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Taylor: New Signings Add Strength Ahead of Unbelievable Schedule
Friday, 22nd Jan 2021 10:12

Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor says the Blues will need the added strength in depth new recruits Luke Thomas and Josh Harrop have brought to the squad with games coming thick and fast in the remaining months of the campaign.

Winger Thomas and number 10 Harrop joined on loan from Barnsley and Preston earlier this week but with the Blues already having plenty of other midfield options with the likes of TEddy Bishop, Flynn Downes and Gwion Edwards having returned from injury..

“Luke’s a young, tenacious, energetic wide player who likes to attack and take people on one-v-one,” Taylor said.

“Very, very direct, very aggressive when he’s in possession playing. He doesn’t shirk out of working back and doing the dirty side of the game either. He’s a great addition in terms of that.

“Josh has a very good knowledge of the game, good ability on the ball, can see passes, can pick out players, good creativity, especially in the final third, the final ball and can certainly chip in with goals as well.

“Again, it’s another good addition and he strengthens the positions across the front as he can play as an eight, a 10 or as a wide player.”

Regarding adding to areas of the squad where the Blues already have plenty of options, he said: “I think it’s just strengthening it. I’m not saying we don’t already have that, I think it’s just a case of strengthening it.

“When we looked at the situation we found ourselves in at the start of the season when we had so many players out injured, we just don’t want to be in that situation again, especially going into an unbelievably heavy period of fixtures where we’ve basically got half a season to play from February 1st.

“So we have to make sure that we’ve got bodies there, we’ve got cover and we’ve got competition for places and everybody ready to go to go into a huge run-in.”

And he believes fresh faces in the dressing room can create a bounce: “They can, and I think that’s healthy. You want that balance. It’s a good dressing room to come into, the lads will settle in very well and it’s been good having them about the place throughout the week. They’ve adapted well so far.”

Taylor says Thomas is a little in front of Harrop match fitness-wise but says the Preston man isn’t too far behind him.

“Obviously, Luke’s played games of late, so he’s probably that bit further ahead,” he said. “But I wouldn’t say Josh is way behind in any way whatsoever.

“He’s an incredible professional, he’s come up through the ranks at a good academy at Manchester United, so he looks after himself well and I’m quite sure he’ll be ready to go and play and his adrenaline will get him through games.”

He says it’s important to bring players in who have had game time rather than having spent time well out of the picture at their parent clubs.

“Yes, definitely,” he said. “There’s a checklist we do when we go and sign players and you try to tick as many of those boxes as you possibly can.

“Getting players in that are fit and ready to go is ideal and that’s what we try and do because we want the players to hit the ground running when they come in and keep it positive for them. And they’ve both come in and trained very well this week.”

Photos: ITFC

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