, and I think they proved that tonight.”
How much input into the game did manager Lambert have? “He did his work on Monday so the lads knew exactly what their jobs were so it was just a case of coming in and getting the lads going, as simple as that. It was a good night and a great performance.”
He added: “We do all the work on the training pitch and the lads knew exactly what they were doing. It was just myself and Jimmy tonight and obviously Will [Stevenson] and George [Buckley] doing the analysis.
“The gaffer spoke to the players at the end of the game and just congratulated them on the good performance, which was good as well.
“I’m quite sure the gaffer’s sniffles will be nothing more than that hopefully and he’ll be back in about it again.”
Does everyone need to be tested, as was the case when Kayden Jackson tested positive recently?
“I think what’s been great is [physio] Matt Byard’s been absolutely superb along with the two docs,” Taylor continued.
“Since we’ve come back after lockdown we’ve stuck to every single requirement that the Government put out, hence the reason we’ve had few cases.
“Hopefully long may that continue and nobody else gets it. It was another requirement as the gaffer had another couple of sniffles yesterday and they did a test this morning and we’re just waiting for the result back.
“He could have come in but the requirement is to stay away, it’s the best thing to do. And that’s all he did. Hopefully everyone will be fine and he’ll back in.
“I have spoken to him and he’s feeling alright, just a couple of sniffles. He watched it from his house.
“He thoroughly enjoyed, he’s really happy, really proud of the lads and the way they went about their job. He was over the moon with the performance.”
Regarding Gill, who was also absent for the Lincoln game, he added: “He wasn’t there on Saturday. He woke up on Saturday morning with a sore head and a blocked nose.
“Matty [Byard] never took and chances, sent him home to go and get a test and he’s got to self-isolate for 10 days.
“We’ll just follow the advice, we’ve done it since we’ve come back after the lockdown. We’ve stuck to everything, we won’t change it. There’s no point in putting anybody to any risk or anything like that. We’ll always go on the safe side.”
He says Jackson is very much on the mend and is back at Playford Road: “He’s loads better, he was back in yesterday so if that’s him starting back for if you want to call it rehab. Hopefully he’ll be back with the lads on Thursday.”
Could the former Accrington man play on Saturday? “That’s the thing, he trained today, he trained yesterday on his own and trained today with a small group.
“He’ll be back in about tomorrow and then hopefully he’ll be back training [with the rest of the squad] on Thursday and it depends on how he does on Thursday whether he comes back into contention. We’ll just have to wait and see on Thursday.
“He’ll be desperate to get back, just as we’re desperate to get him back. He gives us a different option up front from Nors [James Norwood] and Oli [Hawkins]. Like everybody, as soon as they’re back fit, they’ll be back in contention.”
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